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Hunt
Hunt
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on 21 Nov. 1851, and went the Oxford circuit. On 23 May 1873 he was made a bencher of his inn. Preferring politics to legal studies, he unsuccessfully contested Northampton in 1852 and in 1857 as a conservative, and at last entered parliament on 16 Dec. 1857 as one of the members for the northern division of Northamptonshire, which he represented for twenty years continuously. He acted as financial secretary to the treasury under Lord Derby from July 1866 to February 1868, and when Mr. Disraeli became premier, 29 Feb., he succeeded to the office of chancellor of the exchequer, but he retired with his party in December. He was elected chairman of quarter sessions for Northamptonshire in April 1866, chairman of the Northampton chamber of agriculture 18 Jan. 1873, and was sworn a privy councillor 29 Feb. 1868. On the return of the conservatives to power he was appointed first lord of the admiralty, 21 Feb. 1874. He had some knowledge of naval administration, but was better versed in subjects relating to county management and agriculture. In 1866 he introduced a bill dealing with the cattle plague, and in 1875 helped to conduct the Agricultural Holdings Bill through the House of Commons. In the session of 1877, although very ill, he was in his place to take part in the discussion on the navy votes, and one of the most spirited speeches that he made was in answer to Mr. Charles Seely and other critics on 6 March. At Whitsuntide, under medical advice, he went to Homburg, where he died of gout on 29 July 1877, and was buried privately in the English cemetery there on the following morning. As chancellor of the exchequer he showed financial aptitude, but his administration of the admiralty was signalised by a melancholy series of disasters. It is probable that the misfortunes connected with his department hastened his death. He married, 5 Dec. 1857, Alice, third daughter of Robert Eden [q.v.], bishop of Moray and Ross, by whom he had a family.

[Cornelius Brown's Life of Earl of Beaconsfield, 1882, ii. 93; Times, 30 July 1877, p. 9, cols. 1 and 6, 31 July p. 3, 1 Aug. p. 9; Law Times, 4 Aug. 1877, p. 254; Illustrated London News, 21 March 1868, p. 280, with portrait, 18 April 1874, pp. 365-6, with portrait, 4 Aug. 1877, p. 119, and 11 Aug. p. 140, with portrait; Graphic, 4 Aug. 1877, pp. 99*, 113, with portrait.]

G. C. B.


HUNT, HENRY (1773–1835), politician, came of a Wiltshire family, being the eldest son of Henry Hunt of Week, near Devizes, and was born at Widdington Farm, Upavon, or Upphaven, Wiltshire, on 6 Nov. 1773. He was a delicate, though high-spirited child, and was educated first at Tilshead, Wiltshire, by a Mr. Cooper, then at Hursley in Hampshire by Mr. Alner, next under the Rev. Thomas Griffith at Andover grammar school, where he was treated with such tyranny that he ran away, and lastly under the Rev. James Evans at Salisbury and Oxford. Holy orders were proposed to him by his father, but his own bent was towards farming, and he began work on the farm at sixteen, though he continued to study classics with a tutor. A quarrel with his father induced him to leave home in 1794, but his father's entreaties led him to forego his intention of shipping as clerk on board a Guinea slaver. His opinions on reaching manhood were mainly those of a loyal supporter of the constitution and government; but his experiences of the sufferings of the poor and the rural administration of his own district soon inclined him to radical views. At the age of twenty-two he fell in love with Miss Halcomb, daughter of the innkeeper of the Bear Inn, Devizes, without having seen her, and on the strength of his father's recommendation of her virtues he married her shortly afterwards; but after she had borne him two sons and a daughter, he separated from her in 1802, and eloped with a friend's wife, Mrs. Vince. He began farming for himself at Widdington Farm, his birthplace, and on his father's death occupied all the land held by his father.

Hunt's first public appearance was in 1797, when he addressed the Everley troop of yeomanry, of which he was a member, urging them to consent to serve, if required, out of the county. Failing in this he quitted that force in disgust, and joined the Marlborough troop, at the request of Lord Bruce, the colonel, but subsequently he challenged his commanding officer to fight a duel, and was indicted for the offence. He allowed judgment to go by default, and as he refused to apologise was sentenced to a fine of 100l. and six weeks' imprisonment in the King's Bench prison at the end of 1800. About this time he became acquainted with Home Tooke and other politicians of his party, and though full of martial ardour during the apprehensions of invasion in 1801 and 1803, adopted their advanced opinions. His personal habits were expensive, and he lost money in a brewing speculation at Clifton, near Bristol. Nevertheless he began to make a figure in local politics. At the dissolution of parliament in 1806 he took a prominent part in the elections for his own county (see Cobbett, Political Register, 1806) and for Bristol. In 1807 he visited London, and was introduced by his friend Henry Clifford to