Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/161

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Larpent
Larpent
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Gerard de Hochepied Larpent [q. v.], was born on 15 Sept. 1776, and educated at Cheam school. He graduated B.A. from St. John's College, Cambridge, as fifth wrangler in 1799, was elected fellow, and proceeded M.A. in 1802. He studied for some time under Bayley, the eminent special pleader, was called to the bar, and went the western circuit. On circuit he did little business, but made some useful friendships. Manners Sutton, judge-advocate-general, selected him in 1812 to go out to the Peninsula as deputy judge-advocate-general to the forces there. He remained till 1814 at headquarters with Wellington, who thought highly of his services (Despatches, vi. 360). In August 1813 he was taken prisoner, but was exchanged almost immediately (ib. pp. 737, 761). In 1814 he was made a commissioner of customs. About the same time he was appointed civil and admiralty judge for Gibraltar. A new code was in course of formation, and Larpent was employed for a month or two in arranging the court-martial on General Sir John Murray. In the spring of 1815 Larpent was invited by the prince regent to inquire into the improprieties which the Princess Caroline was alleged to have committed abroad, but he wisely insisted that his appointment should proceed from the government directly, and that he should be employed to sift rather than gather partisan evidence. Although he nominally set out to take up his work at Gibraltar, he went to Vienna, where he was accredited to Count Münster, and began his investigations into the princess's conduct, with the result that he dissuaded the prince regent's advisers from bringing her to public trial. He thence travelled to Gibraltar, and remained there till 1820, when he was again employed in secret service with reference to the Princess Caroline. In 1821 Lord Liverpool made Larpent one of the commissioners of the board of audit of the public accounts. In 1826 he became its chairman, and in 1843 he retired. He died at Holmwood, near Dorking, Surrey, on 21 May 1845.

Larpent married, first, on 15 March 1815, Catherine Elizabeth, second daughter of Frederick Reeves of East Sheen, Surrey—she died without issue on 17 Jan. 1822; secondly, on 10 Dec. 1829, Charlotte Rosamund, daughter of George Arnold Arnold of Halstead Place, Kent—she died at Bath on 28 April 1879.

When in the Peninsula Larpent wrote descriptive letters to his step-mother; these were edited, with a preface by Sir George Larpent, under the title of 'Private Journals of Francis Seymour Larpent,' London, 1853, 3 vols. 8vo, and passed through three editions the same year. The manuscript forms British Museum Addit. MS. 33419.

[Memoir prefixed to the Journals; Gent. Mag. 1845, ii. 99; Burke's Peerage.]

W. A. J. A.

LARPENT, Sir GEORGE GERARD DE HOCHEPIED (1786–1855), politician, youngest son of John Larpent [q. v.], by his second wife, was born in London on 16 Feb. 1786. He early entered the East India house of Cockerell & Larpent, became chairman of the Oriental and China Association, and deputy-chairman of the St. Katharine's Docks Company. In May 1840 he unsuccessfully contested Ludlow in the whig interest, and in April 1841 Nottingham; but in June 1841 he was returned at the head of the poll for Nottingham, with Sir John Cam Hobhouse [q. v.]. On 13 Oct. 1841 he was created a baronet. He retired from parliament in August 1842, pending the result of a petition presented against his return. In 1847 he unsuccessfully contested the city of London. He died in Conduit Street, London, on 8 March 1855. He married, first, 13 Oct. 1813, Charlotte, third daughter of William Cracroft of the exchequer—she died on 18 Feb. 1851 at Bath, leaving two sons and a daughter; secondly, in 1852, Louisa, daughter of George Bailey of Lincolnshire, by whom he left a son—his second wife died on 23 March 1856. Larpent wrote a pamphlet in support of protection to West Indian sugar, 1823, which ran through two editions, and another entitled 'Some Remarks on the late Negotiations between the Board of Control and the East India Company.' He also edited the journals of his half-brother, Francis Seymour Larpent [q. v.], in 1853, and the 'History of Turkey' of his grandfather, Sir James Porter, continuing it and adding a memoir, 1854.

[Gent. Mag. 1855, i. 524; M'Culloch's Lit. of Polit. Econ. p. 93.]

W. A. J. A.

LARPENT, JOHN (1741–1824), inspector of plays, born 14 Nov. 1741, was the second son of John Larpent (1710–1797), who was forty-three years in the foreign office, and twenty-five years chief clerk there. His mother was a daughter of James Pazant of a refugee Norman family. John was educated at Westminster, and entered the foreign office. He was secretary to the Duke of Bedford at the peace of Paris in 1763, and to the Marquis of Hertford when lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In November 1778 he was appointed inspector of plays by the Marquis of Hertford, who was then lord chamberlain. He is said to have been strict and careful, and to have left behind him manuscript copies of all the plays submitted to the inspector from 1737 till 1824 (cf. Notes and