John Wharton

Born: John Wharton was born John Hall on 21st June 1765 at Skelton Castle. He was the first son of Joseph William Hall (afterwards Stevenson) and Ann Foster, daughter of James Foster of County Fermanagh. He was the grandson of John Hall Stevenson, the author. In 1788 he changed his name to Wharton when he succeeded to the estates of his aunt Mrs. Margaret Wharton.

Educated: He was educated at the Royal School, Armagh, and Trinity College, Dublin.

Married: John Wharton married Susan Mary Anne Lambton, daughter of General John Lambton of Lambton, County Durham in October 1790.

Family: John Wharton had two daughters, Susan and Margaret. Neither of them outlived him. His heir was his nephew, John Thomas Wharton.

Home: John Wharton demolished Skelton Castle and rebuilt it. In 1829 he was committed to the Fleet Prison, London as a debtor. Debtors whose family or friends could pay for the privilege were allowed to live outside the prison walls in lodgings in one of the nearby streets. That is where John Wharton lived for many years.

Known for: In 1790 John Wharton became M.P. for Beverley. He stood down in 1796 but served as M.P. for Beverley again from 1802 to 1826. He spent a fortune in electoral bribes, although he supported the reform of Parliament. He was also a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery. He is known locally for building Skelton Castle, having demolished most of the old castle. In 1785 he rebuilt the old All Saints parish church in Skelton.

Died: John Wharton died on 29th May 1843 in Westminster Road, Lambeth.

Further Information: “The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820” ed. R.G.Thorne (1986)

“The Annual Register” vol. 85 (1844)