John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle

John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle

John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle

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John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle (16 October 1756 – 3 April 1842) was a British peer who had served as a Member of Parliament (MP) in general support of William Pitt the Younger and was later an active member of the House of Lords. His violent attacks on Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox in the early 1780s led to his being the target for satirical attack in the Rolliad.

Physically he was a large man, and made no pretension to an intellectual approach. Nathaniel William Wraxall wrote of him "Nature had denied him all pretension to grace or elegance. Neither was his understanding apparently more cultivated than his manners were refined. He reminded me always of a Devonshire rustic, but he possessed plain common sense, a manly mind, and the faculty of stating his ideas in a few strong words." In later life he caused a disturbance at the coronation of Queen Victoria when he fell down the stairs.

Early life

Rolle was the son of Denys Rolle, who owned large estates in Florida. He was educated at Winchester College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and became a country gentleman in Devon. When his uncle John Rolle Walter died in November 1779, he was put forward to fill the vacancy. At this time, Devon was controlled by a group of large landowners principally in the Courtenay, Bampfylde and Rolle families who had so many supporters that no other challenge was possible; due to the expense, the county had not seen a contested election since...
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