Edward Craggs-Eliot, 1st Baron Eliot
The Lord Eliot
|Born||8 July 1727|
|Died||17 February 1804 (aged 76)|
Port Eliot, Cornwall
|Resting place||St Germans, Cornwall|
Edward Craggs-Eliot, 1st Baron Eliot (London, 8 July 1727 – 17 February 1804, Port Eliot, Cornwall) was an English official and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1748 to 1784 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Eliot.
He was born to Richard Eliot (c.1694 – 19 November 1748) and Harriot Craggs (c.1704 – January 1769), the illegitimate daughter of the Privy Counsellor and Secretary of State, James Craggs (9 April 1686 – 2 March 1721) and the noted actress, Hester Santlow. His sister Anne, who married Captain Hugh Bonfoy, was a noted beauty who was painted twice by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Another sister, Elizabeth, married Charles Cocks, 1st Baron Somers.
In 1742, he matriculated at St Mary Hall, Oxford but did not graduate. During 1747–1748, he travelled in Continental Europe, principally the Dutch Republic, Germany and Switzerland. On 19 November 1748 he succeeded his father. From 1748–1768 he was Member of Parliament for St Germans, Cornwall, the place of his family estate Port Eliot. In succession, he became Member of Parliament (MP) for Liskeard (1768–1774), for St Germans (1774–1775), and for Cornwall (1775–1784).
In 1751, Edward was appointed Receiver General of the Duchy of Cornwall. From 1760 until 1776, Edward was one of the eight Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, and in 1775 he again became Receiver General of the Duchy. However, in 1776 he notably voted against the employment of Hessian Troops, and resigned from the Board of Trade and Plantations, and from the government.
On 13 January 1784, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Eliot, of St Germans in the County of Cornwall, and took his seat in the House of Lords on 2 February 1784. On 15 Apr 1789, according to the stipulation in his Craggs-estate inheritance, he changed his surname from Eliot to Craggs (on occasion using "Craggs Eliot" instead of Edward Craggs Lord Eliot). At the same time, the Eliot arms were quartered with those of the Craggs family and used by Edward and his sons.
On 25 September 1756 he married Catherine Elliston (September 1735 – 23 February 1804), daughter of Captain Edward Elliston and Catherine Gibbon, the aunt of Edward Gibbon, at St James' Church, Westminster. Together they had four children:
- Edward James Eliot (9 August 1757 – September 1757)
- Edward James Eliot (24 August 1758 – 17 September 1797)
- John Eliot, 1st Earl of St Germans (30 September 1761 – 17 November 1823)
- William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans (1 April 1767 – 19 January 1845)