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  current name:

Vansittart Arms

  previous names:  
  current landlord/landlady: 105, Vansittart Road, Windsor
  telephone: 01753 865988
  web address:  
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LORD BEXLEY (1766 - 1851)   Chancellor of the Exchequer 1809-1822

At the corner of Bexley Street and Vansittart Road in Windsor, Berks there stands a delightful Victorian public house called the Bexley Arms, probably the only pub in the country to commemorate Lord Bexley who reached the high office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lord Bexley was a member of the Vansittart family who came from Holland in the sixteenth century. Their main estates in Berkshire were at Bisham (Bisham Abbey on the river Thames) and at Shottesbrook, near White Waltham. Members of the family were lords of the manor of Clewer from 1720-1859 and owned some of the land between Windsor and Clewer developed for housing in the 19th century. They also once owned the Vansittart Arms, along with a great deal of other land and properties in the area.

Lord Bexley was a younger son of the notorious Henry Vansittart, Governor of Bengal, India. Henry was a member of the famous Hell Fire Club. He also rediscovered the Kama Sutra but was drowned at sea off Cape Town in 1770. His son, Nicholas, (Lord Bexley), was only four at the time. He first became an unsuccessful lawyer and then turned to politics. He was an MP for 25 years. The obituary in the Times for him states that he was a poor speaker and debater who never referred to his constituents in the House of Commons and who lacked talents, knowledge or energy. On the other hand, he had a great reputation as a financial expert and was in charge of the Exchequer for 13 years - something of an achievement - and left a clear revenue surplus for his successors in spit_ of the costs of the wars against Napoleon. At one time, he tried to introduce Income Tax, but the Commons rejected the idea. He was forced to retire in 1822 after criticism that his financial proposals were impossible to understand and was given a pension for life. 

He bought the estate of Foot's Cray Place near Bexley, Kent and was offered a title in 1823. He took the title of Lord Bexley and the motto to his coat of arms is GRATA QUIES (A Grateful Retirement). In fact, his retirement lasted for 29 years until he died at the age of 85, a forgotten figure. Unlike his father's interests, he spent his last years in charitable works, funding the building of churches and distribution of Bibles. He also helped to found Kings College in London. His house in Kent was destroyed by fire in 1950.

The Times says of him that he had 'white hairs and unworldly greatness' and also refers to his perpetual good nature.  His wife died young and he had no children so the title became extinct. There was only ever one Lord Bexley. A much later member of another branch of the family was made Lord Vansittart but he also had no children and that title also became extinct in 1957.

From left to right: Emelia Morse, Henry Vansittart, Lord Bexley/Nicholas Vansittart, Emelia and Sophier Vansittart.
Emelia Vansittart was married to Edward Parry and they were passengers on a Dutch East Indiaman called Woestduijn that wrecked off the coast of Flushing, Netherlands in 1779. They survived and Edward became the chairman of the Directors of the East India Company and member of the Clapham sect that initiated the anti slave-trade act.


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