Hans Stanley was an 18th century politician who represented Southampton in parliament from 1754 until his death in 1780. He was born at Paultons near Romsey in 1721 and baptised at Holy Rood, Southampton in the same year. He was educated in London and Switzerland. He became a burgess of Southampton in 1747 with the intention of becoming the town’s parliamentary representative. He was elected one of the borough’s MPs seven years later and in 1757 he was appointed Lord of the Admiralty, a post which he held until 1765. Other posts included the Governorship of the Isle of Wight and various diplomatic appointments. In spite of these achievements he felt that his talents had been neglected by successive prime ministers. He cut his throat with a penknife in January 1780 and died before help could be obtained. He lived in London for most of his life, but continued to use Paultons as his country estate.

Further reading:
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, Volume 52.


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