Rae, John

SOCIETY FOR CONSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION: John Rae of Bridge Court proposed member 19.10.1792 by Charles Sinclair 2nded John Balmanno. Withdrew 14.12.1792 after William Sturch put a motion to expel him.
John Rae Esq Angel Court, Throgmorton St, merchant SunFire 1777 / John Rae otp = St Geo Han S. q 23.2.1786 by lic Sarah Batte of St Marylebone / St Jas Chron 10.3.1789 Elizabeth & Anthony Macharg & John Rae merchants of Idol Lane, London bankrupt / John Rae, White Hart Row, Kennington Lane, baker SunFire 1791 / (none of the foregoing particularly likely to have been the SCI member) / Nat Arch HO 42/21/155 pp 377-385 his own copies of letters to William Pitt (DNB 1759-1806) the prime minister from 3 Bridge Court dated 29.9.1791, 19.10.1791 and 16.11.1791 and a letter to Henry Dundas (DNB 1742-1811) from Bridge Court 22.8.1792 enclosing those copies and protesting that they were not intended to convey a threat. Rae told Pitt he had been lately employed in one of the Revenue departments, had heard of a discovery that the Report of the late committee of Finance involved an error of upwards of a million Sterling against Government, and seeking a private interview. Pitt put a Mr Carthew to deal with him who assured Rae there was no truth in it but Rae persisted. Rae's informant was David Hardie, author of "Taxation of Coals" (1792), assistant elder in the East India Company's warehouses (Old Bailey 20.9.1797) who died 12.8.1827 aged 77 (Morn Post 17.8.1827). Rae claimed he had a long acquaintance with Hardie. Whether the letters were written out of public duty or in hope of some payment, it suggests that Sturch may have been rightly suspicious that Rae's motives were not in the interest of the SCI. Or Sturch of course may ahve had other reasons to want him expelled. In SCI minutes for 7.12.1792 a Dr Smith was asked to leave as he had not been a member for some years. Mr John Rae was not allowed to speak to the matter and resigned the next week after William Sturch proposed a motion to have him expelled. Oddly there never seems to have been an SCI member called Dr Smith, the only Smiths (or Smyths) in the SCI being Samuel Smith of Clapham, his son William Smith DNB 1756-1835, and William Smith of Sunderland-wick, nr Beverley, Yorks. I think Rae was also probably not the John Rae of Ashford, Middx, a governor of Royal Bridewell hospital, and Morn Chron 25.12.1823 died in his 88th year John Rae Esq of Ashford many years JP for Middlesex.