General Sir Edward Cust 1st Bart.

17th Mar 1794 - 14th Jan 1878

Claimant or beneficiary


Although not listed as an awardee in the Parliamentary Papers list, Edward Cust, together with the heirs of the late Mrs L. W. Boode (his mother-in-law), made a claim on Greenwich Park in British Guiana and was awarded £5029 7s 8d as 716A (pace Parliamentary Papers): the remainder of the compensation for the enslaved on the estate went to Cust's brother John, Earl Brownlow and Wilbraham Egerton, appointed trustees and executors of Mrs L.W. Boode in place of James Dannett. In pursuit of the compensation, Edward Cust wrote to Henry Frederick Stephenson, one of the Commissioners of Compensation in 1835: 'Dear Stevenson [sic]: how much might I hope to receive? I trust I am not intruding an impertinent request... I see your Brother in Law at Holkham received one royal duchess with very great splendour' [Stephenson had married the sister of the wife of Thomas William Coke, later Earl of Leicester, reportedly to the great displeasure of Coke].

As an MP voted in planter interests throughout 1820s-1832. [And see note 2 below].

Son of Brownlow Cust, 1st Baron Brownlow and brother of John Cust, 1st Earl Brownlow, and Frances, daughter and heir of Sir Henry Bankes of Wimbledon, Surrey. Educ. Eton and Sandhurst.

Married 11 January 1821, Mary Anne, only child of Lewis William Boode, 'of Amsterdam and Peover Hall Cheshire', and heir of her mother, Margaret Dannett, of Leasowe Castle, Birkenhead, daughter of the Revd Thomas Dannett, rector of Liverpool. Lewis William Boode, who had died c. 1800, was a member of a major family of British Guiana slave-owners and the brother of Andreas Christian Boode (q.v.).

Army officer who served in the Peninsula War, eventually rising to General (1866). Knighted 1831.

Mary Cust was lady of the bedchamber to Queen Victoria's mother, duchess of Kent.

Equerry to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, from 1816. Master of the ceremonies to Queen Victoria 1847-76. One of the commissioners for the new Houses of Parliament.

Cust the author of works on West Indian affairs and the colonies and also wrote military histories and other works;  included Annals of the Wars of the Eighteenth Century (5 vols., 1857) and Lives of the Warriors of the Thirty Years' War (2 vols., 1865). Received the gold medal of the Austrian empire from the emperor for these in in 1869. Also wrote Noctes dominicae, or, Sunday Night Readings (1848) and Family Readings: the New Testament Harmonised and Explained  (1850). Hon. DCL from the University of Oxford, 1853.

Senior magistrate for the hundred of Wirral. It is not clear where his main residence was: Boyle's Directory 1835 lists him as living at he died in Jermyn Street, St James's, London, but had properties elsewhere - including Leasowe Castle, in the Wirral. [See physical legacies].

Active in the West India Committee (e.g. in April 1823) pressing for ameliorative measures to prevent full emancipation.


T71/885 British Guiana no. 716A & B; T71/1610: letter, dated 30/09/1835, from Leasowe Castle; [accessed 12/09/2017]; R. G. Thorne (ed.), The House of Commons, 1790-1820 (5 vols., London, Secker & Warburg for the History of Parliament Trust, 1986), vol. 3, pp. 554-5; Oxford DNB, (article by [Anon.], rev. James Lunt.); D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), vol. 4.

Alexandra Franklin, Enterprise and advantage: The West India interest in Britain, 1774-1840 (University of Pennsylvania, Unpub. PhD, 1992), p. 214.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Sir Edward Cust
Mary Anne Boode

Wealth at death: under £18,000: probate, 2 July 1878, CGPLA Eng. & Wales.

Wealth at death
Eton [1805-1808 ]
Military Education
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (1)

£10,058 15s 4d

Legacies Summary

Historical (8)

A Letter ... on the expedience of a better system of control over buildings erected at the public expense; and on the subject of rebuilding the Houses of... 1835 
notes →
Another edition: Thoughts on the expedience of a better system of control and supervision over buildings erected at the public expense, etc.,...
Reflections on West India Affairs, after a recent visit to the Colonies. Addressed to the consideration of the Colonial... 1839 
notes →
British Library catalogue:...
The Colonies and Colonial... 1845 
notes →
Noctes Dominicae; or Sunday-night reading, made applicable to the Proper Lessons for Sundays throughout the year. Compiled from various... 1848 
notes →
pp. Xxviii +...
Family Reading. The New Testament narrative harmonized, and explained by the bishops and doctors of the Anglican Church: compiled by the Hon. Sir E.... 1850 
Annals of the Wars of the Eighteenth Century, compiled from the most authentic histories of the... 1857-1860 
Annals of the Wars of the Nineteenth Century, compiled from the most authentic histories of the... 1862 
Lives of the Warriors of the Seventeenth... 1865-1869 

Imperial (1)

notes →
Cust is an example of one whose outlook is deeply enmeshed in the British imperial world of the C19th, because of his slave-owning, his military career, and because of his preoccupations, in the...

Physical (1)

Leasowe Castle [Purchased] 
description →
Image from <a...
notes →
Leasowe Castle built in 1593 by Ferdinando, the 5th Earl of Derby. 1802 bought by Mrs Boode, whose daughter, Mary Anne, married Edward Cust who took possession in 1821. The castle...

Political (1)

Tory / West India interest 
election →
Grantham Lincolnshire
1818 - 1826
election →
Lostwithiel Cornwall
1826 - 1832

Relationships (3)

Son-in-law → Mother-in-law
Husband → Wife

Addresses (2)

1 New St Spring Gardens [also given as 1 New Gardens, Middlesex], London, Middlesex, London, England
Leasowe Castle, Cheshire, North-west England, England