Sir William Yonge, 4th Baronet
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Sir William Yonge, 4th Baronet KCB FRS (ca. 1693 – 10 August 1755), English politician, was the son of Sir Walter Yonge, and great-great-grandson of Walter Yonge of Colyton (1579–1649), whose diaries (1604–45), more especially four volumes now in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 18777–18780), are valuable material for history.
In 1722, William was elected to Parliament as member for Honiton; and he succeeded his father, the third baronet, in 1731. In the House of Commons he attached himself to the Whigs, and making himself useful to Sir Robert Walpole, was rewarded with a commissionership of the treasury in 1724. George II, who conceived a strong antipathy to Sir William, spoke of him as "Stinking Yonge"; but Yonge obtained a commissionership of the admiralty in 1728, was restored to the treasury in 1730, and in 1735 became Secretary at War. He especially distinguished himself in his defence of the government against a hostile motion by Pulteney in 1742. Making friends with the Pelhams, he was appointed vice-treasurer of Ireland in 1746; and, acting on the committee of management for the impeachment of Lord Lovat in 1747, he won the applause of Horace Walpole by moving that prisoners impeached for high treason should be allowed the assistance of counsel. In 1748 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.
He enjoyed some reputation as a versifier, some of his lines being even mistaken for the work of Alexander Pope, greatly to the disgust of the latter; and he wrote the lyrics incorporated in a comic opera, adapted from Richard Brome's The Jovial Crew, which was produced at Drury Lane in 1730 and had a considerable vogue. He was a founding governor of a charity called the Foundling Hospital, which worked to alleviate the scourge of child abandonment.
- Yonge family genealogy site
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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