William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth

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William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth (1654 – 25 December 1732) was a British peer and politician.

Born in 1654, he was the son of Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth and his wife, Rebecca, née Clayton. In 1671, he married the widowed Charlotte Howard, née FitzRoy (1650–1684), the illegitimate daughter of Charles II and Elizabeth Killigrew. They had four surviving children:

Paston was elected Member of Parliament for Norwich from 1678. In 1679, his father was made an earl, and William adopted the style of Lord Paston. He continued to represent Norwich until he inherited his father's title in 1683. His wife having died in 1684, he married Elizabeth Wiseman (the widow of Sir Robert Wiseman and daughter of Dudley North, 4th Baron North) the following month and converted to Roman Catholicism soon after. In February 1687, James II appointed him Treasurer of the Household. He reconverted to Anglicanism in 1689, but refused to swear allegiance to William and Mary when they came to the throne that year, subsequently losing all his offices.

Suspected of Jacobite activity, he was imprisoned twice, but took the oath in 1696 and was admitted to the House of Lords. Yarmouth died heavily in debt on 25 December 1732 at Epsom, Surrey, aged seventy-eight. As his sons, his brothers and their male heirs had predeceased him, his titles became extinct.

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Parliament of England
Preceded by
Christopher Jay
Francis Corie
Member of Parliament for Norwich
with Francis Corie 1678
Augustine Briggs 1678–1683

1678–1683
Succeeded by
Robert Paston
Sir Neville Catelyn
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Custos Rotulorum of Wiltshire
1683–1688
Succeeded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
(jointly with The Earl of Pembroke)

1688–1699
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Preceded by
Lord Paston
Vice-Admiral of Norfolk
1719
Succeeded by
Sir John Hobart
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Newport
Treasurer of the Household
1687–1689
Succeeded by
The Earl of Bradford
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Robert Paston
Earl of Yarmouth
1683–1732
Extinct