Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet
|The Right Honourable
Sir William Wyndham
Sir William Wyndham by Jonathon Richardson
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
|Preceded by||Sir Robert Benson|
|Succeeded by||Sir Richard Onslow|
|Secretary at War|
|Preceded by||George Granville|
|Succeeded by||Francis Gwyn|
Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet (c.1688 – 17 June 1740), of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset, was an English Tory statesman, who served as Secretary at War in 1712 and Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1713. He was leader of the Tory opposition in the House of Commons during the reign of King George I (1714-1727) and during the early years of King George II (1727-1760).
He was the son and heir of Sir Edward Wyndham, 2nd Baronet (c.1667-1695) of Orchard Wyndham, thrice Member of Parliament for Ilchester, Somerset, by his wife Katherine Leveson-Gower, eldest daughter of Sir William Leveson-Gower, 4th Baronet.
He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford and entered parliament in 1710. He became Secretary at War in the Tory ministry in 1712 and Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1713. He was closely associated with Lord Bolingbroke and was privy to the attempts made to bring about a Jacobite restoration on the death of Queen Anne (1702-1714). On the failure of the plot he was dismissed from office and in 1714 was briefly imprisoned. Under King George I (1714-1727) and during the early years of King George II (1727-1760) Wyndham was the leader of the Tory opposition in the House of Commons and fought for his High Church and Tory principles against Sir Robert Walpole. He was in constant communication with the exiled Bolingbroke and after 1723 was actively associated with him in abortive plans for the overthrow of Walpole.
Despite these various enmities, Wyndham was a respected participant of public life in London. He was, for example, a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital, as recorded in that charity's royal charter of 1739. This institution was then London's most fashionable charity and Wyndham served as a governor with such notables as the Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the James Waldegrave, 1st Earl Waldegrave, Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, Henry Pelham, Arthur Onslow, Horatio Walpole, 1st Baron Walpole of Wolterton and even Sir Robert Walpole himself.
Marriages & progeny
Wyndham married twice:
- firstly to Catherine Seymour, daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (1662-1748), KG, and sister of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset (1684-1750), created in 1749 Earl of Egremont and Baron Cockermouth, with special remainder to his nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, 4th Baronet (1710-1763). By her he had two sons and three daughters including:
- Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont (1710-1763), who succeeded as 4th baronet on his father's death in 1740 and in 1750 succeeded as 2nd Earl of Egremont, under the special remainder, on the death of his uncle the 7th Duke of Somerset.
- Percy Wyndham-O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond, created in 1756 Earl of Thomond.
- Elizabeth Wyndham, wife of George Grenville, Prime Minister and mother of William Wyndham Grenville, Prime Minister.
- Secondly Sir William married Maria Catherina de Jonge, widow of William Godolphin, Marquess of Blandford.
Death & burial
He died at Wells, Somerset, on 17 June 1740.
- Cruickshanks, Eveline, Biography of Wyndham, Sir William, 3rd Bt. (?1688-1740), of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset, published in History of Parliament: House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
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- Stephen W. Baskerville, ‘Wyndham, Sir William, third baronet (c.1688–1740)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Debretts peerage, 1968, p.411, Baron Leconfield and Egremont
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Henry Seymour Portman
|Member of Parliament for Somerset
With: Henry Seymour Portman 1710
Sir Thomas Wroth 1710–13
Thomas Hormer, 1713–15
William Helyar 1715–1722
Edward Phelips 1722–27
Thomas Horner 1727–40
|Master of the Buckhounds
The Earl of Cardigan
Sir Robert Benson
|Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sir Richard Onslow
Sir Francis Warre
|Vice-Admiral of Somerset
|Baronetage of England|
(of Orchard, Somerset)