William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth

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William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth (1654 – 25 December 1732) of Oxnead, Norfolk and Turnham Green, Chiswick, Middlesex was a British peer and politician. [1]

Oxnead Hall today

Born in 1654, he was the son of Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth and his wife, Rebecca, née Clayton and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Yarmouth in 1683, inheriting his estate and Oxnead Hall.

Paston was elected Member of Parliament for Norwich from 1678. In 1679, when his father was made an earl, William adopted the style of Lord Paston. He continued to represent Norwich until he inherited his father's title.

He converted to Roman Catholicism and in February 1687, James II appointed him Treasurer of the Household. He was also appointed joint Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire and Custos Rotulorum of Wiltshire in 1688.

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 Jacobitism, he was imprisoned twice, but was admitted to the House of Lords in 1696. He was briefly Vice-Admiral of Norfolk in 1719.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1722. [2]

Private life[edit]

Yarmouth died heavily in debt on 25 December 1732 at Epsom, Surrey, aged seventy-eight. In 1671, he had married the widowed Charlotte FitzRoy, the illegitimate daughter of Charles II and Elizabeth Killigrew. They had four surviving children:

His wife having died in 1684, he married Elizabeth Wiseman (the widow of Sir Robert Wiseman and daughter of Dudley North, 4th Baron North) in March 1687.

As his sons, his brothers and their male heirs had predeceased him, his titles became extinct. His heavily mortgaged estate had to be sold.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PASTON, Hon. William (c.1654-1732), of Oxnead, Norf. and Turnham Green, Chiswick, Mdx". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Fellows details". Royal Society. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Christopher Jay
Francis Corie
Member of Parliament for Norwich
With: Francis Corie 1678
Augustine Briggs 1678–1683
Succeeded by
Robert Paston
Sir Nevill Catlin
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Custos Rotulorum of Wiltshire
Succeeded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
(jointly with The Earl of Pembroke)

Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Preceded by
Lord Paston
Vice-Admiral of Norfolk
Succeeded by
Sir John Hobart
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Newport
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
The Earl of Bradford
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Robert Paston
Earl of Yarmouth