William Waldegrave, 8th Earl Waldegrave

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For other people named William Waldegrave, see William Waldegrave (disambiguation).

Vice-Admiral William Waldegrave, 8th Earl Waldegrave, CB (27 October 1788 – 24 October 1859) was a British naval commander and politician.

Waldegrave was the son of George Waldegrave, 4th Earl Waldegrave and his wife Elizabeth Laura Waldegrave. His parents were first cousins. He was educated at Eton. In 1802, he became a Midshipman in the Royal Navy, rising to the ranks of Lieutenant in 1806 and Commander in 1809. He fought during the War of 1812, commanding frigate HMS Macedonian (which was later captured by the United States).

On his return to England, he married Elizabeth Whitbread, the daughter of Samuel Whitbread and took over from his father-in-law's post as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bedford in 1815.

Leaving that post in 1818, Waldegrave then commanded HMS Seringapatam from 1829–32 and HMS Revenge from 1839–42 and was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1840.

He retired from the navy in 1842 as a Rear-Admiral, inherited his childless nephew's titles in 1846 and was married for a second time that year, to Sarah Milward, née Whitear. He was promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1858 and died a year later, three days before his seventy-first birthday. His eldest son, William Waldegrave, Viscount Chewton had died in 1854 and he was succeeded by his grandson, William.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Samuel Whitbread
Lord George Russell
Member of Parliament for Bedford
1815–1818
With: Lord George Russell
Succeeded by
Lord George Russell
William Henry Whitbread
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Waldegrave
Earl Waldegrave
1846–1859
Succeeded by
William Waldegrave