William Wentworth-FitzWilliam, Viscount Milton

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The Right Honourable
The Viscount Milton
William Wentworth Fitzwilliam (1839-1877).png
Born 27 July 1839
Died 17 January 1877
Nationality British
Occupation Explorer and Politician
Spouse(s) Laura Maria Theresa Beauclerk
Children 4 (including William Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 7th Earl FitzWilliam and Lady Mabel Fitzwilliam)
Parent(s) William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 6th Earl Fitzwilliam
Lady Frances Harriet

William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton MP (27 July 1839 – 17 January 1877) was a British nobleman, explorer,[1] and Liberal Party politician.

Fitzwilliam was the eldest son of William Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 6th Earl FitzWilliam, and his wife Lady Frances Harriet, daughter of George Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton, and was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2] He was epileptic.

Arriving in Quebec City in July 1862, Milton and Dr Walter Butler Cheadle traveled across the North American continent, wintering near Fort Carlton. After a challenging and at times humorous summer they reached Victoria, BC. Together with Butler Cheadle, he traveled up the Athabasca River and in 1863 they became the first "tourists" to travel through the Yellowhead Pass.

They later co-authored "The North-West Passage by Land"[3] and " Voyage de l'Atlantique au Pacifique, à travers le Canada",[4] which described their expedition in considerable detail.

Following his adventure in Canada, Milton entered politics and became one of the youngest members of the House of Commons. He represented the West Riding of Yorkshire South between 1865 and 1872.

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 10 August 1867, in London, Lord Milton married Laura Maria Theresa Beauclerk (3 January 1849 – 30 March 1886 Wentworth Woodhouse), daughter of Lord Charles Beauclerk, son of the William Beauclerk, 8th Duke of St Albans. They had one son and three daughters;

  • Lady Laura Mary Wentworth-Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1 February 1869 – 2 March 1936) married on 30 April 1889 to Major George Sholto Douglas. They had 5 children:
    • Margaret Laura Douglas (d. 2 October 1933)
    • Katharine Charlotte Douglas
    • Brigadier Archibald Sholto George Douglas (17 March 1896 – 1981)
    • David Sholto William Douglas (b. 26 August 1899)
    • Lt.-Col. John Sholto Henry Douglas (16 June 1903 – 15 October 1960)
  • Lady Mabel Florence Harriett Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (14 July 1870 – 26 September 1951) married on 29 July 1899 to Lt.-Col. William Mackenzie Smith
  • William Charles de Meuron Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 7th Earl Fitzwilliam (25 July 1872 – 15 February 1943) married Lady Maud Dundas, daughter of 1st Marquess of Zetland (d.1967)
  • Lady Theresa Evelyn Vilunza Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (5 September 1875 – 1963) married on 9 December 1908 to Lt.-Col. Alan Francis Fletcher. They had 2 children:
    • Violet Myrtle Fletcher (b. 1909)
    • Crystal Fletcher (b. 20 January 1920)

Viscount Milton died on 18 January 1877, aged 37, predeceasing his father. Their son succeeded as Earl FitzWilliam in 1902 and on 17 June 1904, the daughters of Lord Milton were granted, by Royal Warrant of Precedence, the rank and precedence of daughters of an earl.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Obituary. Lord Milton". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society. 21: 416–418. 1877.
  2. ^ "Fitzwilliam, the Hon. William Wentworth (Viscount Milton) (FTSN859WW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ The North-West Passage by Land, William Fitzwilliam Milton, Viscount; Walter B Cheadle, OCLC 4999700 London, Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, 1865
  4. ^ Voyage de l'Atlantique au Pacifique, à travers le Canada, les montagnes Rocheuses et la Colombie anglaise, William Fitzwilliam Milton, Viscount; Walter B Cheadle, ISBN 0-665-13641-2 Paris : Hachette, 1879
  5. ^ "No. 27443". The London Gazette. 17 June 1902. p. 3976.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for the West Riding of Yorkshire South
With: Henry Beaumont
Succeeded by
Henry Beaumont and
Walter Spencer-Stanhope