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Sir William Wyndham by Jonathon Richardson[1]

Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet (1687 – 17 June 1740), English politician, was the only son of Sir Edward Wyndham, Bart., a grandson of Sir William Wyndham (died 1683) and a great-great-grandson of Sir John Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset, who was created a baronet in 1661.

Educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, he entered parliament in 1710 and 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 he was privy to the attempts made to bring about a Jacobite restoration on the death of Queen Anne; when these failed he was dismissed from office.[2]

In 1715, the failure of a Jacobite movement led to his imprisonment, but he was soon set at liberty. Under George I and the early years of George II Wyndham was the leader of the Tory opposition in the House of Commons, fighting for his High Church and Tory principles against Sir Robert Walpole. He was in constant communication with the exiled Bolingbroke, and after 1723 the two were actively associated in abortive plans for the overthrow of Walpole.[2]

Despite these various enmities, Wyndham was a respected participant of public life in London. He is, for instance, listed as a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital in that charity's royal charter, granted in 1739. This institution was the capital's most fashionable charity at the time, and Wyndham is listed as a governor alongside such other notables as the Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the Earl Waldegrave, the Earl of Wilmington, Henry Pelham, Arthur Onslow and even Horatio and Sir Robert Walpole.[2]

He died at Wells on 17 June 1740. Wyndham's first wife was Catherine, daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. By her he had two sons, Charles, who succeeded to the baronetcy on his father's death in 1740 and became 2nd Earl of Egremont in 1750, and Percy who was created Percy Wyndham-O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond in 1756. He also had three daughters, one of whom, Elizabeth, married British Prime Minister George Grenville, and was the mother of the later British Prime Minister William Wyndham Grenville. Sir William's second wife was Maria Catherina de Jonge, widow of the Marquess of Blandford.[2]


  1. ^ National Portrait Gallery
  2. ^ a b c d This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Seymour Portman
John Prowse
Member of Parliament for Somerset
with Henry Seymour Portman 1710
Sir Thomas Wroth 1710–1713
Thomas Hormer, 1713–1715
William Helyar 1715–1722
Edward Phelips 1722–1727
Thomas Horner 1727–1740

Succeeded by
Thomas Horner
Thomas Prowse
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Chetwynd
Master of the Buckhounds
Succeeded by
The Earl of Cardigan
Preceded by
Sir Robert Benson
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Onslow
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Francis Warre
Vice-Admiral of Somerset
Succeeded by
George Dodington
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Edward Wyndham
(of Orchard, Somerset)
Succeeded by
Charles Wyndham


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