GUIDOTT, William (1671-1745), of Laverstoke, nr. Andover, and Preston Candover, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1708 - 1727
20 Jan. 1730 - 1741

Family and Education

bap. 25 Jan. 1671[–2], 1st s. of William Guidott of Wootton St. Lawrence, Hants, bencher of Lincoln’s Inn, by his 1st w. Grace.  educ. New Inn Hall, Oxf. 1686, aged 14; L. Inn 1686, called 1693, bencher 1719, treasurer, 1728.  m. (1) lic. 1 July 1706, Jane, da. of James Hunt of Popham, Hants, s.p.; (2) 6 May 1710, Jane, da. of Sir Francis Child*, and sis. of Sir Francis† and Samuel Child†, s.p.; (3) 30 Nov. 1739, Patience, da. and coh. of John Soper of Preston Candover, s.psuc. fa. 1698, uncle Anthony Guidott 1707.1

Offices Held

Steward, Andover 1703–d.2

Biography

The Guidotts, a family of Florentine merchants, had settled in Southampton by the mid-16th century. Guidott himself, a practising lawyer like his father and uncle, acquired several estates in Hampshire, particularly at Preston Candover, where the house he built became something of a showpiece. His uncle Anthony was for many years a lawyer to the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and described the latter in his will as ‘my particular good friend’. Guidott benefited from the connexion, succeeding his uncle as lawyer to the Marlboroughs.3

Guidott’s father was steward of Andover in the 1690s, and Guidott himself was appointed steward in 1703. He did not, however, stand until 1708 when he was returned without a contest. His election was classed as a gain for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*), an analysis confirmed in another list of early 1708. His parliamentary activity, displaying an interest in land conveyancing, reflected his professional capacity as a lawyer. He voted in favour of naturalizing the Palatines in 1709, was appointed on 21 Jan. to draft a bill regulating servants’ wages, and acted as a teller on 16 Apr. on an amendment to a bill to set up a public land registry for Middlesex. In the next session he was appointed to draft a bill for the sale of Thomas Berrie’s estate (12 Dec.). He also voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell.4

Listed as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’ of 1710, Guidott was given three weeks’ leave of absence on 22 Feb. 1711 but was still present in the Commons the following day when he was named to a committee to draft an estate bill. He was concerned with a similar bill later the same session. Guidott voted for the motion of ‘No Peace without Spain’ on 7 Dec. 1711, and on 18 June 1713 voted against the French commerce bill. In the election of that year he polled for the Whig candidates in the Hampshire elections, successfully contested Andover, and was classed as a Whig on the Worsley list and on a comparative analysis of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments. He continued to sit for the borough after 1715, consistently supporting the Whigs. He proved a disappointment to the Duchess of Marlborough, however, as by 1711 he had begun the embezzlement of funds from the Marlborough estates for which he was sued in 1725. Described by the Duchess of Marlborough as ‘certainly very cunning, though his foolish awkward way has hitherto inclined some to think that he was honest’, Guidott was forced to repay £5,000. He died on 30 Aug. 1745, leaving extensive estates to his widow.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson

Notes

  • 1. IGI, Hants, London; PCC 141 Lort; 8 Barrett.
  • 2. Andover Pub. Lib. corp. mins.
  • 3. B. B. Woodward, Hants, ii. 300n; VCH Hants, iii. 373–4;