HEATHCOTE, William (1693-1751), of Hursley, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. 15 Mar. 1693, 2nd s. of Samuel Heathcote of Hackney, Mdx., yr. bro. of Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Danzig merchant, director of Bank of England, director of E.I. and Eastland Cos., by Mary, da. and eventually h. of William Dawsonne of Hackney, treasurer of the excise; bro. of Samuel Heathcote. m. 7 Apr. 1720, Lady Elizabeth Parker, da. of Thomas, 1st Earl of Macclesfield, lord chancellor, 6s. 3da. suc. e. bro. Gilbert Heathcote 1710; cr. Bt. 16 Aug. 1733.
Sec. and registrar of bankrupts 1723-d.
A merchant in early life, Heathcote retired after inheriting a fortune estimated at £90,000, writing in a private notebook:
I began to draw home that part of my estate that I have abroad in trade, being fully resolved to leave off trade and be content with my present estate.
In November 1718, he purchased Hursley from the heirs of Richard Cromwell for £35,000, building a new mansion at a cost of a further £14,000.1 In 1737 he bought an estate in Ireland worth £3,000 a year from Lord Burlington. Returned in 1722 for Buckingham on the Denton interest, he subsequently sat for Southampton, near his property at Hursley, voting against the Government in all recorded divisions, except on the 1741 motion for Walpole’s removal, which he opposed. He supported the mortmain bill in April 1736. He was on the common council of the Georgia Society till 1739, when he resigned, professedly on the ground that his private business would not allow him to attend board meetings, but actually because, like his first cousin, George Heathcote, he considered the board too subservient to Walpole.2 In spite of his politics, he obtained a baronetcy in 1733, four months after that granted to his uncle Sir Gilbert Heathcote. He declined standing at Southampton in 1741,3 and died 10 May 1751.