LEVINZ, William, jun. (c.1713-65), of Grove and Bilby, Notts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1713, o.s. of William Levinz. educ. Eton 1728; Trinity, Camb. 1731. unm. suc. fa. 1747.
Commr. of customs 1747-63; receiver gen. of customs 1763-5.
Soon after Levinz’s return (see under his father, Levinz, William), he engaged in an affair with the wife of Sir George Savile, who complained that he could not venture on divorce proceedings because ‘Mr. Levinz was a Tory, and the lawyers of the spiritual courts were all such, and he had experience how far party governed their judgments.’1 At a by-election in 1738 he helped to secure Tory support for John Mordaunt, with whom he was returned unopposed in 1741. He was one of the Tories who withdrew on the motion for the removal of Walpole in February 1741. Next year he eloped with the wife of another Whig M.P., Soame Jenyns, though she was ‘neither young nor handsome, a very bad complexion, lean scraggy arms, and no ways inviting’.2 In Parliament he consistently voted with the Opposition till 1746 when he went over to the Administration, voting with them on the Hanoverians.
In 1747, owing to financial difficulties, Levinz entered into an agreement with Newcastle not to stand but to place his interest at Newcastle’s disposal, in return for a commissionship of customs, (£1,000 p.a.).3 By this arrangement Newcastle secured the unopposed return of two Whigs for the county, while Levinz was able to save his estate at Grove, though not his other estate at Bilby, which he sold in 1748 for £5,500.
After Newcastle’s fall in 1762 Levinz appears to have come to terms with Bute, not only escaping the proscription of Newcastle’s friends, but being promoted to the post held by one of them, William Mellish, worth nearly twice as much as his own.