SLOPER, William (?1658-1743), of West Woodhay, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1715 - 1722
1722 - 1727
26 Mar. 1729 - 1741
2 Jan. 1742 - 14 Jan. 1743

Family and Education

b. ?1658, s. of William Sloper of Great Bedwyn, Wilts. educ. New Coll. Oxf. 5 June 1679, aged 20. m. bef. 1708, Rebecca Abbott, 2s.

Offices Held

Clerk to paymaster gen. by 1702; dep. paymaster gen. 1714-20; dep. cofferer of the Household by 1730-d.


In 1714 William Sloper bought the estate of West Woodhay,1 not far from his native town of Great Bedwyn. Returned unopposed in 1715 for Great Bedwyn, which he represented for most of his parliamentary career, he voted with the Government in all recorded divisions of this Parliament. As deputy paymaster general he handled Walpole’s official accounts both while and after he held the office of paymaster, including a transaction involving the sale of £9,000 South Sea stock in January 1720 on which Walpole made a profit of nearly £3,700.2 Turned out on Walpole’s return to the Pay Office in 1720, he took an active part in the parliamentary proceedings following the collapse of the South Sea bubble, attacking the directors, 15 Dec. 1720, and carrying a resolution, 19 Dec., that ‘the present calamity was mainly owing to the vile arts of stock jobbers’. Elected to the secret committee set up in January 1721 by the Commons to investigate the affair, he was one of the three members of the committee who abstained from voting on the case of Charles Stanhope,3 but he strongly supported severity in the cases of Sir John Blunt and John Aislabie. He opposed Walpole’s engraftment scheme, 7 Feb., and opened the debate on the relief to be