STANHOPE, Hon. Sir William (1702-72), of Eythrope, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. 20 July 1702, 2nd s. of Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chesterfield; bro. of Hon. Charles, Hon. John and Philip Dormer, Lord Stanhope. m. (1) 27 Apr. 1721, Susanna (d. 7 Oct. 1740), da. of John Rudge of Wheatfield, Oxon., 1da., who m. Welbore Ellis; (2) 29 May 1745, Elizabeth (d. 25 Feb. 1746), da. of Sir Ambrose Crowley, M.P., alderman of London, s.p.; (3) 6 Oct. 1759, Anne Hussey, da. of Francis Blake Delaval, sis. of Francis Blake and John Hussey Delaval, M.P., s.p. K.B. 27 May 1725.
The younger brother of the famous Lord Chesterfield, Stanhope was the favourite of his father, who settled upon him, on his marriage, his Buckinghamshire estates, worth £8,000 a year.1 In January 1727 he stood unsuccessfully for Hertford but was returned unopposed for a government seat at Lostwithiel. At the ensuing general election that year he was returned for Buckinghamshire and Aylesbury, opting to serve for the county, for which he was re-elected in 1734. No votes of his are recorded till 1732, after which, like his brothers, he voted regularly against the Administration. As a member of the Whig Opposition he frequented the court of Frederick, Prince of Wales, which the Prince’s mistress, Lady Archibald Hamilton, had so filled with her relations, that one day Stanhope addressed every person he did not know there as Mr. or Mrs. Hamilton.2 After this he was given to understand that his presence there was not ‘quite agreeable’.3
Stanhope did not stand again till 1747, when he was once more returned as an opposition Whig for Buckinghamshire. In 1748 he bitterly attacked the Grenvilles in Parliament on a bill for transferring the summer assizes from Aylesbury to Buckingham; but the virulent oration later published under his name was composed by Horace Walpole from his own undelivered speech on that occasion.4 He appears to have renewed his affiliations with the Prince of Wales, for he figures as joint vice-treasurer of Ireland in the 2nd Lord Egmont’s lists of persons to receive office on Frederick’s accession. He died 7 May 1772.