WILLIMOT, Robert (d.1746), of Mincing Lane, London and Coombe, Surr.
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Family and Education
Coopers’ Co. 1736-d., master 1743; alderman, London 1736, sheriff 1741-2, ld. mayor 1742-3; pres. Bethlehem Hospital and Bridewell 1741-6.
Returned for London as a Tory2 in 1734, Willimot, an underwriter, made his first reported speech on the navy estimates, 7 Feb. 1735, saying ‘he hoped this House would pour down national vengeance upon the head of that man who should advise his Prince to enter this war without the Dutch’, for which Pulteney called him ‘the Dutch orator’.3 On 19 Mar. that year he reported the resolutions of a committee appointed to consider how to prevent the smuggling of wool from England and Ireland to France and of woollen goods from Ireland to Lisbon;4 and a year later he was one of the minority of twelve to vote against the Westminster bridge bill.5 On 3 Mar. 1738 he supported the merchants’ petition on the Spanish depredations, saying he had in his hand a letter giving details of several English sailors held in chains by the Spaniards.6 He spoke and voted against the Spanish convention in March 1739, and received the thanks of the common council for his support of the place bill on 18 June 1740. In March 1741 he opposed a bill, which was eventually dropped, to regulate and check frauds in marine insurance. He did not stand in 1741 but continued on several key committees of the corporation of London, including those set up on 25 Jan. 1742 to prepare a petition on merchants’ losses, and on 10 Feb. following to draw up instructions for the London Members. At the end of his mayoralty he received the thanks of the common council
for his constant attendance, his judicious and faithful discharge of the duties of that high station, for the easy access given to his fellow citizens, and for the frequent opportunities he gave this court of meeting together for the dispatch of the public business of this city.7
He was knighted on presenting the city’s loyal address to the King on the threatened French invasion in February 1744.8 He died 19 Dec. 1746.