WILMER, William (?1692-1744), of Sywell, Northants.

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



7 June 1715 - 1727
1734 - 2 Apr. 1744

Family and Education

b. ?1692, 1st s. of William Wilmer of Sywell by his w. Dinah Lancaster. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 16 May 1711, aged 18. m. 5 Aug. 1720, Lady Mary Bennet, da. of Charles, 1st Earl of Tankerville, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1706.

Offices Held


Wilmer, whose family had been seated at Sywell since the beginning of the seventeenth century, succeeded to the Northampton seat vacated by George Montagu on his accession to the peerage as Lord Halifax in 1715. A Whig, he voted with the Government on the septennial bill and the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, but against them on the peerage bill. In 1722 Halifax was pressed by the Tories

to let his brother [Edward Montagu] and Mr. Wykes [the sitting Tory Member] be the two Members and to dispose of Mr. Wilmer somewhere else.

Replying that

if the county would have been content with one Whig and one Tory he would have been contented for one of each party for the town, but since there were to be two Tories for the county he hoped to have two Whigs for the town,

Halifax put up Wilmer with Edward Montagu, who were returned after a contest.

In 1727 Halifax came to an agreement with Lord Northampton, the other chief local Whig magnate, that their brothers should be jointly returned for the borough.

Mr. Wilmer and the mob at Northampton are so exasperated that he is resolved to stand by himself, and they say they will choose him in spite of Lord Halifax; what this will end in nobody knows, but at present there is great confusion at Northampton, and a good deal of money spent, which is all the mob aim at.

At the ensuing contest Wilmer was defeated by Edward Montagu and George Compton.

At the next general election Wilmer stood with Edward Montagu against George Compton, whose brother, Lord Northampton, had fallen out with Lord Halifax. This time Wilmer was returned with Compton, Montagu losing his seat.1 Re-elected unopposed with Compton in 1741, he voted with the Government on the Convention in 1739, the chairman of the elections committee in 1741, and the Hanoverians in 1742. He died 3 Apr. 1744.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. E. G. Forrester, Northants. County Elections 1695-1832, pp. 43, 45, 57.