A'COURT, William (c.1708-81), of Heytesbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



25 Jan. 1751 - 2 Aug. 1781

Family and Education

b. c.1708, 2nd s. of Pierce A’Court, M.P., and bro. of Pierce A’Court Ashem. 22 Feb. 1746, Annabella, da. and coh. of Thomas Vernon of Twickenham Park, Mdx., 1s.  suc. bro. and took add. name of Ashe under will of his uncle Edward Ashe 1768.

Offices Held

Ensign 11 Ft. 1726; lt. 2 Ft. Gds. 1738; capt. and lt.-col. 1745; maj. and col. 1755; maj.-gen. 1759; lt.-col. 2 Ft. Gds. 1762-3; lt.-gen. Mar. 1765; col. 11 Ft. Aug. 1765-d.; gen. 1778.


In Dupplin’s list of 1754 A’Court was classed ‘for’, and on 18 July 1754, in a memorial asking to be promoted to the rank of colonel, stated that his family and himself had ‘ever been steady supporters of his Majesty’s interest in Parliament’.1 There is no record of his having spoken in the House.

On 5 Nov. 1762 Lord Harcourt wrote to Jenkinson:2 ‘General Acourt ... is supposed to be so much displeased and disappointed in not getting the Regiment [55 Ft.] ... that it is thought he will go into opposition ... there are two brothers in Parliament, and I should imagine it might be no difficult matter to secure them.’ But A’Court voted with Opposition in the divisions on the peace preliminaries, 9 and 10 Dec. 1762, and again in the division on Wilkes’s case, 15 Nov. 1763, for which he was deprived of his commission as lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd Foot Guards. In August 1765 he was made colonel of the 11th Foot and given a pension of £800 p.a., which is not likely to have been continued after July 1766 when A’Court went with Rockingham into opposition. In Rockingham’s lists of July 1765 and November 1766 and in Newcastle’s of March 1767 he was classed as one of their party. He voted with the Opposition on nullum tempus, 17 Feb. 1768, but does not appear in further lists till 25 Feb. 1774 when he again voted with Opposition on Grenville’s Election Act, and continued to do so until his death on 2 Aug. 1781.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Add. 32736, f. 55.
  • 2. Add. 38200, f. 95.