EARLE, William (1728-74), of Malmesbury, Wilts.

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



8 Oct. - 25 Nov. 1774

Family and Education

bap. 24 Apr. 1728, 3rd s. of Rev. Thomas Earle, vicar of Malmesbury, by his 2nd w. Grace. m. (1) c.1749, Katharine, s.p.; (2) 18 Dec. 1766, Anne, da. of Edmund Estcourt of Burton Hill, Malmesbury, s.p.

Offices Held

Inspector of baggage in port of London, 1752- d.; dep. commissary of musters in South Britain 1755- d.; steward of Chelsea Hospital Apr. 1761- d.; receiver of land tax for North Wilts. 1761-May 1765, Nov. 1765- d.


Earle and his father were among Henry Fox’s chief supporters at Malmesbury, William acting as deputy steward of the borough under him, September 1750-September 1762; it was under Fox’s wing that William Earle made his official career. When urging Newcastle to appoint Earle receiver of the land tax for North Wilts., Fox wrote, 14 May 1761: ‘I would not thus importune your Grace if I were no more than ordinarily desirous to prevail ...’1 Earle was dismissed from that post by George Grenville to make room for E. Wilkins, a Howard supporter at Malmesbury, but through Lord Holland’s intervention was restored by Rockingham.2

In January 1765, on a false report of the death of Lord Tylney, Member for Malmesbury, Earle declared himself candidate;3 in 1768 the Suffolk party was in the ascendant, and in 1774 the one seat available to the Fox family was required for C. J. Fox. Earle stood for Cricklade, but as he was too ill to make an appearance, his wife canvassed for him. He was returned top of the poll, but died six weeks later without having taken his seat.

He is often confused with his distant cousin, William Rawlinson Earle.4

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: J. A. Cannon


  • 1. Add. 32929, f. 340.
  • 2. Rockingham to Cumberland, 20 Oct. 1765, Albemarle, Rockingham Mems. i. 240; Glocester Jnl. 18 Nov. 1765.
  • 3. Glocester Jnl. 21 Jan. 1765.
  • 4. Wilts. Arch. Mag. lviii. 29.