WILLIAMS, Sir William Peere, 2nd Bt. (c.1730-61), of Grey Friars, nr. Arundel, Suss.

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



27 Dec. 1758 - 27 Apr. 1761

Family and Education

b. c.1730, 1st s. of Sir Hutchins Williams, 1st Bt., of Grey Friars by Judith, da. and h. of James Booth of Theobald Street, Herts.  educ. Winchester; Eton; Clare, Camb. 1749. unm.  suc. fa. 4 Nov. 1758.

Offices Held

Capt. 16 Lt. Drag. 1759.


Williams was recommended by Newcastle to New Shoreham, and was chosen ‘with perfect unanimity and without any other expense than that of the entertainment’.1 Horace Walpole described him (to Mann, 14 May 1761) as ‘a young man much talked of, from his exceeding ambition, enterprising spirit, and some parts in Parliament’. Five speeches by him are recorded, which, considering the scanty reports available for that period, suggests that he spoke often. In 1760 he bought a number of burgages at Midhurst, and in 1761 had sufficient interest to return one Member.

In 1759 he joined the army as a volunteer, and was killed at Belle Isle, 27 Apr. 1761. ‘He was wild and extravagant’, wrote William Cole, ‘and not having an estate equal to the greatness of his condition, it is said that he went on the expedition to Belle Isle with a formed design not to return home again.’2 His extravagance is confirmed by Walpole: ‘You know’, he wrote to George Montagu, 14 May 1761, ‘that Sir W. Williams has made Fred Montagu heir to his debts.’

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Williams to Newcastle, 27 Dec. 1758, Add. 32886, f. 490.
  • 2. Nichols, Lit. Hist. viii. 586.