HONYWOOD, William (?1759-1818), of Sibton, Kent and Marks Hall, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1806 - 1812

Family and Education

b. ?1759, 2nd s. of William Honywood of Malling Abbey, Kent, and bro. of Sir John Honywood 4th Bt.* m. 7 Nov. 1786, Mary Drake, da. of Rev. Ralph Drake Brockman of Beachborough, Kent, 14 ch. (1s. 2da. surv.). suc. step-uncle Filmer Honywood* to Marks Hall 1809.

Offices Held

Ensign 3 Ft. 1777, lt. 1778, capt. 1782; capt. 47 Ft. (half-pay) 1783-d.; Lt. Kent yeomanry 1794, capt. 1797-1813.


Honywood, a half-pay captain since the end of the American war, was heir to his uncle Filmer, the Kent county Member. The latter’s recommendation of him, with ministerial support, led to his replacing him at the election of 1806, after a contest. A member of the Whig Club since 7 Nov. 1785, who had declined an invitation to offer at Hythe in 1790, he supported the Grenville ministry, but his attendance was affected by poor health. ‘A severe fit of gout’ prevented his attending to support the abolition of the slave trade, in which he was ‘most deeply interested’, 20 Feb. 1807. He took sick leave on 18 Mar., but promised to attend if he could in support of Brand’s motion following the dismissal of the ministry.1 He did so, 9 Apr. 1807, and was returned unopposed at the ensuing election.

The same pattern of ill health dogged Honywood in the Parliament of 1807. He voted against the Copenhagen expedition, 28 Jan. 1808, but on 28 Mar. took sick leave. He voted against the Scottish judges’ pensions, 4 May, for a larger grant to Maynooth college, 5 May, and against Patrick Duigenan*, 11 May 1808. He was in the minorities against the Duke of York, 15-17 Mar. 1809, and supported Madocks’s motion against ministerial corruption, 11 May. He was absent ill on the Scheldt question, listed one of their adherents by the Whigs and paired in favour of parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. He mustered with opposition on the Regency, 29 Nov. 1810 and 1 Jan. 1811, but their summons failed to bring him up on 21 Jan. He was a Friend of Constitutional Reform and appointed a steward of the reform meeting at the Freemasons tavern, London on 10 June, though he may not have attended. No further vote is known—he was absent ill on the division on Ireland, 4 Feb. 1812, and no speech in the House is known. He retired for health reasons at the dissolution, with a plea for constitutional reform. On 20 Apr. he had become a founder member of the Hampden Club. A Whig agent thought that his withdrawal

would be a great means of prolonging Mr H.’s life, which with a young family of 12 children is so consequential, and whilst he remains in Parliament he will always be liable to those very dreadful fits of gout which he brings on by fretting at not being well enough to attend his duty in the House.2

He died 9 Feb. 1818 in his 59th year.3 In June his heir became county Member.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: Brian Murphy


  • 1. Fortescue mss, Honywood to Grenville, 7 Nov., reply 8 Nov.; Kentish Chron. 28 Oct. 1806; Grey mss, Honywood to Howick, 20 Feb., 2 Apr. 1807.
  • 2. Morning Chron. 7, 11 June 1811; Kentish Chron, 25 Sept. 1812; Cartwright Corresp. ii. 380; Grey mss, Goodwin to Grey, 29 Aug. 1812.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. (1818), i. 379.