WHARTON, Hon. Henry (1657-89).
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Family and Education
Ensign, Coldstream Gds. 1674, lt. 1678-87; capt. Duke of Norfolk’s Regt. (later 12 Ft.) 1685-?87, col. Dec. 1688-d.1
Wharton was closest to his brother Thomas, and together they ‘indulged themselves in all the pleasures of mirth and gallantry, and soon discovered an aversion to the severity of a puritanical life’. He emulated his brother’s prowess with the sword, and in February 1680 he was so dangerously wounded in a duel that he was not expected to live. The same year, he was forbidden the Court for ‘running through one of Madame Gwyn’s horses, who drove too near him’. He accompanied his brother to the West Country in 1682, and was involved with him in the drunken brawl in which they desecrated Barrington church. He stood unsuccessfully for Malmesbury in 1685, and petitioned without result. That summer he quarrelled with and knocked down the Duke of Norfolk’s coachman at Tunbridge Wells, when Sir Ralph Verney commented ‘the rashness of Captain Henry Wharton brings him into more disputes and troubles than can be expressed. As he grows older I hope he will be every day more weary of such brangline broils.’ However, the year after, he killed a brother officer after a gambling quarrel.2
Wharton joined the Prince of Orange at Exeter in November 1688, and was rewarded with the command of a regiment. In 1689 he was returned for Malmesbury as well as for Westmorland, choosing to sit for the county, where he had been returned with the support of Sir John Lowther of Lowther. His only committees were to prevent disputes concerning the assembly and sitting of the present Parliament (24 Feb.), and to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act (1 Mar.). He went over to Ireland in the spring, and took part in the siege of Carrickfergus. The Dutch professionals considered him a good colonel, but there was too ‘much bad company, and debauchery and drinking’ in his regiment. ‘A bold, brisk and brave man’, he died on 28 Oct. 1689 of the pestilence which swept a great part of Schomberg’s army.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Leonard Naylor / Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. E. R. Wharton, The Whartons, 41, 43; CSP Dom. 1673-5, p. 106; 1678, p. 276; 1686-7, p. 311.
- 2. Wharton Mems. 12; HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 281; HMC 7th Rep. 497; J. Carswell, Old Cause, 57, 58; Verney Mems. ii. 401-2; HMC Downshire, i. 116.
- 3. HMC Le Fleming, 226; Westmld. RO, Fleming mss, 3371, 3372; Boyer, Hist. Wm. III, ii. 139.