WILLOUGHBY, George (c.1636-95), of Throgmorton Street, London and Bishopstone, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1636, yst. s. of Robert Willoughby, merchant (d.1642), of Funchal, Madeira by Mary, da. of one Dandrader. m. 14 Apr. 1662, aged 26, Dorothy, da. of Robert Lowther, Draper, of London, wid. of Jeffrey Northleigh, merchant, of Great St. Helens, London, 1s. 2da. suc. cos. Christopher Willoughby in Bishopstone estate 1681; kntd. 26 Aug. 1686.1
Freeman, Drapers’ Co. 1658, liveryman 1662-d., assistant 1684; sheriff, Wilts. 1683-4, j.p. 1686-June 1688; Oct. 1688-d., commr. for assessment 1689-90.2
Willoughby’s connexion with the Wiltshire gentry family has not been established. The son of an ardent Roman Catholic who died in Madeira, he came to London and proved his father’s will in 1656. He was naturalized by Act of Parliament in 1663, shortly after his marriage to the sister of Anthony Lowther, and recorded a short pedigree at the heralds’ visitation of London in 1664. He continued in the Portugal trade till 1681, when he inherited an estate valued at £1,500 p.a. under the will of a distant cousin. The principal property lay a dozen miles north-west of Marlborough, which he represented from 1685 to his death. He left no trace on the records of the 1685 Parliament, but James II, probably aware of his religious background, took him into favour, knighting him and visiting him at Bishopstone in 1687. But Willoughby disappointed him by leaving the county to avoid the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and he was omitted from the commission of the peace.3
Willoughby was again returned to the Convention by the ‘select burgesses’ of Marlborough after a contest, and voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. An inactive Member, he was named to four committees, those to consider the exactions of customs officals, the regulation of the Droitwich salt works, the East India trade, and floating a loan on the security of forfeited Irish estates. He was re-elected in 1690, but he died on 8 Jan. 1695 and was buried at Bishopstone. His descendants did not enter Parliament.4