ACTON, Whitmore (1678-1732), of Aldenham Hall, nr. Bridgnorth, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1710 - 1713

Family and Education

bap. 1 Apr. 1678, 1st s. of Sir Edward Acton, 3rd Bt.*  educ. St. Edmund Hall, Oxf. 1695; M. Temple 1699.  m. c.1710, Elizabeth, da. of Matthew Gibbon of Putney, Surr., 1s. 3da.  suc. fa. as 4th Bt. 28 Sept. 1716.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Much Wenlock 1695, Ludlow 1697; sheriff, Salop 1728–9.2


Thomas Hearne remembered the young Acton at Oxford:

He was a tall, handsome young man, and wore his own long hair. The daughter of Alderman Eustace of Oxford was a great companion of his, tho’ she was married at the same time to a Gentleman Commoner (Mr Gower) of Merton College, and he used to entertain her in Edmund Hall, and to spend the nights with her and often walked out with her.3

A Tory like his father, Acton was defeated at Bridgnorth in 1705 but regained the seat for his family in 1710 after a stiff contest. Classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, he had entertained Sacheverell during the doctor’s visit to Shropshire earlier that year, and in the first session of the new Parliament was one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who detected the mismanagements of the previous ministry. He was also a member of the October Club. Otherwise, however, he left no imprint on the proceedings of the Commons.4

Acton stood at Bridgnorth again in 1727 but was unsuccessful, and died at Aldenham on 9 Jan. 1732.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. IGI, Salop; A. W. Gibbons, Gibbons Fam. Notes, 45; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. ser. 4, v. 66.
  • 2. Salop RO, Forester mss, copy of Much Wenlock corp. bk.; Ludlow bor. recs. min. bk. 1690–1712.
  • 3. Hearne Colls. i. 118.
  • 4. Forester mss, Sir William Forester to George Weld, 15 July 1710; G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 246.
  • 5. Hearne Colls. xi. 21.