COLEMORE, William I (c.1649-1723), of the Old Deanery House, Warwick

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



1689 - 1695

Family and Education

b. c.1649, 3rd s. of William Colemore, merchant, of Birmingham, Warws. being 1st s. by 2nd w. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. matric. 3 May 1667, aged 18; I. Temple 1669.  m. Jan. 1676, Elizabeth (d. 1731), da. and coh. of Edmund Waring† of Humphreston Hall, Donnington, Salop, 10s. (6 d.v.p.) 3da.  suc. fa. 1675.1

Offices Held

Alderman, Warwick; commr. rebuilding Warwick 1695; sheriff, Warws., 1699–1700.2


Colemore was a senior member of Warwick’s aldermanic bench and a trustee for managing the borough’s finances and property. He was re-elected for Warwick in 1690, probably with backing from Lord Brooke (Fulke Greville†), and classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Tory and likely Court supporter. In December Carmarthen identified him again as an adherent of the Court, but the following April Robert Harley* saw him as a supporter of the ‘Country’ viewpoint. That he subsequently retained this political outlook is suggested by his involvement in the Country Tory attack on Bishop Gilbert Burnet’s Pastoral Letter in January 1693: he told on the 23rd with William Bromley II, the Tory Member for Warwickshire, that the Letter be publicly burnt by the common hangman. Following the disastrous fire at Warwick in September 1694, he and his parliamentary colleague, Lord Digby (William*), initiated a bill on 7 Dec. to rebuild the devastated western part of the town. Although it was Digby who managed the bill, Colemore was naturally included on the second-reading committee, and was named in the bill as a commissioner for taking subscriptions. On 11 Feb. 1695 he told in favour of allowing three weeks’ leave to Salwey Winnington* to attend a sick wife. He did not stand at the 1695 general election, having previously agreed to make way for Lord Brooke’s eldest son, Hon. Francis Greville*. Brooke’s later inclusion of Colemore in his will is a mark of the cordiality that existed between them. Colemore continued to play his part in Warwick’s civic affairs for some years after his departure from the House. He was also active at county level and held the shrievalty in 1699–1700, while in September 1700 he was invited to become a ‘lay correspondent’ for the county to the recently formed Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. In a letter to one of the Society’s officials in January 1701 he promised to bestir the neighbouring magistrates into enforcing the laws ‘for promoting reformation’ although he felt that the only matter in which reform was especially needed was absenteeism from church. In 1707 the bishop of Lichfield was anxious to see him included among the commissioners for building the new church at Birmingham, recognizing that his close involvement in the rebuilding of Warwick following the 1694 fire had ‘given him a good deal of experience in the building and contriving of a church and he is upon all accounts a very fit person to be advised with and entrusted in this affair’. His will, dated 14 Mar. 1723, contains a suggestion that all was not well between himself and his wife, whom he described as ‘unkind and unjust’. He died later that year on 16 July, having requested a private burial at night, his coffin to be borne by ‘ordinary tradesmen and labourers’ of Warwick.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. A. L. Reade, Johnsonian Gleanings, vii. 122–4.
  • 2. Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. lix. 50, 59–60; Great Fire of Warwick (Dugdale Soc. xxxvi), 121.
  • 3. PCC 239 Smith; Luttrell Diary, 382; Warws. Recs. ix. p. xxix; Bodl. Ballard 25, f. 20; Chapter in Church Hist. ed. McClure, 79, 302, 320; Warws. RO, Mordaunt mss CR 1368/iii/63, Bp. of Lichfield to Sir John Mordaunt, 5th Bt.*, 12 Mar. 1706–7; PCC 223 Bolton; Reade, 123.