COWARD, William II (1666-1716), of Chamberlain Street, Wells, Som. and Totteridge, Herts.

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



1708 - 1710
30 May - 16 June 1716

Family and Education

bap. 16 Apr. 1666, 1st s. of William Coward I*, by 1st w.  educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1676–81; Magdalen, Oxf. 1682; L. Inn 1682. unmsuc. fa. 1705.1

Offices Held


Coward’s father had been a Tory, but he himself was a Whig and in consequence never achieved the same degree of prominence in Wells. He was returned in 1708, his election being reckoned a gain for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). Voting in 1709 in favour of the naturalizing bill and the following year for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, it was hardly surprising that he was not readopted at the 1710 election. When he did stand again in 1715 he was defeated. Though subsequently awarded the seat on petition at the end of May 1716, he died shortly afterwards on 16 June.

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. n.s. xi), 75.