NICHOLAS, William (c.1668-1749), of All Cannings, Wilts.

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



1705 - 1708

Family and Education

b. c.1668, 3rd s. of Sir John Nicholas†, and bro. of Edward Nicholas*.  unm.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Wilton 1716–d.2

FRS 1742.3


Nicholas was returned for Wilton in 1705, presumably on the interest of the Earl of Pembroke (Hon. Thomas Herbert†). He was listed as a ‘Churchman’ and his election was classed as a ‘loss’ for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). He voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct., and was classed as a Tory early in 1708. Although his parliamentary activities are impossible to distinguish from those of his better-known brother, Edward, it is probable that he made little impression upon the work of the House. He did not stand in any subsequent election. He may have been the William Nicholas listed as a deputy-keeper of the armoury from 1704 to 1716. By the evidence of his will, drawn up on 10 Aug. 1749, he was otherwise financially successful. With no male heir, he bequeathed the West Horsley property, where he then resided, together with Motcombe manor, Dorset, to the natural surviving heir of his grandfather, Sir Edward†. He left Horsley manor, Surrey, to one Henry Weston on the condition that the latter paid his executors £4,000 for the property, and a house in Spring Garden, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, to three nephews. Sums amounting to £3,000 were left to a number of relatives, friends and associates, £300 to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and £1,000 in Bank stock to one Richard Turner, an executor and Fellow of the College of Physicians. He died on 27 Dec. 1749, aged 81, and was buried at West Horsley.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Hoare, Wilts. Alderbury, 96; Manning and Bray, Surr. iii. 41, 43.
  • 2. Wilts. RO, G25/1/22, n.f.
  • 3. Rec. R. Soc. 407.
  • 4. PCC 21 Edmunds.