CALVERT, William (?1703-61), of St. Katherine's, Tower Hill, London, and Mount Mascal, nr. Bexley, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



13 July 1742 - 1754
18 Mar. 1755 - 1761

Family and Education

b. ?1703, 3rd s. of William Calvert of Furneaux Pelham, Herts. (cos. of Felix Calvert) by his 1st cos. Honor, da. of Peter Calvert of Nine Ashes, Herts. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1722. m. June 1732, Martha, da. of Samuel Smith, wid. of Charles Malyn of Southwark, brewer, s.p. Kntd. 18 Feb. 1744.

Offices Held

Master of Brewers’ Co. 1741-2; alderman of London 1741, sheriff 1743-4, ld. mayor 1748-9.


Calvert went to Cambridge to study for the Church, but gave up divinity on marrying a widow who owned a brewery,1 subsequently becoming, in partnership with his brother, one of the largest brewers in London.2 As an alderman of London, he served on the committees set up by common council on 25 Jan. 1742 to prepare the city’s petition for adequate protection for shipping, and on 10 Feb. 1742, to draw up instructions for the London Members.3 Returned for London in succession to Sir Robert Godschall, he voted against the Administration in all three divisions on the Hanoverians but with them in February 1744 on an opposition motion to tack a demand for an inquiry into the state of the naval forces to the loyal address upon the threatened French invasion.4 His only reported speeches were against the additional duty on sugar proposed by Pelham in 1744, and in support of sending for the Hessians and Hanoverians during the rebellion.5

In the next Parliament Calvert was classed as a government supporter, attaching himself to the Pelhams, who warmly supported his election as lord mayor in 1748.6 On 21 May 1752 Pelham wrote of Calvert, who had applied for a commissionership of customs for his nephew:

Our friend is zealous and generous, has a good trade, but is not over-rich. A little assistance therefore is necessary, and if assisted in this manner he is resolved to fight the City over again, which he makes no doubt of succeeding in. I must say there is not a man in the City of London or the House of Commons who has uniformly acted so clear and so handsome a part as he has done ever since he came amongst us.

In a letter of thanks for his nephew’s appointment, Calvert wrote to Newcastle on 12 June 1752:

I have long studied by what means I could most effectually obtain your Grace’s favour; you have seen even my intentions and have graciously rewarded them before I have had it in my power to deserve by any adequate service ... I must and will through the future part of my life strive to deserve the continuance of your favour.7

Unsuccessful for London in 1754, he was returned for Old Sarum by the Administration a year later. He died 3 May 1761.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Sir Billy Tinsel, An Excellent new Ballad (1749).
  • 2. P. Mathias, Brewing Industry in England 1700-1830, pp. 22-23, 25, 313.
  • 3. Jnl. of Common Council, vol. 58.
  • 4. Yorke's parl. jnl., Parl. Hist. xiii. 649.
  • 5. Owen, Pelhams, 217, 291.
  • 6. Sir Billy Tinsel.
  • 7. Add. 32727, ff. 230, 428.