COURTENAY, William (1710-62), of Powderham Castle, Devon.

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



1734 - 1741
1741 - 6 May 1762

Family and Education

b. 11 Feb. 1710, 1st surv. s. of Sir William Courtenay, 2nd Bt., and bro. of Henry Reginald Courtenay. educ. Westminster 1722; Magdalen, Oxf. 1729. m. (lic. 2 Apr. 1741) Lady Frances Finch, da. of Heneage Finch, 2nd Earl of Aylesford, 1s. 4da. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 6 Oct. 1735; cr. Visct. Courtenay 6 May 1762.

Offices Held

Gov. St. Bartholomew’s Hospital 1750.


Returned unopposed as a Tory at Honiton in 1734, Courtenay voted against the Administration on the Spanish convention, 8 Mar. 1739, and the place bill, 29 Jan. 1740. On 13 Feb. 1741 he was among the Tories who withdrew from the division on the motion for Walpole’s dismissal. Having been returned unopposed for the county in 1741, he is reported in January 1742 to have been ‘mobbed in Exeter for not being up at Parliament to attend to his duty’.1 He voted against the Hanoverians in 1742 and 1744, but was absent from the division on them in 1746. According to a report sent to the French Government in 1743 he was one of the most considerable of the Pretender’s supporters in England, from his vast estates, his income of £14,000 p.a. and the large number of his tenants employed in the woollen manufacture.2 He died 16 May 1762, ten days after being made a peer by George III.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 243-4.
  • 2. Stuart mss 248/151.