MITCHELL, William (c.1703-45), of Carshalton, Surr., Fowlmere, Cambs. and Hemingford Grey, Hunts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1703, o. surv. s. of James Mitchell of Fowlmere and Hemingford Grey by Jane, da. of Sir Levinus Bennet, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Babraham, Cambs., sis. and eventually coh. of Sir Richard Bennet, 3rd Bt. educ. Eton; Corpus Christi, Camb. 1723. m. 4 Feb. 1730, Elizabeth, da. of Bryan Gunning of Castle Coote, co. Roscommon, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1728.
Sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1737-8.
William Mitchell’s father was one of two brothers ‘both Scotchmen [who] at their first coming into England came with packs at their backs: but by a most unheard of niggardliness and parsimony so raised their condition that they both died extremely rich’. ‘A short black man, rather inclinable to be fat and ... thick set’, Mitchell usually lived at Carshalton but ‘had a house at Hemingford Grey ... where he was obliged sometimes to reside to keep up his interest in’ Huntingdonshire.1 His wife’s nieces, the three celebrated Gunning sisters, were born at the manor there, which he leased for some years to his brother-in-law, John Gunning.2 When Lord Robert Montagu succeeded to the dukedom of Manchester in 1739, Mitchell stood for the ensuing vacancy for Huntingdonshire but was defeated, though supported by the Duke of Newcastle, ‘firmly attached to the present Administration,’ and recommended to the new Duke of Manchester ‘by much the greatest part of the gentlemen as a proper person to succeed me as member for the county’.3 He was returned with the Duke of Manchester’s support at the top of the poll at the general election of 1741, which ‘cost him a vast sum, ... on the Whig interest’. In Parliament he voted for Walpole’s nominee for chairman of the elections committee in December 1741 but absented himself from the divisions on the Westminster petition a few days later.4 Under the new Administration he voted for the Hanoverians in 1742 and 1744. He died intestate on 15 Sept. 1745, the Duke of Manchester later becoming a guardian for his three sons.5