PORTMAN, Henry William (c.1709-61), of Bryanston, Dorset and Orchard Portman, Som.

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



1734 - 1741
1741 - 1747

Family and Education

b. c.1709, 1st s. of William Portman (formerly Berkeley, of Pylle, Som., bro. and h. of Maurice Berkeley) by Anne, da. of Sir Edward Seymour, 4th Bt., of Berry Pomeroy, Devon, niece of Henry Portman. m. c.1737, Anne, da. of William Fitch of High Hall, Dorset, 1s. suc. fa. 1737.

Offices Held


On the death of Henry Portman (formerly Seymour), the Portman estates, said to be worth over £8,000 a year,1 devolved upon his nephew William Berkeley of Pylle, who assumed the name and arms of Portman by Act of Parliament. His son, who was returned as a Tory for Taunton on a compromise in 1734 and for Somerset in 1741, voted consistently against the Government, retiring in 1747 on grounds of ill health.2 Before the 1745 rebellion his name was sent to the French as one of the most considerable of the Pretender’s supporters in England, from the size of his estates and the large number of his tenants employed in the woollen manufacture.3 The second Lord Egmont in his electoral survey, c.1749-50, described him as ‘a very odd man, has the best Tory interest’. He died 19 Jan. 1761, aged 52.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Shirley Matthews


  • 1. AEM and D. Angl. 82, ff. 4-23.
  • 2. Portman to Hardwicke, 20 Nov. 1749, Add. 35603, f. 188.
  • 3. Stuart mss 248/111.