SHIRLEY, Hon. Sewallis (1709-65).

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



22 Mar. 1742 - 1754
1754 - 1761

Family and Education

b. 19 Oct. 1709, 14th s. of Robert Shirley, 1st Earl Ferrers, being 4th s. by his 2nd w.; bro. of Hon. Robert Shirley. m. 25 May 1751, Margaret, suo jure Baroness Clinton, da. and h. of Samuel Rolle of Heanton, Devon, wid. of Robert Walpole, 2nd Earl of Orford, s.p.

Offices Held

Comptroller of the Household to Queen Charlotte 1762-5.


Sewallis Shirley, ‘no great genius’, but a noted lady-killer,1 was returned by the 1st Duke of Bridgwater for Brackley at a by-election in 1742 in the place of the former Member, Dr. George Lee, who had been refused re-election by the Duke on vacating his seat by accepting office. During this Parliament he voted with the Opposition but in 1747, Brackley having come under the control of Col. Richard Lyttelton, the stepfather of the new Duke of Bridgwater, a minor, Shirley adapted his politics to Lyttelton’s, and was classed in the new Parliament as a government supporter. On the death of the 2nd Earl of Orford in 1751 he married his widow, with whom, according to her brother-in-law, Horace Walpole, he had been living since 1746.2 She returned him for Callington in 1754 but two months later they separated and he was not put up for Callington again. He died 31 Oct. 1765.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Horace Walpole to Mann, 15 Sept. 1746; HMC Egmont Diary, ii. 248.
  • 2. To Mann, ut supra.