CARTWRIGHT, William (c.1704-68), of Aynho, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



26 Dec. 1754 - 1768

Family and Education

b. c.1704, 1st s. of Thomas Cartwright, M.P., by Hon. Armine Crew, da. and coh. of Thomas, 2nd Baron Crew of Stene. educ. Rugby, 1714; B.N.C. Oxf. 1721. m. (1) 16 June 1726, Byzantia (d. June 1738), da. of Ralph Lane of Woodbury, Cambs., 1s. 3da.; (2) 2 July 1748, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Clement Cottrell Dormer of Rowsham, Oxon., 2s. suc. fa. 1748.

Offices Held


Before the Northamptonshire by-election of 1754 Lord Northampton wrote to Cartwright, 4 May 1754:1 ‘Our eyes are ... turned upon you. We think you have a right to expect an offer from the county, and it is the county’s interest too to desire that you will consent to represent them in Parliament, as being the surest means we think to preserve the peace of the county.’ Cartwright, professing reluctance, suggested Charles Compton, Northampton’s brother, but was persuaded to stand, and was returned unopposed.

No vote or speech of Cartwright’s has been recorded. On 23 June 1757 Charles Townshend reported to his mother a conversation in which Cartwright, disgusted by Pitt’s joining with Newcastle, had said he would ‘go no more to Parliament in this incurable age, but turn planter and husbandman, to divert his mind from the recollection of his own credulity’.2 Apparently he kept his word. Returned unopposed in 1761 he appears in no division list of this Parliament; was marked by Rockingham in July 1765 ‘not taken his seat’ and in November 1766 ‘absent’; and by Newcastle in March 1767 ‘doubtful or absent’.

In December 1767 Cartwright declared his intention not to stand again ‘on account of his ill state of health’.3  He died 29 June 1768.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. E. G. Forrester, Northants. County Elections and Electioneering, 79.
  • 2. Raynham mss.
  • 3. Sir Wm. Dolben to Bedford, 6 Dec. 1767, Bedford mss.