CLAYTON, William (c.1718-83), of Harleyford, nr. Great Marlow, Bucks.

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



15 Jan. 1745 - 1761
1761 - 3 July 1783

Family and Education

b. c.1718, 2nd s. of Sir William Clayton, 1st. Bt., M.P., and bro. of Sir Kenrick, 2nd Bt. educ. M. Temple 1737. m. (1) 30 May 1745, Mary (d. 2 Jan. 1760), da. of John Warde of Squerryes, Kent, 1da.; (2) 3 May 1761, Caroline Mary (d. Dec. 1763), da. and coh. of Rice Lloyd of Alltycadno and Gwaelod-y-maes, Carm., 1s. 1da.; (3) 24 Sept. 1767, Lady Louisa Fermor, da. of Thomas, 1st Earl of Pomfret, 1s.

Offices Held


William Clayton generally followed the lead of his elder brother. He adhered to Newcastle, voted against the peace preliminaries, December 1762, and opposed the Grenville Administration. Rockingham in July 1765 classed him as ‘pro’ and in November 1766 as ‘Whig’, the same as his brother; like him, William Clayton did not vote on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and on 2 Mar. was classed by Newcastle as ‘doubtful or absent’.

He had a considerable interest at Great Marlow, an expensive and corrupt constituency, where he stood contests in 1768, 1774, and 1780. After his brother’s death he supported the Grafton and North Administrations, and the only occasion on which he is known to have voted against the court was on Dunning’s motion, 6 Apr. 1780. Only a few speeches by him are recorded: 21 Feb. 1771, on the Reading canal bill; 27 Mar. 1771, in the debate arising from the attack on North by a mob; 22 Apr. 1771, on the game bill; and three times in May 1780 when he moved for strangers to withdraw. The English Chronicle wrote in 1780 that he was ‘not distinguished for any powers of oratory, or superiority of intellectual attainments’. On 18 Feb. 1783 he voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, and died 3 July 1783.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond