FITZWILLIAM, Hon. George (1757-86).

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



9 Apr. 1781 - 1784

Family and Education

b. 28 Feb. 1757, 2nd and posth. s. of William, 1st Earl Fitzwilliam [GB], by Lady Anne Watson Wentworth, da. of Thomas, 1st Mq. of Rockingham, sis. and coh. of Charles, 2nd Mq. educ. Eton 1766-9; Trinity Hall, Camb. 1771. unm. His sis. Charlotte m. 1764, Thomas Dundas (d. 1820).

Offices Held

Sub-lt. 1 Troop Horse Grenadier Gds. 1776; sold out 1782.


In August 1780 Fitzwilliam’s brother, Earl Fitzwilliam, was approached by Charles Anderson Pelham about the choice of a candidate at Grimsby. Fitzwilliam immediately wrote to his uncle, Lord Rockingham, suggesting that they should propose George Fitzwilliam and defray the expenses of his election between them. Rockingham refused, thinking it too costly and risky a venture, and no other seat was found for Fitzwilliam at the general election.1 In 1781 Fitzwilliam was returned for Richmond on the interest of his sister’s father-in-law, Sir Lawrence Dundas, whose choosing to represent Edinburgh had caused a vacancy at Richmond. In Parliament Fitzwilliam voted consistently with Opposition till the fall of North; against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; against parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783; and for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.

In November 1783 Lord Fitzwilliam planned to nominate his brother at the York by-election, but was informed that a considerable part of the Rockingham Club were ‘violent associators’ for parliamentary reform, and had it ‘fresh in their minds that Mr. Fitzwilliam voted against the reform bill’.2 On 10 Nov., Peregrine Wentworth, one of Fitzwilliam’s Yorkshire friends, wrote: ‘If Mr. Fitzwilliam put up it would divide your Lordship’s interest in such a manner that it would not be itself again.’ After this Fitzwilliam did not nominate his brother. In 1784 Lord Fitzwilliam again suggested his brother as a candidate at York, but was dissuaded on the same grounds.

George Fitzwilliam died 6 May 1786.3

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. I. R. Christie, End of North’s Ministry, 116.
  • 2. Peregrine Wentworth to Fitzwilliam, York, Monday 12 o’clock, Fitzwilliam mss.
  • 3. Collins, Peerage, iv. 399; Burke gives 8 May.