MABBOTT, William (c.1692-1764), of Tadworth Court, Surr.

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



19 Jan. 1756 - 1761

Family and Education

b. c.1692,1 related to the Mabbotts of Cassington, Oxon. and of Bath.  m. (1) Martha (d.1761), s.p.s.; (2) Rhoda, da. of Sir John Huband, 2nd Bt., wid. of (i) Sir Thomas Delves, 4th Bt., (ii) J. Coates of Dodington, Cheshire, s.p. Her sis. Jane m. 1743 Robert Henley.

Offices Held

Director, E.I. Co. 1741-58.


Mabbott was commissioned in the navy as a lieutenant in 1711,2 but transferred to the East India Company. From 1720 to 1732 he was master of the Caesar, and made several voyages to India and China.3 While on the directorate of the East India Company, he was for several years a member of the secret committee, and was on close terms with Clive.4 In 1756 he purchased Tadworth Court for £5,410.

Egmont, about 1750, drawing up for the Prince of Wales plans for a future Parliament, placed Mabbott among persons to be brought in by the new court, and referred to him as ‘Governor Mabbott’. Next, Mabbott became connected with Henry Fox, who, when a vacancy was imminent at Liverpool in 1755, named him to the Duke of Newcastle as a ‘good and proper’ candidate.5 A month later, on a vacancy at Hindon, he was pressing Newcastle to contribute from secret service funds to Mabbott’s election expenses:6

If your Grace will now engage for what it shall exceed [£]1,000, Mr. Mabbott bids me say that he shall look upon himself as under strong obligations to espouse your Grace’s interest on every honest occasion.

Newcastle doubted whether the King would allow him to engage in this affair. ‘If I should have a negative, we may find out some way to indemnify Mr. Mabbott ... When we agreed upon Mr. Mabbott, there was no notion of his limiting the expense, much less to so small a sum as £1,000.’7 That finally the King’s permission was obtained is shown by the entry in the secret service accounts on 2 Apr. 1756: ‘Mr. Fox for Hindon, £313.11.0.’8

On 19 Apr. 1757, during the Duke of Devonshire’s term at the Treasury, Fox wrote to him when forwarding applications for a share in the loan: ‘Mr. Mabbott, a Member of Parliament and a very rich man desired more, but I have put him down for £40,000’—which Devonshire scaled down to £30,000, with ‘40,000?’ against it.9

No vote or speech by Mabbott is recorded but presumably he supported Government. He did not stand again in 1761, and died 14 Nov. 1764. He left his property to his wife for life, and then to her daughter by her marriage with Coates who was the wife of P. C. Webb.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. About Mabbott, see F. E. Leaning, Tadworth Court.
  • 2. Chamberlayne, Present State of Gt. Britain, 1748, p. 150; Mabbott to Ld. Townshend, 26 Nov. 1747, Townshend mss at Raynham.
  • 3. His log book is in the India Office Library, among the E.I. Co. marine records.
  • 4. Some of his letters are referred to in G. Forrest, Life of Clive.
  • 5. Add. 32861, f. 250.
  • 6. Add. 32862, f. 61.
  • 7. Ibid. ff. 53, 82.
  • 8. Namier, Structure, 440.
  • 9. Devonshire mss.