SPICER, William (?1735-88), of Weare Park, nr. Exeter, Devon

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



19 Dec. 1767 - 1768

Family and Education

b. ?1735, 1st s. of Edward Spicer of Exeter by his w. Katherine.  m. c.1763, Elizabeth, da. of Francis Parker of Blagdon, Devon, wid. of Thomas Vowler Baring of Larkbeer, bro. of Francis and John Baring, 5s. 5da.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Devon 1764-5.


Originally an Exeter glover, Spicer bought the estate of Weare Park in 1760.1 He was connected with Devonshire parliamentary families through his wife, a grand-daughter of John Belfield, M.P. for Exeter 1728-34, and a niece of John Parker. He was apparently returned as a stop-gap: on 28 Dec. 1767 the Exeter city chamber adopted J. R. Walter and John Buller as candidates for the general election. Spicer did not vote on the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768, and no speech by him is known. An unfriendly witness, Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Heath, town clerk of Exeter, wrote to her brother John, 22 Mar. 1768:2

Mr. Spicer, who was chose ... for the remainder of the last session, declined standing for the general election after having taken his seat in the House where, I suppose, he soon found that his consequence was not so great there as he expected, that his money which was his only qualification had not weight enough to command respect from the other Members, but that they rather looked down upon him, so that he was not desirous of purchasing a station for a longer time which he did not find himself fitted for.

Spicer died 21 Oct. 1788, aged 53.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Hoskins Finberg, Devonshire Studies, 115; J. J. Alexander, ‘Exeter Members of Parliament’, Trans. Dev. Assoc. lxii. 215.
  • 2. Sir W. R. Drake, Heathiana, 15.