WALPOLE, Horatio (1678-1757), of Wolterton, Norf.

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



10 Jan. 1710 - 21 Sept. 1710
11 Dec. 1710 - 1715
1715 - Nov. 1717
2 Dec. 1718 - 1722
1722 - 1734
1734 - 4 June 1756

Family and Education

b. 8 Dec. 1678, 2nd surv. s. of Robert Walpole, M.P., of Houghton, Norf. by Mary, da. and h. of Sir Geoffrey Burwell, of Rougham, Suff.; bro. of Robert, 1st Earl of Orford.  educ. Eton 1693; King’s, Camb. 1698; L. Inn 1700.  m. 21 July 1720, Mary Magdalen, da. and coh. of Peter Lombard of Burnham Thorpe, Norf., 4s. 3da.  cr. Baron Walpole of Wolterton 4 June 1756.

Offices Held

Sec. to envoy to Spain 1706-7, to chancellor of Exchequer and sec. of state 1707-9, to embassy at the Hague May 1709-Mar. 1711; under-sec. of state 1708-10, 1714-15; commr. of revenue [I] 1714-16; minister to Holland Jan.-Apr. 1715, Oct. 1715-Oct. 1716, May-July 1722; sec. to Treasury 1715-17, 1721; surveyor and auditor-gen. of revenue in America (for life) 1717; sec. of state [I] 1720-1; P.C. [I] 1720; envoy to Paris 1724, ambassador May 1724-7, ambassador and plenipotentiary 1727-30; plenipotentiary and jt. ambassador, congress of Soissons 1728; P.C. 12 Nov. 1730; cofferer of Household 1730-41; ambassador and plenipotentiary to Holland 1734-9; teller of Exchequer 1741- d.


By 1754 Horatio Walpole’s diplomatic career was closed and his position as a major figure in the Commons was gone: he was one of ‘the dead above ground’, yet generally bustling for the ministry in order to get a peerage. In September 1755 at the time of the subsidy treaties he was reported to be ‘much discontented’1 at the delay in having it granted. Newcastle, anxious to rally all his supporters, pressed Walpole’s application, and on 28 Oct. 1755 wrote to Lord Hartington:2 ‘I hope, at last, to be well with old Horace, having a promise for him of his peerage, at the end of the session, if he is a good boy in the meantime.’

It was granted in June 1756, and Walpole died 5 Feb. 1757.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Yorke, Hardwicke, ii. 241.
  • 2. Add. 32860, f. 205.