WEDDELL, William (1736-92), of Newby, Yorks.

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



15 Mar. 1766 - 1774
28 Feb. 1775 - 1784
10 Aug. 1784 - 30 Apr. 1792

Family and Education

b. 13 May 1736, 2nd s. of Richard Elcock (afterwards Weddell) of Newby, by Barbara, da. of Joseph Tomlinson, apothecary of York.  educ. Hackney; St. John’s, Camb. 1753; G. Inn 1753.  m. 14. Feb. 1771, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Ramsden, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Byram, Yorks., half-sis. of Lady Rockingham, s.p.  suc. bro. 24 Dec. 1756.

Offices Held


Weddell was recommended to Hull in 1766 by Rockingham and Sir George Savile, and returned unopposed. In Parliament he consistently followed Rockingham. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.

In 1768 there was a contest at Hull, and Weddell came out head of the poll. But by 1774 his popularity had declined: at the request of the merchants, who disliked the ‘great idleness and disorder’ of the races, he had ceased to subscribe, which had offended the poorer voters; and his ‘want of activity’ had displeased his friends.1 Rockingham admitted that Weddell’s ‘ill state of health undoubtedly made him not so active as he could have wished’, but claimed that ‘in everything which related to Hull’ he was ‘active and assiduous’.2 Weddell found little support, and was compelled to decline the poll. He was chosen for a Rockingham borough at the first vacancy.

He voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and was classed by Robinson as ‘Cavendish’. He was unable to attend on Fox’s East India bill because of illness,3 but in Robinson’s list of January 1784 and in Stockdale’s of March was classed as a follower of Fox. In 1784 he stood on Fitzwilliam’s interest for Yorkshire, but declined the poll; was returned by Fitzwilliam for Malton, and opposed Pitt.

He died 30 Apr. 1792.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Rockingham to Savile, 9 Aug. 1774, Rockingham mss.
  • 2. Rockingham to W. Hammond, 9 Aug. 1774, ibid.
  • 3. Wm. Mason to Chris. Alderson, 7 Jan. 1784, mss of Mr. C. J. Wilson of Godalming, Surr.