WYNN, Glyn (c.1739-93), of Caernarvon.

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



Family and Education

b.c.1739, 2nd surv. s. of Sir John Wynn, 2nd Bt., and bro. of Thomas Wynn.  m. 11 Jan. 1766, Bridget, da. of Edward Philip Pugh of Penrhyn-Creuddyn, Caern., 4s. 1da.

Offices Held

Prothonotary and clerk of the Crown for Caern., Anglesey and Merion. 1762- d.; receiver gen. of land revenue in N. Wales and Cheshire 1781.

Entered army 1755; lt. 13 Ft. 1758; capt. 90 Ft. 1759; capt. 2 Ft. Gds. and lt.-col. 1763; ret. 1773.


Glyn Wynn sat for Caernarvon on his family interest and was returned unopposed in 1768, 1774 and 1780. He voted with Administration until March 1779 when he joined the Opposition. Robinson, in his survey for the general election of 1780, correctly forecast Wynn’s unopposed return for Caernarvon—‘he is much better liked in the county than his elder brother Lord Newborough.’ Appointed receiver general of the land revenue in 1781, Wynn reverted to the court, and voted with them steadily to the end of the North Administration. On 11 Apr. 1782 he attended Rockingham’s levee, and by 21 June Lord Temple had to remind Rockingham of his engagements to Lord Bulkeley with regard to Caernarvonshire patronage—obviously Wynn was being let into it—and to explain to Rockingham Bulkeley’s resentment of Wynn,

who has personally opposed him and used him ill, after a series of obligations from Lord Bulkeley of a very delicate nature. You remember I am sure that this man was gained over by Lord Bulkeley from court, and voted with us for two sessions; (perhaps that transaction is not quite to his honour) but after these votes he was at once bought by the court in January 1781, and has been violent against Lord Bulkeley to whom he owes almost his existence.1

Next Wynn rallied to Shelburne’s Administration, or at least made them believe he did: for although he was absent from the decisive division on Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb., he appears as one of his supporters in Robinson’s list of March 1783. He was similarly absent from the divisions on Fox’s East India bill; and yet must have given the Coalition some support. Robinson wrote about him in a survey of the House made shortly before the Coalition fell:2

Mr. Glyn Wynn votes with now, having office, but in a future Parliament, as it is apprehended he will come in again, he most likely will be pro.

Wynn, engaged in financial litigation with his brother Lord Newborough, and opposed by Bulkeley, who was backing Newborough for Caernarvon, now tried to secure his re-election through an alliance with Lord Paget. Paget and Bulkeley, great rivals in local politics, both supported Pitt’s Administration. Harrison, an agent of Paget, wrote to him on 7 Jan. 1784 about Wynn’s conduct in Parliament:3

It would be an act of great kindness if he could be permitted to trim a little and temporize, till it is more clearly to be discerned how majorities are likely to be ... possibly he may not be wanted, and it may not answer any purpose to place him in difficulties ... He must no doubt feel the hazard he runs.

In the next few weeks, however, Wynn satisfied Pitt sufficiently for Administration to intervene with Bulkeley in his favour; and in February 1784 the following communication from Bulkeley was made by Temple to Paget:4

That Lord Temple had authority to declare to Lord Paget on the part of Lord Bulkeley that Lord Bulkeley would not molest or impede Colonel Wynn in his election for Caernarvon, that the Colonel having of late voted so uniformly in the way that Lord Bulkeley wished, it had materially abated his Lordship’s resentment.

Nevertheless Wynn was opposed by his brother, and was successful after a poll lasting ten days.

Wynn did not vote for Pitt’s motion on parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785, nor for Richmond’s plan of fortifications, 27 Feb. 1786—two occasions on which a good many followers of Pitt dissociated themselves from him; but he did not vote against Richmond’s plan either, nor against Pitt’s Irish propositions, 13 May 1785. It is therefore difficult to gauge his attitude during those years. Over the Regency bill in 1788 he voted against the Government.

The fratricidal contest of 1784 ruined the Wynn interest in Caernarvon. Before the general election of 1790 a compromise was concluded between Lord Bulkeley and Lord Uxbridge (as Paget now was), and Wynn lost his seat.  He died 25 June 1793.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Rockingham mss.
  • 2. Laprade, 96.
  • 3. Plas Newydd corresp., UCNW, II, 2.
  • 4. Ibid. 216.