BRADDYLL, Wilson (1756-1818), of Conishead Priory, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - 1784
1790 - 10 Mar. 1792
3 Mar. 1791 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 10 Feb. 1756, 1st s. of John Gale of Highhead Castle, Cumb. by Sarah, da. and coh. of Christopher Wilson of Bardsea Hall, Lancs. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1773. m. 29 Jan. 1776, Jane, da. and h. of Matthias Gale of Catgill Hall, Cumb., 1s. 4da. suc. cos. Thomas Braddyll in Conishead estate and took name Braddyll 17 Aug. 1776; fa. 1814.

Offices Held

Groom of bedchamber Mar. 1812-d.

Sheriff, Lancs. 1778-9.

Ensign, W. Yorks militia 1788, capt. 1792; maj. R. Lancs. militia 1794, lt.-col. 1794-1801; col. 3rd regt. thereof 1803; lt.-col. R. Spelthorne legion 1803-4.


A collateral of Braddyll’s had been elected for Lancaster in 1715. He himself did not seek re-election there in 1784. By inheritance and marriage he had acquired large estates in Lancashire, but he sold several properties in the early 1790s.1 The diarist Farington was informed (15 Oct. 1796) that Braddyll’s heir was unlikely to inherit more than £1,500 a year,

so much has been wasted by his father. It is not supposed that Braddyll consumed his fortunes by gaming but by inattention to his expenses and by various profuseness of living. Though he had very expensive establishments to support, he lived much at taverns as a profuse bachelor ... His connexion with Mrs Billington [the cantatrice] was supposed to be attended with vast expense. Lord Derby gave him the lieutenant colonelcy of the Lancashire militia as a support.

He was an associate of the Prince of Wales and a Foxite, who joined the Whig Club on 17 Jan. 1785. He was also a ‘great amateur of the pugilistic art’.2

At the general election of 1790 he contested Carlisle against Lord Lonsdale’s interest, coming forward when the first choice, John Bacon, declined, and he was returned for Horsham on the Duke of Norfolk’s.3 Seated on petition for Carlisle, he was subsequently unseated for Horsham. He voted for Grey’s resolutions on the Oczakov crisis, 12 Apr. 1791, and was listed a supporter of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland the same month, but no further vote with opposition is recorded for nearly four years. In February 1793 he was among the Whigs invited to Windham’s house as likely supporters of government policy against the French revolution. He attended on 10 Feb. but not on 17 Feb. and apparently remained in opposition. On 13 Mar. 1793, being ill, he was excused parliamentary attendance. He voted against Pitt’s amendment to Grey’s motion for peace, 26 Jan. 1795, and against the imperial loan, 5 Feb. 1795. His absence was again noticed by the House on 24 Nov. 1795 and he was ordered to attend.4 No speech of his is known.

Braddyll did not seek re-election; but in October 1806 he was negotiating with Colonel McMahon for a seat, on the understanding that he would not be called upon to pay for it until February 1808. ‘Insuperable obstacles’, of which he had been ‘perfectly ignorant’, thwarted him, however: ‘disappointed and mortified, then, must I relinquish all my hopes or—[the name of the constituency does not transpire] and be content to remain an humble and private individual’. He remained attached to the Prince of Wales, who in 1812, unsolicited, appointed him to his household.5 He died of apoplexy, 20 Nov. 1818.6

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port


  • 1. VCH Lancs. vi. 383, 425; viii. 353; Farington Diary (Yale ed), ii. 677.
  • 2. North Lonsd. Mag. i. 126; Albery, Parl. Hist. Horsham, 150.
  • 3. Ferguson, Cumb. and Westmld. MPs, 212.
  • 4. Add. 37873, ff. 201-2; CJ, xlviii. 398; li. 103.
  • 5. Prince of Wales Corresp. v. 2269; Geo. IV Letters, i. 36.
  • 6. Gent. Mag. (1818), ii. 641.