GORDON, Lord William (1744-1823), of Green Park Lodge, Mdx.

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



29 Apr. 1779 - 1784
1784 - 1790
10 Mar. 1792 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 15 Aug. 1744, 2nd s. of Cosmo George Gordon, 3rd Duke of Gordon [S], by Lady Katherine Gordon, da. of William, 2nd Earl of Aberdeen [S]. educ. Harrow 1757; Eton 1758-60; Grand Tour 1762-3. m. 1 Mar. 1781, Hon. Frances Ingram Shepherd, da. and coh. of Charles Ingram, 9th Visct. Irwin [S], 1da.

Offices Held

Lt. 89 Ft. 1759; capt. 37 Ft. 1764, res. 1769; lt.-col. Gordon fencibles 1778, 1803.

Dep. ranger St. James’s and Green Parks 1778-d.; v.-adm. Scotland 1782-95; receiver-gen. duchy of Cornwall Sept. 1817-d.


While his brother Lord George Gordon was a megalomaniac, Lord William was a scapegrace, rescued by his brother the 4th Duke’s exertions on his behalf. In Parliament he supported administration and obtained two places. The only disadvantage of his deputy rangership, so he informed Pitt in 1789, was that his tenure of Green Park Lodge, on which he claimed to have spent £8,000, was insecure; he requested a long lease, which, in view of his recent good conduct, the King granted.

In 1790 Gordon stood for an English borough, after representing two Scottish counties. He was his mother-in-law Viscountess Irwin’s nominee for Horsham. He and his colleague were defeated, but seated on petition. He was a silent supporter of Pitt, to whom he applied for patronage. He did not seek re-election in 1796, being content to act as borough broker for his mother-in-law until her death in 1807. In 1817 he succeeded John McMahon* to a ‘snug sinecure’. He died 1 May 1823.

PRO 30/8/139, ff. 112, 114, 116; Geo. III Corresp. i. 542; Dorset RO, Bond mss D367, Jekyll to Bond, 29 Sept. [1817].

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port