MOFFAT, William (1737-1822), of Painshill and Wimbledon, Surr.

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



1802 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 7 Mar. 1737,1 3rd s. of John Moffat of Lauder, Berwick by 3rd w. Margaret, da. of James Inglis of St. Leonards in Lauderdale, Berwick. m. (1) c.1766, Elizabeth (d. 13 Jan. 1791),2 da. of Lt.-Col. William Bowland, 1s. 2da.; (2) 31 Dec. 1795,3 Elizabeth, da. of Rev. John Harington, rector of Thruxton, Hants, s.p.

Offices Held

Dir. Sun Fire Office.


Moffat’s early life is obscure, but he was a partner in the London banking house of Wickenden, Moffat, Kensington and Boller from its establishment in 1775 at 20 Lombard Street, and by 1786 had become the senior partner. After several changes of name the firm traded under the title of Moffat, Kensingtons and Styan until 1807, when Moffat’s name dropped out. He appears also to have been connected from 1799 until 1819 with the banking house of Williams, Son, Moffat and Burgess, of 20 Birchin Lane. He traded as a merchant from several London addresses and by 1790 had established himself at 32 Queen Square, Bloomsbury. He signed the London merchants’ declaration of loyalty, 2 Dec. 1795, was entitled to four votes as an East India Company stockholder, and invested £10,000 in the 1797 loyalty loan. He was not listed as a merchant in the London directories after 1803. He bought Painshill in 1799, but sold it four years later and thereafter resided at Wimbledon.4

In April 1800 Moffat bought the estate of Lower Gatton and the electoral influence at Gatton which went with it for £39,000, but he subsequently relinquished the purchase to Mark Wood I*.5 He came in for Winchelsea in 1802 on the interest of Richard Barwell*. No trace of parliamentary activity has been found. He was listed under ‘Pitt’ in September 1804 and ‘doubtful Pitt’ in July 1805. By 1806 Winchelsea had been purchased by Lord Darlington and Moffat is not known to have made any further attempt to enter the House.

He died 12 Jan. 1822, leaving legacies totalling over £80,000 to his grandchildren and others and the residue of his estate to his only son William.6

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Richard Brown / J. M. Collinge


  • 1. R. M. Moffat, Short Hist. Moffat Fam. 60.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1791), i. 93.
  • 3. Ibid. (1795), ii. 1111.
  • 4. Hilton Price, London Bankers, 97, 177; Brayley, Surr. ii. 371.
  • 5. The Times, 18 Apr. 1800; Brayley, iii. 233.
  • 6. Gent. Mag. (1822), i. 93; PCC 33 Herschel.