PAGET, Hon. William (1769-94), of Plas Newydd, Anglesey.
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Family and Education
b. 22 Dec. 1769, 2nd s. of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge, and bro. of Hons. Arthur Paget*, Berkeley Thomas Paget*, Charles Paget*, Edward Paget*, and Henry William, Lord Paget*. educ. Westminster 1779-81. unm.
Midshipman RN 1783, cdr. 1790, capt. 1793.
Described in 1790 as ‘a very handsome manly looking young man’ and ‘very pleasant, though not quite so droll as his brother Arthur’, Paget was a commander in the navy when he was returned for Anglesey on the family interest in that year, before attaining his majority. If he attended the House, which cannot have been often because of his being on active service, he supported Pitt’s government. In April 1791, while ‘abroad’, he was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act with regard to Scotland. On 17 June 1794 while commanding the Romney, he captured La Sybille, ‘one of the finest French frigates that ever was built’, and three merchantmen, in 70 minutes. It was his finest hour, for he died at sea in September, from the reopening of an old wound inflicted by an assassin at Constantinople some years before, which ‘occasioned frequent spasms and convulsions though it happened eight or ten years back’. His father, in answer to criticism of Paget as an absentee Member, had this to say, 8 Nov. 1794:
William did take his seat before he went abroad and ... within these two years he has taken ten merchant men besides one of the largest frigates the French had, which was serving his country more effectively than anything he could have done in the House of Commons.
Leveson Gower, i. 20; Paget Pprs. 7; Mq. of Anglesey, One-Leg, 347; Pole Carew mss CC/K/24, Yorke to Pole Carew, 27 Oct. 1794; UCNW, Plas Newydd mss 2/13.