HARVEY, William I (1663-1731), of Winchlow Hall, Hempstead, Essex, and Red Lion Square, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



25 Mar. 1689 - 1705
1705 - 1708
1708 - 1710
22 May 1711 - 1713
3 June 1714 - 1715
31 May 1715 - 18 May 1716
1722 - 1727

Family and Education

bap. 18 Dec. 1663, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir Eliab Harvey*.  educ. St. Paul’s; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1680.  m. 1 Sept. 1681, Dorothy (d. 1711), da. and h. of Sir Robert Dycer, 2nd Bt., of Hackney, Mdx., Uphall, Herts. and Wrentham, Suff., wid. of his er. bro. Eliab, 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 3da.  suc. fa. 1699.1

Offices Held

Lt. Waltham forest by 1700–d.2


Harvey was returned in 1690 on the family interest for Old Sarum, which he had represented in the Convention. He was a Tory like his father, but otherwise most of his parliamentary activity is impossible to distinguish from that of his cousins Edward*, Daniel* and Michael*. Classed as a Tory by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in March 1690, he was listed as a Country party supporter by Robert Harley* in April 1691. He was forecast as a probable opponent of the Court in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade. He then refused the Association and voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. Returned again in 1698, he was classed as a Country party supporter in an analysis of the new Parliament and his name appears on what was probably a forecast of Members likely to oppose a standing army. In December 1701 Robert Harley listed him as a Tory. In Queen Anne’s first Parliament he was listed by the Earl of Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) in March 1704 as a supporter over the Scotch Plot, and in the following session was forecast on 30 Oct. 1704 as likely to support the Tack. Despite being included in Harley’s lobbying list, he voted for the Tack on 28 Nov.

Before the 1705 election Harvey agreed to stand down at Old Sarum in favour of Robert Pitt* and did not at first intend to try any other constituency but, on being offered the interest of the Earl of Thanet (Thomas Tufton†) at Appleby, gratefully accepted, writing to James Grahme* on 28 Apr.:

I am obliged to my lord for his kindness in choosing me this election, which I did not think of or had any intention of being in the House, being engaged upon a former agreement not to stand this time at my borough of Old Sarum.3

Listed as ‘True Church’, Harvey voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705. He returned to sit for Old Sarum in 1708, where, in partnership with Pitt, he was elected unopposed. His election was reckoned by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) as a ‘loss’ to the Whigs and he duly voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. For the 1710 election he gave over his Old Sarum seat to his son and himself contested Weymouth. Seated on petition, he voted on 18 June 1713 for the French commerce bill. Despite having inherited a considerable estate, he may have been experiencing financial problems at this time, for in May 1713 he had secured the passage of a private bill enabling him to sell off lands in Suffolk to provide portions for his daughters and a jointure of £1,200 in anticipation of his son’s marriage, and in later years he was forced to sell further property in Roehampton. In 1713 he was unsuccessful at Appleby, but was again seated on petition for Weymouth, thanks to the Tory majority in the Commons. On the Worsley list he was classed as a Tory. He continued to sit in Parliament after 1715 and was regarded by some as a Jacobite. He died intestate on 31 Oct. 1731.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Herts. RO, Hertford bor. recs. 23/425; Misc. Gen. et Her. ser. 2, iii. 333–4; PCC 42 Pott; W. Harvey, Harvey Fam. Ped. 8, 14.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. xv. 356.
  • 3. Bagot mss at Levens Hall, Harvey to Grahme, 28 Apr. 1705.
  • 4. HMC Fortescue, i. 13, 34, 38; HMC 10th Rep. IV, 343; HMC Lords. n.s. x. 60–1; LJ, xix. 516; Add. 22221, f. 432; PROB 6/108, f. 188.