NORTHEY, William (c.1690-1738), of Compton Bassett, nr. Calne, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1690, 1st s. of Sir Edward Northey*. educ. Eton; King’s, Camb. 1705; M. Temple 1700, called 1712; travelled abroad. m. 19 Sept. 1721, Abigail, da. of Sir Thomas Webster, 1st Bt.*, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1723.1
Examiner in Chancery, 1712–15.
The son and grandson of successful barristers, Northey also trained for the law. That his father had high ambitions for him is clear from a report of 1709 that when negotiating the marriage settlement of one of Northey’s sisters, his father’s actions were said to be dictated primarily by his ‘designs to make his son a rich family’. It seems likely that it was his father’s influence as attorney-general which led to Northey’s appointment at the beginning of November 1712 to a Chancery office, in return for which £6,000 was reported to have been paid to the master of the rolls Sir John Trevor*. This appointment is the likeliest explanation for Northey’s much-delayed call to the bar at the end of the same month. Northey entered Parliament for Calne in 1713 with the support of the borough’s Tory interest. He acted as teller on 29 June in favour of adjourning consideration of the Harwich election petition, a motion intended to prevent the removal of a Whig Member. The Worsley list classed him as a Tory, and though one comparison of the 1713 and 1715 Houses concurred in this, another listed him as a ‘whimsical’ Whig. Following the Hanoverian succession Northey surrendered his place in Chancery, being replaced by his younger brother. Though successful at Wootton Bassett in the 1715 election, Northey was defeated in the 1722 and 1727 elections. He died on 11 Nov. 1738 and was succeeded by his eldest son, William, who sat in the Commons from 1747 to 1770.2