KINASTON, William (?1682-1749), of Ruyton Hall, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1734 - 24 Feb. 1749

Family and Education

b. ?1682, 2nd s. of William Kinaston of Lee, Salop by Jane, da. and h. of Thomas Kinaston of Ruyton of the Eleven Towns, Salop. educ. Shrewsbury; St. John’s, Camb. 16 July 1699, aged 17; I. Temple 1699, called 1706. m. Dorothy Taylor of Essex, 4da. suc. fa. 1723.

Offices Held

Master in Chancery 1721-d.; recorder, Shrewsbury 1733-d.


William Kinaston was a member of a junior branch of the Shropshire Kynastons, who had been seated at Ruyton since the sixteenth century. A Whig and an active member of the Shrewsbury corporation, he is said by a political opponent to have

come in to be mayor by a writ of mandamus though he was neither rightly elected nor the senior alderman; he acted partially during his time and used such indirect means to compass his designs that his name became odious ... the corporation lost their grandeur; honour, honesty, and justice were expelled the house; tyranny and oppression ruled in their stead for many years,1

a reference to the new bye-laws concerning the admission of freemen passed in his mayoralty, which eventually gave the Whigs control of the franchise.

On becoming a master in Chancery Kinaston gave Lord Chancellor Macclesfield a present of 1,500 guineas. When the state of the chancery suitors funds was investigated in 1724 he was found to have a deficit of over £26,900, but retained his office after giving security for the debts.2 In 1734, shortly after becoming recorder of the borough, he was returned for Shrewsbury, voting with the Government. He had a reputation for meanness; after the 1747 election his fellow-member, Sir Richard Corbet, complained that he paid no part of its cost; and he was known as ‘heavy Billy, not from the weight of his purse, but the unwieldiness of his body’.3 He died 24 Feb. 1749.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: J. B. Lawson


  • 1. Salop Arch. Soc. Trans. (ser. 3), i. 219-221; (ser. 4), iv. 64.
  • 2. Howell's State Trials, xvi. 771, 1055, 1067, 1094, 1184.
  • 3. Salop Arch. Soc. Trans. (ser. 4), iv. 64.