LAWSON, Sir Wilfred, 3rd Bt. (1697-1737), of Isel, Cumb.
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Family and Education
b. 1697, 1st s. of Sir Wilfred Lawson, 2nd Bt., M.P., by Elizabeth, da. and h. of George Preston of Holker, Lancs. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1713; I. Temple 1715. m. 14 Mar. 1724, Elizabeth Lucy, da. of Henry Mordaunt, M.P., bro. of Charles, 3rd Earl of Peterborough, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1705.
Groom of the bedchamber to George I 1720-c.1725.
Early in the seventeenth century the Lawsons, a Yorkshire family, acquired by marriage the estate of Isel, near Cockermouth, which they represented under Charles II and William and Mary. When Lawson himself first stood for the borough at a by-election in 1717 there was a double return, on which the seat was awarded by the Commons to his opponent, Lawson admitting himself to be under age. Soon afterwards he was brought in by Newcastle for Boroughbridge, making his maiden speech in support of the Government on the Address, 11 Nov. 1718, voting for the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, but against the peerage bill. Appointed to a place in the royal household in June 1720, he figured next year in the report of the South Sea committee of the House of Commons as one of the Members who had accepted bribes from the Company — in his case £1,000 stock at 320 — on the usual terms (see Chaplin, Sir Robert).1
In 1722 Lawson was returned on his own interest for Cockermouth, which he represented till his death. He continued to speak in support of the Government till January 1724, when he supported an opposition motion for disbanding some additional troops taken on in 1723; in February 1725 he supported Pulteney’s motion for referring the report on Lord Macclesfield to a select committee instead of proceeding to impeach him; in March 1726 he again supported Pulteney in opposing a vote of credit; and in January 1727 he moved for papers relating to the accession of Sweden to the treaty of Hanover, the motion being rejected without a division.
In the next Parliament Lawson became one of the leading opposition Whigs, speaking against the Government on a vote of credit in 1728 and the civil list arrears in 1729, when he led for the Opposition on the Address.2 He again spoke first for them in January 1732 against the treaty of Seville, and in February 1733 on the army estimates; carried a motion for papers on Spanish depredations in February 1733; seconded an opposition motion for the repeal of the Test Act in 1736; and spoke in favour of an increase in the Prince of Wales’s allowance in 1737. He died 13 July that year.