WATSON, Hon. Lewis (1728-95), of Lees Court, Kent.

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



23 Apr. 1750 - 1754
1754 - 22 May 1760

Family and Education

b. 28 Nov. 1728, 2nd s. of John Monson, 1st Baron Monson, by Lady Margaret Watson, da. of Lewis Watson, M.P., 1st Earl of Rockingham. educ.Westminster 1737-45; Grand Tour. m. 12 Oct. 1752, Grace, da. and coh. of Henry Pelham and niece of Thomas, 1st Duke of Newcastle, 3s. suc. cos. Thomas Watson, 3rd Earl of Rockingham, to Watson estates in Northants. and Kent 26 Feb. 1746 and assumed name of Watson; cr. Baron Sondes of Lees Court 22 May 1760.

Offices Held

Jt. auditor of the imprest Feb. 1754-85.


While Watson was on the grand tour with his kinsmen, Lord Malton, later Lord Rockingham, and Thomas Pelham jun. of Stanmer, he was returned by the Duke of Newcastle, whose niece he subsequently married. On 4 Oct. 1750 Newcastle reported from Hanover to Henry Pelham, that he had just had ‘a very mortifying slight’. He had arranged to present Watson, Malton, Pelham, Lord Downe and three other young Englishmen of quality on their travels.

I acquainted H.M. with it beforehand. He flew out—what did they come there to trouble him for? I answered, to show their zeal and attachment. ‘Let them show it in Parliament’ etc. When they were presented in the circle, before all the foreign ministers and all the court, H.M. said not one word to any one, but a little to Lord Malton, and a little, very little, to Lord Downe. I fear the effect of this unhappy incident.1

In 1754 Pelham procured him the life sinecure of auditor of the imprest, which was abolished by Act of Parliament in 1785, subject to the payment to him of £7,000 a year ‘in lieu of the profits and emoluments of the said office’ till his death, 30 Mar. 1795.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Add. 32723, f. 13.