WHITWORTH, Charles (c.1721-78), of Leybourne, Kent and Blackford, nr. Minehead, Som.

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



1747 - 1761
1761 - 1768
1768 - 1774
14 - Dec. 1774
3 Jan. 1775 - 22 Aug. 1778

Family and Education

b. c.1721, o.s. of Francis Whitworth. educ. Westminster 1730-8; L. Inn 1738. m. 1 June 1749, Martha, da. of Richard Shelley, commr. of the stamp office, niece of Sir John Shelley, 4th Bt., 3 surv. s. 4 surv. da. suc. fa. 1742; kntd. 19 Aug. 1768.

Offices Held

For a short time served in the army; lt.-gov. Gravesend and Tilbury 1758-d.; chairman of committees of supply and ways and means May 1768-d.


In 1747 Whitworth was returned for Minehead, having since his father’s death ‘maintained that interest as entirely as he enjoyed it, with a view to offer myself the first opportunity’. On his father’s death he had raised the question of the reversion of the West Indian sinecure which George I had intended to give him (see Whitworth, Francis), but had been persuaded to desist, on a promise from Newcastle, with whom he was distantly connected by his marriage, to provide for him. In 1750 he began to press Newcastle for the fulfilment of this promise:

As your Grace has frequently done me the honour to testify your readiness to serve me, I have taken all opportunities of waiting upon your Grace, but have never troubled your Grace for anything, being sensible your Grace would have confirmed your assurances, if an opportunity had offered, therefore take the liberty to trouble your Grace, as your Grace ...

Next year he applied to Newcastle for a place in the establishment of the new Prince of Wales, later George III:

I entreat your Grace that you will not suffer an old friend to whom you have made such kind professions to be left out on such an occasion, as the honour of being in this young Prince’s family is what as a young man I should covet preferable to anything.

On 13 Sept. 1753 he asked Newcastle for the post of warden of the mint, following this up with a letter of 17 Oct. beginning:

I flatter myself I am not out of your Grace’s thoughts, so am persuaded though not apprised, of your Grace’s good services to procure me the honour of the employment I took the liberty to apply for.1

His persistence was rewarded with a secret service pension of £400 a year, which he exchanged in 1758 for a minor military post. He ultimately found his niche as the paid chairman of the committees of supply and ways and means, for which his published work, A Collection of the Supplies and Ways and Means from the Revolution to the Present Time (1763), had qualified him.

He died 22 Aug. 1778.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Shirley Matthews


  • 1. Namier, Structure, 419 et seq.