WILLES, Edward (1723-87), of Lincoln's Inn, London.

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



May 281 - 18 June 1747
1747 - 1754
21 Mar. 1767 - Jan. 1768

Family and Education

bap. 6 Nov. 1723, 2nd surv. s. of Sir John Willes, l.c.j. of common pleas, and yr. bro. of John Willes of Astrop, Northants. educ.Worcester, Oxf. 1738; L. Inn 1741, called 1747, bencher 1757. m. 23 Sept. 1752, Anne, da. of Rev. Edward Taylor of Sutton, Wilts., 3s.

Offices Held

K.C. 1756; solicitor-gen. 1766-8; serjeant-at-law 1768; justice of King’s bench 1768-d.


Edward Willes, who came into political life about the same time as his brother John, was brought in for Old Sarum by Thomas Pitt shortly before the general election of 1747, at which he was returned for Aylesbury on the Prince of Wales’s interest, being classed as Opposition. During a debate in February 1748, on a bill for transferring the summer assizes from Aylesbury to Buckingham, it was alleged by George Grenville that Willes’s father, the lord chief justice, had deliberately brought back the summer assizes to Aylesbury, holding them there himself during the recent election, in order to procure his son’s return by a grateful electorate.1 The 2nd Lord Egmont noted in his memorandum book, under 13 Sept. 1749, that ‘Chief Justice Willes made me strong assurances of his friendship and gave up his two sons to my direction in Parliament’.2 In his electoral survey about that time, he wrote against Aylesbury: ‘Edward Willes to continue’. Willes did not stand in 1754, when he was succeeded by his brother. He died 14 Jan. 1787.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Parl. Hist. xiv. 222-3.
  • 2. Add. 47073.