HANGER, Hon. William (1744-1814).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



2 Feb. 1775 - Feb. 1778
6 Mar. 1778 - 1780
1780 - 1784

Family and Education

b. 6 Aug. 1744, 2nd surv. s. of Gabriel, 1st Baron Coleraine [I]  educ. Reading sch.; Queen’s, Oxf. 1761.  unm.  suc. bro. 4 Dec. 1794.

Offices Held

Cornet R. Horse Gds. 1763, lt. 1765, capt. 1772; ret. July 1776.


Hanger, a rake and gambler, owed his seat in Parliament to his friendship with Henry Pelham Clinton, Duke of Newcastle, and may have obtained it to avoid his creditors. In August 1774 George Selwyn wrote to Lord Carlisle:1 ‘The Duke of Newcastle is to bring Will Hanger into Parliament, but what is to pay for his chair to go down to the House the Lord knows; they tell me that there is absolutely not a shilling left.’ He was not elected until February 1775, apparently on the understanding that he would vacate the seat whenever Newcastle wished.2 In 1778 he resigned in favour of Lord John Pelham Clinton, probably an arrangement to reinforce the Newcastle interest at East Retford before the general election, and was brought in immediately for Newcastle’s pocket borough of Aldborough. During this Parliament Hanger attended regularly and consistently supported Administration, but is not known to have spoken.

In 1780 Hanger was returned by Lord Falmouth at Mitchell as a Government candidate. He supported North’s Administration until the end, voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, and in Robinson’s list of March 1783 was described as of Lord North’s connexion. He voted with Pitt on parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783, and for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. Late in 1783 Robinson wrote in his survey that Lord Falmouth might ‘probably be prevailed on to bring in a friend vice Hanger’, and Hanger, who was classed as a Foxite by Robinson in January 1784 and in Stockdale’s list of 19 Mar., did not stand at the general election of 1784.

He died 11 Dec. 1814.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. HMC Carlisle, 279.
  • 2. Wm. Mellish to Newcastle, 8 Dec. 1776, Newcastle (Clumber) mss.