HAY, William (1695-1755), of Glyndebourne, Suss.

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



25 Jan. 1734 - 19 June 1755

Family and Education

b. 21 Aug. 1695, o. surv. s. of William Hay, M.P., of Glyndebourne, by Barbara, da. of Sir John Stapley, 1st Bt., of Patcham, Suss.  educ. Lewes g.s. 1710-12; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1712; L. Inn; M. Temple; Grand Tour; called M. Temple 1723.  m. 1731, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Pelham, M.P., of Catsfield Place, Suss., 3s. 2da.  suc. fa. 1695.

Offices Held

Commr. for victualling the navy 1738-47; keeper of the records in the Tower of London 1754- d.


William Hay married a cousin of Newcastle, electioneered on behalf of Newcastle’s candidates, and was returned to Parliament by Newcastle. ‘An acute and very intelligent speaker’, wrote George Hardinge;1 he voted consistently with Administration; and was particularly interested in poor law reform, on which he wrote copiously and introduced two bills into Parliament.

‘His temper was not austere;’ wrote Nichols, ‘he willingly mixed in company and conversation, and sometimes made himself agreeable to his young friends by little pieces of poetry.’ Deformed and scarcely five feet high, he wrote an Essay on Deformity—‘a masterpiece of humour, wit, ingenuity, elegant style, fancy, and good sense ... the portrait of a most amiable mind’.2

He died 19 June 1755, and on 29 June Newcastle wrote to Holdernesse:3

His Majesty has lost a very faithful and useful servant in the House of Commons, who in twenty-two years attendance there was scarce ever absent at one question and never gave a wrong vote, to the best of my remembrance.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Nichols, Lit. Anecs. viii. 520.
  • 2. Ibid. vi. 349; viii. 520.
  • 3. Add. 32865, ff. 167-8.