PEACHY, William (?1763-1838), of Gosport, Hants and Derwent Isle, Cumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



21 Mar. 1797 - 1802
1826 - 1830

Family and Education

b. ?1763, s. of William Peachy of Gosport by Elizabeth, da. of Henri Portal of Freefolk Priors, Hants. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 13 Nov. 1781, aged 18, BCL 1790, DCL 1813; I. Temple 1784. m. (1) 12 Sept. 1803, Emma Frances (d. Madeira 1810), da. of Thomas Carter of Lynchfield House, Som., s.p.; (2) 10 Mar. 1812, Susannah, wid. of James Henry of Hopewell, Jamaica, s.p.

Offices Held

Capt. Wilts. militia 1791, 1798; lt. 10 Drag. 1794; capt. 120 Ft. 1795; maj. (with army rank) 2 R. Manx fencibles 1795-8; maj. (half-pay) 108 Ft. 1798-1813, lt.-col. 1800, col. 1810; maj.-gen. 1813, lt.-gen. 1815.


Peachy started his military career in the Wiltshire militia, presented to a company by the Earl of Carnarvon. He later transferred to the Manx fencibles and in 1795 got himself placed on the regular army list. Three years later he secured a posting to a disbanded regiment, the 108th Foot, which entitled him to draw half-pay as a major. He eventually became a lieutenant-general without ever having undertaken any active service.

It seems likely that his entry into Parliament, doubtlessly effected by purchasing his seat from Lord Holmes, was designed to further his military pretensions. In January 1798 he wrote to Pitt offering to raise a regiment for the defence of the country, assuring him, ‘My chief wish in coming into Parliament was the desire of supporting the present administration in which I feel great confidence.’ Pitt, however, replied that there was no intention of raising fresh regiments at that time. Despite his assurances of support, he voted against government over the parliamentary effects of the Irish union, 21 Apr. 1800, and on Sturt’s motion for an inquiry into the Ferrol expedition, 19 Feb. 1801. There is no other reported vote; nor is he known to have spoken. Had John Scott, Lord Eldon’s son, given up his seat for Boroughbridge in 1802, Peachy, it seems, was to have replaced him there on the Newcastle interest. Scott did not do so and Peachy was reported to be coming in elsewhere, but that was not then the case. He died 21 Nov. 1838.

Gent. Mag. (1839), i. 96; PRO 30/8/165, f. 132; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Newcastle mss NeC 6059.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: Brian Murphy