SHAWE, William Cunliffe (1745-1821), of Singleton Lodge, Lancs.

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



6 Sept. 1792 - 1796

Family and Education

bap. 17 Sept. 1745,1 1st s. of William Shawe of Preston and Singleton by Anne, da. of Foster Cunliffe, merchant, of Liverpool, and Saighton Grange, Cheshire. educ. Glasgow Univ. 1764; M. Temple 1766. m. (1) 1784, Dorothy, da. of Richard Whitehead of Preston, 1s. 1da.; (2) 24 July 1788,2 Philippa, da. and coh. of Charles Pole of Holcroft, Lancs. and Southgate, Mdx., 5s. 3da. suc. fa. 1772.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Lancs. 1772-3.

Capt. Lancs. militia 1772.


Shawe, whose father bought the Singleton property in 1748, was descended from an old Preston family. Between 1772 and 1785 he purchased or acquired mortgages on some of the neighbouring estates of Sir Henry Hoghton*.3 Returned unopposed for Preston by the 12th Earl of Derby on a vacancy in 1792, he followed Derby’s line in the House, but made no mark there. He was in the Foxite minority on the address, 13 Dec. 1792, and voted for Grey’s parliamentary reform motion, 7 May 1793. His only other recorded votes were for peace negotiations, 21 Jan., 30 May, 30 Dec. 1794 and 29 Oct. 1795, and against the imperial loan, 5 Feb. 1795. He is not known to have spoken in the House and in 1796 made way for Derby’s son.

Shawe sold Singleton around 1800 and later bought an estate at Kesgrave in Suffolk.4 He died 4 Nov. 1821.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port


  • 1. H. Fishwick, Hist. Preston, 341.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1788), ii. 750.
  • 3. VCH Lancs. vii. 52-53, 62, 83, 116, 184-5, 209.
  • 4. W. A. Copinger, Suff. Manors, iii. 60.