WYNDHAM, Henry Penruddocke (1736-1819), of St. Edmund's College, Salisbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 4 June 1736, 1st s. of Henry Wyndham of The Close, Salisbury, by Arundel, da. of Thomas Penruddocke of Compton Chamberlayne. educ. Eton; Wadham, Oxf. 1755-9; Grand Tour 1765-7. m. 18 Oct. 1768, Caroline, da. and h. of Edward Hearst of The Close, Salisbury, 5s. 2da. suc. cos. Thomas Wyndham of Hammersmith, Mdx. 1778; fa. 1788.
Mayor, Salisbury 1770; sheriff, Wilts. 1772-3.
Capt. Wilts. yeomanry 1794.
‘Pen’ Wyndham had contested Salisbury, where his family enjoyed the utmost respectability, in 1761, but had declined in 1765. He was also in the running at Southampton in 1784 and 1790, but withdrew. He showed more interest in topography than in politics. Late in life he was invited by the county club to succeed Tylney Long as county Member, his uncle Charles Penruddocke having occupied that position from 1770 to 1778 and his father having been a staunch adherent of the other Member, Ambrose Goddard.1
Wyndham at first gave an independent support to administration, unless he was the Wyndham who opposed them on the question of war aims, 10 May 1796, and voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. He opposed the abolition of the slave trade, 15 Mar. 1796. He was regarded as a supporter of Addington in May 1804, a doubtful Addingtonian in September and listed as ‘doubtful Pitt’ by administration in July 1805. He had joined opposition on the Duke of Atholl’s claims, 7 June, and on the prosecution of Melville, 12 June. The Whigs described him as being ‘against the Opposition’ when he rallied to ministers on the address and Scheldt inquiry, 23 Jan., 23 Feb. and 5 Mar. 1810. His lack of interest in public affairs and infrequent attendance caused comment in the county and he deemed it prudent to retire in 1812. He is not known to have contributed to debate. According to his scathing critic the radical Henry Hunt†, ‘even in his youthful days he was no better in the House of Commons than an old woman’.2
Wyndham, who died 3 May 1819, was the author of A Gentleman’s Tour through Monmouthshire and Wales (1775), the Diary of the late George Bubb Dodington (1784) and a Wiltshire Domesday (1788): he wished to promote a county history.3