ESTCOURT, Sir William, 3rd Bt. (1654-84), of Long Newnton, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 16 May 1654, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Giles Estcourt, 1st Bt.† (d.1668), of Long Newnton by Anne, da. of Sir Robert Mordaunt, 2nd Bt., of Massingham Parva, Norf. educ. L. Inn 1676. unm. suc. bro. as 3rd Bt. 1675.1
Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1677-9, j.p. 1679-d.
Estcourt was the third cousin of Thomas Estcourt. His father, created a baronet in 1622, sat for Cirencester in 1628. He seems to have been in arms against the Parliament and was taken prisoner at the fall of Bath, but apparently neither compounded nor paid the £1,000 at which he was assessed by the committee for the advance of money.2
Estcourt succeeded to the title when his elder brother was killed in a duel in Italy. He replaced his cousin in the Exclusion Parliaments as Member for Malmesbury, a borough some three miles from Long Newnton. Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubtful’. He was a moderately active Member in 1679, when he was named to seven committees, of which the most important were on the bills for regulating elections, amending habeas corpus, and providing security against Popery. He was not recorded as speaking, and was absent from the division on the first exclusion bill. He was again moderately active in the second Exclusion Parliament with eight committees, including those for the bills to regulate elections (26 Oct. 1680) and to prohibit the import of Irish cattle (3 Nov.). In the Oxford Parliament he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges. As he survived the purge of the commissions of the peace he probably opposed exclusion. He served as foreman of the jury which acquitted Edward Nosworthy II in November 1684. At the celebration which followed at the Globe tavern in Fleet Street, an altercation broke out after ‘a discourse arose about leaping horses’ between Henry St. John and Francis Stonehouse. Politics is unlikely to have played any part, since Estcourt was run through both by the Whig St. John, and the Tory Edmund Webb. The last of his family, his death, according to Morrice, was ‘very much bewailed’. The murderers were pardoned, probably because of Webb’s signal loyalty ‘in turbulent and staggering times’.3