FERMOR (FARMER), Sir William, 2nd Bt. (1648-1711), of Easton Neston, Northants. and Leicester Fields, Westminster.
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Family and Education
b. 3 Aug. 1648, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Fermor, 1st Bt., of Easton Neston by Mary, da. and coh. of Hugh Perry alias Hunter, Mercer, of London, wid. of Hon. Henry Noel of North Luffenham, Rutland. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1664. m. (1) 21 Dec. 1671, Jane (d. 10 Aug. 1673), da. of Andrew Barker of Fairford, Glos., 1da.; (2) Jane 1682, Catherine, da. of John Poulett, 3rd Baron Poulett of Hinton St. George, Som., 1da.; (3) 4 Mar. 1692 (with £10,000), Lady Sophia Osborne, da. of Sir Thomas Osborne of Kiveton, Yorks., 1st Duke of Leeds, wid. of Donough, Lord Ibrackan, of Great Billing, Northants., 2s. 4da. suc. fa. 14 May 1661; cr. Baron Leominster 12 Apr. 1692.
Commr. for assessment, Northants. 1673-80, 1689-90, dep. lt. 1674-87; commr. for inquiry, Whittlewood and Salcey forests 1679; j.p. Northants. by 1680-Feb. 1688, 1689-d.1
Fermor was descended from a merchant of the staple who bought Easton Neston about 1530. The family first represented the county in 1553. Fermor’s father served as captain of horse in the royalist army for six months, and compounded for £1,400. He contested Brackley unsuccessfully in 1661, just before his death. Fermor stood for Northampton, where he had a ‘fair house’, at the first vacancy after he came of age; he was opposed by Lord Ibrackan (Henry O’Brien), but the other seat also became vacant and they were returned without a contest. He was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, serving on only 13 committees. He was added to the committee to consider defects in the Conventicles and Militia Acts in 1670. His name does not appear on any court list, but he was marked ‘vile’ by Shaftesbury in 1677. His most important committee was in the following year when he helped to summarize foreign commitments. When he was re-elected for Northampton, Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’, but he served on only one committee in the first Exclusion Parliament, that for prohibiting the import of Irish cattle, and was absent from the division on the bill. It is not known whether he stood again, nor was he active in local government, his chief interests being artistic. Nevertheless he was probably regarded as a court supporter, being granted a cattle market in Towcester and three annual fairs in 1684. But he did not appear to answer the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Acts and Penal Laws in 1687, and was removed from local office. He was reappointed after the Revolution, but after his third marriage he sat in the House of Lords as a Tory. He died on 7 Dec. 1711, and was buried at Easton Neston. His son was created Earl of Pontefract in 1721, but no later member of the family was elected to Parliament.2
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: E. R. Edwards
Survey of London, xxxiv. 513-14.