WHITMORE, Sir William, 2nd Bt. (1637-99), of Apley Park, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 30 Mar. 1699

Family and Education

b. 6 Apr. 1637, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Whitmore, 1st Bt.†, of Apley Park by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir William Acton, 1st Bt., ld. mayor of London 1640.  educ. M. Temple 1652.  m. 24 Nov. 1658 (with £10,000), Mary (d. 1711), da. of Eliab Harvey, merchant, of Lawrence Pountney Hill, London, s.psuc. fa. as 2nd Bt. May 1653.1

Offices Held

Dep.-gov. Shrewsbury Castle June 1660; freeman, Ludlow 1690.2


The Whitmores, who had been established in Shropshire since at least the 14th century, owned much of Bridgnorth itself and extensive estates in the vicinity, their seat at Apley lying three miles to the north. They enjoyed considerable influence over elections in the borough, and Whitmore followed both his grandfather and father as Member, holding the seat without interruption from 1661 until his death, and only once (in February 1679) being put to the trouble of a contest.

Coming from a Royalist family, Whitmore had at first supported the Court, but from the time of the Exclusion crisis until the Revolution had been in opposition, albeit not wholeheartedly. As far as is known, he never made a speech in Parliament. He was listed as Tory and as a probable Court supporter in March 1690 by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†), and in December 1690 the lord president classed him as a likely ally in expectation of an attack on his own position in the Commons. The following April, however, Robert Harley classed him as a Country party supporter. He was given leave of absence on 15 Feb. 1694 to recover his health and again on 19 Mar. 1695 for a fortnight. It is possible that he subscribed £900 to the war loan in November 1694. Re-elected in 1695, he was forecast as likely to oppose the government in the division over the council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696. He signed the Association promptly but voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March and on 25 Nov. 1696 against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Whitmore was given further leaves of absence on 4 Mar. 1697 and 10 Feb. 1698, on the latter occasion in order to recover his health. Not surprisingly, in 1698 he was forecast as likely to oppose a standing army and was classed as a Country party supporter.3

Whitmore died on 30 Mar. 1699, possessed of ‘a great estate in land’, which was estimated as being worth over £5,000 p.a. and which passed to his cousin William Whitmore*. The baronetcy became extinct.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes, ed. Crisp, xiii. 6–7; HMC 5th Rep. 145; St. Peter le Poer, London par. reg.
  • 2. HMC 5th Rep. 168; Salop RO, Ludlow bor. recs. adm. of freemen.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 907–8.
  • 4. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 500; Post Boy, 1–4 Apr. 1699; Verney Letters 18th Cent. i. 36.