WHITMORE, William (c.1682-1725), of Lower Slaughter, Glos. and Apley Park, Salop.
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Family and Education
b. c.1682, 1st s. of Richard Whitmore of Lower Slaughter by Anne, da. of Sir John Weld† of Willey, Salop. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 16 Apr. 1698, aged 16. m. 13 Aug. 1707, Elizabeth, da. of his 1st cos. Roger Pope*, 7s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. c.1687; cos. Sir William Whitmore, 2nd Bt.*, at Apley 1699.1
Freeman, Bridgnorth 1705, Much Wenlock 1710, recorder Bridgnorth, 1716–d.2
As inheritor of the Apley estate Whitmore possessed a powerful interest at Bridgnorth, which he made use of himself at the earliest opportunity. He was admitted as a freeman of the borough in April 1705 and a month later was returned at the general election, replacing Sir Edward Acton*. He was described as a ‘Churchman’ in a list of the new Parliament, and Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) listed his election as a ‘gain’ for the Whigs. He voted for the Court candidate in the contest for the Speakership on 25 Oct. 1705 and acted as a teller on the Whig side in two divisions in the following December, the first on a motion to give the regency bill its first reading and the second on a motion for adjournment. On 7 Mar. 1707 he was given leave of absence for a month. His marriage in 1707 strengthened his family ties with the Popes of Bridgnorth and thus reinforced his influence in the borough. An inconspicuous back-bencher, he was given leave of absence again on 24 Feb. 1708 (for an indefinite period). Listed as a Whig twice in 1708, he was returned in the general election of that year without opposition, and was given leave on 20 Feb. 1710 (for a month). In 1710 he became the first member of his family to lose an election at Bridgnorth, when he and Sir Humphrey Briggs, 4th Bt.*, were narrowly defeated by two Tories. At the next election he took the precaution of standing not only at Bridgnorth but also at Wenlock, where his cousin George Weld II* had a powerful interest. He was returned for both constituencies without a contest, and chose to serve for Bridgnorth. He voted on 18 Mar. 1714 against the expulsion of Richard Steele, and was classed as a Whig in the Worsley list and two other lists of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments. In 1715 he was included in the county lieutenancy. He retained his seat at Bridgnorth, supporting the administration in Parliament, until his death on 24 May 1725.3