WHITLOCK, Sir William (c.1636-1717), of Phyllis Court, Henley, Oxon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



14 Dec. 1689 - 1695
22 Nov. 1703 - 22 Nov. 1717

Family and Education

b. c.1636, 2nd s. of Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, M.P., of Fawley Court, Bucks. and Chilton, Wilts. but 1st s. by his 2nd w. Frances, da. of William Willoughby, 6th Baron Willoughby of Parham. educ. M. Temple 1647, called 1655, bencher 167I. m. 1671, Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Overbury of Bourton on the Hill, Glos., 5s. 8da. suc. fa. at Phyllis Court 1675. Kntd. 10 Apr. 1689.

Offices Held

K.C. 1689-95; Q.C. 1702-14.


Whitlock, a successful lawyer, began his career with ‘much the same principles with his father’,1 an eminent Cromwellian official, but subsequently became a high Tory. Returned unopposed for the University of Oxford in 1715, he was put down as ‘a recognised Jacobite’ in the list of that Parliament drawn up for George I, which describes him as being well heard by the House of Commons, ‘car il ne manque jamais de faire rire’. He spoke against the Address in March 1715, suggesting that the Whig ministry would start a new war and increase the land tax to 6s. in the pound. On 5 Apr. he desscribed the dissolution proclamation, urging the electors to choose as members ‘such as showed a firmness to the Protestant succession, when it was most in danger’, as ‘unprecedented and unwarrantable’. In August he, Shippen, Sir William Wyndham, and John Hungerford are described as the only Tory speakers against the impeachment of the late Tory ministers. ‘The others do not speak, though they vote, and a good many do not attend the House’.2 He also spoke against the septennial bill in April 1716. Known as ‘old shoe strings’,3 from his attachment to the fashions of a former age, he died 22 Nov. 1717, aged 81.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Hearne, Colls. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.) vi. 109.
  • 2. Egmont Diary, 9 Aug. 1715, Add. 47087.
  • 3. HMC Portland, vii. 231.