HARVEY, William (1714-63), of Chigwell, Essex
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Family and Education
All Harvey’s returns for Essex were unopposed. He was invariably classed as a Tory. While himself an independent country gentleman, Harvey was seeking promotion for his brothers: he tried to have Eliab made a K.C., and was offended when a junior barrister was preferred. Informing Newcastle of it, Lord Talbot wrote on 23 Jan. 1758 that he ‘wished that during the time whilst the constellation is in the ascendant, under the influence of which the Members of Tory counties may dare to receive marks of ministerial regard, that Mr. William Harvey might receive a favour and the Duke of Newcastle bestow it’; and when on 22 Apr. 1758 Newcastle reported the King’s approval of Eliab Harvey’s receiving silk, Talbot wrote the same day: ‘you have greatly obliged a very valuable family’.1
Harvey was closely connected with Fitzmarice and Bute, through whom he secured promotion for his brother Edward; and he appears in Henry Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.
He died 11 June 1763. Gilly Williams wrote to George Selwyn: ‘Will Harvey died of an apoplexy at Wanstead. He had hunted in the morning, and was in a boat on the water, talking to Mr. G. Grenville, when he was taken speechless, and expired presently.’2