MONSON, Hon. William (1760-1807), of Ham Common, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1806 - 26 Dec. 1807

Family and Education

b. 15 Dec. 1760, 4th s. of John, 2nd Baron Monson, by Theodosia, da. of John Maddison of Stainton Vale, Lincs. educ. Eton 1769-74; Harrow 1774-5. m. 10 Jan. 1786 at Calcutta, Anne, da. of John Debonnaire, merchant, of Lisbon and Calcutta, 1s.

Offices Held

Ensign, 12 Ft. 1777; capt. 14 Ft. 1780, 52 Ft. 1785, maj. 1794; lt.-col. 76 Ft. 1797; col. and a.d.c. to the King 1805.


Monson served in India from 1780 until 1806. He distinguished himself in an attack on Seringapatam in 1792, during the war against Tipu Sultan. Lord Cornwallis, who would not have him as an a.d.c., also vetoed his appointment to the command of the nizam of Hyderabad’s army. In 1803 Lake put him in command of the first infantry brigade in the capture of Alleghur, during which he was wounded. A year later, sent by Lake to reconnoitre Holkar Ali’s movements, he had to make a disastrous retreat. Lake further employed him against the Mahrattas and he was second in command in the victory at Deig, 14 Nov. 1805. After leading the last unsuccessful attack on Bhurtpur, 21 Feb. 1806, he returned to England.1

The family interest at Lincoln had been in abeyance and Monson proposed to revive it, ostensibly standing as the ‘third man’, 25 Oct. 1806. His nephew Lord Monson withheld his consent, but was won over by Monson’s success, which was assisted by Earl Fitzwilliam, a member of the Grenville government.2 Monson was circularized by them to attend on 5 Jan. 1807, but wrote to Viscount Howick two days before that although it was his intention to support administration, ‘at present it is utterly impossible for me from my very ill state of health, to remove from my nephew’s Lord Monson’s where I am at present’.3 On 19 Mar. 1807 he was granted a month’s leave of absence for ill health. On 9 Apr. he voted for Brand’s motion following the dismissal of the Grenville ministry. After his unopposed return at the general election a month later, he assured the non-resident freemen ‘that I neither directly or indirectly gave my support to the Catholic bill, it was not consonant with my religious principles and would if the question had been further agitated, have received my decided negative’. He regretted that illness had prevented a personal canvass.4 It also prevented him from resuming his parliamentary career. He died 26 Dec. 1807. A company in the second Ceylon regiment was sold for the benefit of his widow and son, who in 1841 succeeded to the barony.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: J. W. Anderson / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. DNB; Cornwallis Corresp. i. 226.
  • 2. Fitzwilliam mss, box 70, Monson to Fitzwilliam, 6 Nov. 1806.
  • 3. Grey mss.
  • 4. Lincs. AO, Monson mss 22/D/I/4.