MORE, Sir William, 2nd Bt. (c.1644-84), of Loseley, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1644, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Poynings More, 1st Bt.†, of Loseley by Elizabeth, da. of Sir William Fytch of Woodham Walter, Essex, wid. of Christopher Rous of Henham, Suff. educ. G. Inn 1661. m. 18 Feb. 1663, Mary, da. and h. of Sir Walter Hendley, 1st Bt., of Cuckfield, Suss., s.p. suc. fa. 11 Apr. 1649.1
Cornet of vol. horse, Surr. July 1660, commr. for assessment 1661-80; freeman, Guildford 1662; j.p. and dep. lt. Surr. 1675-d., commr. for recusants 1675, rebuilding of Southwark 1677. lt. of militia horse by 1680-d.2
More’s ancestors acquired Loseley by purchase in 1508, and first sat for the county in 1539. The family fortunes dwindled, however, under More’s father, who represented Haslemere in the Long Parliament. An elder of the Guildford classis, he did not sit after Pride’s Purge, but he was never noticeably partisan in either religion or politics. As a volunteer officer in 1660, More himself presumably supported the Restoration; but he did not actively participate in Surrey politics until 1675, when he contested a by-election at Haslemere. As lord of the manor he controlled the local charity, and easily defeated the carpet-bagging official, Sir Philip Lloyd. In the Cavalier Parliament he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges for the next session. His reliability was queried by Sir Richard Wiseman, but Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’ in 1677. By 1678 he was regarded by the Court as a government supporter, but on 11 Dec. he defaulted on a call of the House.3
More was re-elected with his uncle, James Gresham, defeating Francis Dorrington, an exclusionist. Again classed as ‘vile’ by Shaftesbury, he was given leave to go into the country on 12 Apr. 1679, was appointed to only one minor committee, and was absent from the division on the exclusion bill. He was not blacklisted by the country party among the ‘unanimous club’, and in the autumn election he was returned with Denzil Onslow. But he was unseated in Dorrington’s favour without taking any known part in the second Exclusion Parliament. He regained his seat in 1681 with another court supporter, George Woodroffe, but left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. With Woodroffe and Gresham he presented an address in May thanking the King for his declaration justifying the dissolution of Parliament.4
As a justice of the peace More acted against conventicles until his death on 24 July 1684 in his 41st year, childless and in debt. In his will he named Gresham as one of his executors and directed that ‘none of the Onslows ... shall be chosen trustees’ of the Haslemere charity. His heir was a clergyman, and no other member of the family entered Parliament. But Loseley eventually passed by marriage to a branch of the Molyneux family, two of whom sat for Haslemere from 1754 to 1776 as government supporters.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: J. S. Crossette
- 1. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 397; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 60.
- 2. HMC 7th Rep. 679; Surr. RO (Guildford), LM 678, 1000, 1002.
- 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 278; Manning and Bray, Surr. i. 657.
- 4. HMC 7th Rep. 680; Manning and Bray, i. 97; London Gazette, 26 May 1681.
- 5. HMC 7th Rep. 679; PCC 24 Cann.