BOUGHTON, Sir William, 4th Bt. (1663-1716), of Lawford Hall, Newbold-on-Avon, Warws.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
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31 Jan. 1712 - 1713

Family and Education

bap. 15 May 1663, o. s. of Sir William Boughton, 3rd Bt., of Lawford Hall by Mary (d. 1693), da. of Hastings Ingram of Little Woolford.  educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf., matric. 1681.  m. (1) lic. 28 Feb. 1685, Mary (d. 1692), da. of John Ramsay, alderman, of London, 1s. 3da. (2 d.v.p.); (2) settlement 10 Aug. 1700, Catherine (d. 1725), da. of Sir Charles Shuckburgh, 2nd Bt.*, of Shuckburgh, Warws., 5s. (3 d.v.p.) 3da.  suc. fa. as 4th Bt. 12 Aug. 1683.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Warws. 1688–9.


Of an ancient lineage long settled on the borders of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, Boughton was ‘far greater in personal worth than pedigree’, an exemplar of ‘provident’ fatherhood, neighbourliness, hospitality and charity, at least according to the memorial inscription erected by his wife. These gentlemanly attributes had in fact been tempered in later life by a fondness for the bottle. His uncle, Sir Edward Boughton†, 2nd Bt., had represented Warwickshire, albeit inactively, in the two Exclusion Parliaments. He himself came into the baronetcy and family estates in the last years of his minority, and by his later twenties had already held the shrieval office, while in 1701 he was added to the lieutenancy. His second marriage to a daughter of Sir Charles Shuckburgh, 2nd Bt.*, allied him to one of the most prominent Tory families in the county. Another Tory family with whom he was in friendly association was his near neighbours, the Caves of Stanford: Boughton’s will mentions a loan of £4,000 which he had at some point made to Sir Thomas Cave, 3rd Bt.* In the summer of 1710 Boughton entertained Dr Sacheverell at Lawford Hall, and in October appeared in support of the ‘Church candidates’ in the Coventry election. He was elected unopposed for the county at the by-election of January 1712, the year in which he was said to have refused a peerage, the offer possibly connected with the proposed ‘mass’ creation of Tory peers at that time. Later in the year his son and heir, Edward, was nominated high sheriff. The only record of any parliamentary activity whatsoever was his vote on 18 June 1713 in favour of the French commerce bill. His wife in her inscription to his memory nevertheless provided a glowing account of his service ‘in the parliament of Q[ueen] Anne renowned for peace, where his steady and untainted principles, loyalty to his sovereign and zeal for the established Church of England eminently distinguished him’. He stood down in 1713. The final months of his life were clouded by tragedy. A disagreement within the family had distanced him from his younger daughter by his first wife, who in consequence went to reside in Lancashire with her elder sister and her brother-in-law, Sir Henry Hoghton, 5th Bt.*, where soon afterwards she died. Hearing the news in January 1716 Boughton fell ill with ‘convulsions’ and probably never recovered his health, dying on 22 July. Sir Thomas Cave attended the interment at Newbold and wrote shortly afterwards: ‘I accompanied poor Sir Will[ia]m to the entrance of his Elysium, where I wished him a peaceful repose.’2

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. IGI, Warws.; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. lxii), 114; Nichols, Leics. iv. 302–3; Dugdale, Warws. 101; B. G. F. C. W. Boughton-Leigh, Mems. of a Warws. Fam. 60–61; NRA Rep. 9002, p. 111; Verney Letters 18th Cent. ii. 39.
  • 2. Dugdale, 98; Nichols, 302–3; CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 252; Verney Letters 18th Cent. 17, 39, 43, 44; G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 245; G. Holmes and W. A. Speck, Divided Soc. 71; PCC 158 Fox.