WALCOT, George (1667-1743), of London
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Family and Education
bap. 7 July 1667, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of John Walcot† of Walcot, Salop, and Beguildy, Rad. by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir George Clarke, Grocer, of London and Watford, Northants.; bro. of Humphrey Walcot*. m. 22 Aug. 1693, Catherine (d. 1724), da. of Richard Whitmore of Lower Slaughter, Glos., sis. of William Whitmore*, s.p.1
Freeman, Ludlow, common councilman 1712.2
After being apprenticed to a London merchant, Walcot engaged in trade in Spain and London. He became a stockholder in the New East India Company, and used some of his profits to acquire land in his ancestral county of Shropshire.3
After his brother John had put up unsuccessfully on the family interest at Bishop’s Castle in 1698, Walcot was returned there at the next election as a Tory, heading the poll. However, he faced a petition from the defeated candidate, Sir Gilbert Gerard, who accused him of bribery and other ‘corrupt practices’. The petition was rejected by the Commons on 13 May 1701, and during the debate
Sir Thomas Powys* commended Walcot’s family and their interest and . . . the Speaker [Robert Harley*] in his chair said that no imputation might be upon Walcot; that the borough was near him in his neighbourhood; that the Walcots were an ancient honourable family that would scorn such practices; that they did not want such an interest; that he knew Walcot was free from such practices.
Of the Speaker’s intervention Sir Richard Cocks, 2nd Bt.*, commented: ‘this was extraordinary’. Nine days later, Walcot’s father wrote to Harley to thank him
for your great kindness to my son . . . and more for the good character which you have given of myself and family. I shall always honour and serve you and command my children and their children . . . to honour and serve both you and yours in their generation.
Walcot, however, left little trace on the records of the House, being defeated at Bishop’s Castle in the second general election of 1701. His petition against the return of Charles Mason, a Whig, was decided on 31 Mar. 1702: Mason was unseated, but the committee had also resolved that Walcot was not elected, and after a division the House agreed. Walcot did not stand for Parliament again: his own property in the county had been seized by the crown in 1701 for payment of a debt of approximately £2,300 owed on customs duties (though two years later the Treasury granted a stay of process – on his paying £1,000 and ‘giving security for the remainder by £100 p.a.’ – in order to enable him to sell the estate); and his elder brother, Charles, had succeeded to Walcot on the death of their father in 1702, and it was he who represented the family interest at Bishop’s Castle in the 1705 election. Walcot died on 14 Dec. 1743.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. J. B. Burton, Walcot Fam. 77–78; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. ser. 2, ix. 54; IGI, Salop.
- 2. Salop RO, Ludlow bor. recs. min. bk. 1690–1712.
- 3. Burton, 77–78; HMC 10th Rep. I, 420; EHR, lxxi. 237; Cal. Treas. Bks. xix. 181–2.
- 4. Cocks diary, 124–5, 260–1; Add. 70268–9, John Walcot to Robert Harley, 22 May 1701; Cal. Treas. Bks. xviii. 7, 112, 303; xix. 181–2; xxv. 524; Burton, 71–72, 78.