WILLIAMS, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (c.1651-1704), of Llangibby Castle, Mon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1651, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Trevor Williams, 1st Bt.†, of Llangibby Castle by Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Morgan† of Machen, Mon., sis. of John Morgan I*; bro. of Sir Hopton Williams, 3rd Bt.* educ. Jesus, Oxf. matric. 28 May 1666, aged 15; G. Inn 1668, called 1680, ancient 1688. m. (1) Anne (d. by 1685), da. and coh. of Humphrey Baskerville of Pontrilas, Kentchurch, Herefs., s.p.; (2) Lady Catherine, da. of Philip Herbert†, 5th Earl of Pembroke, s.p.; 1da. illegit. by Elizabeth Pritchard of St. Paul’s, London. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 9 Dec. 1692.1
Williams may have been prevented by ill-health from standing for re-election in 1690, though it is equally possible that monetary considerations were uppermost. He had applied unsuccessfully in the summer of 1689 for a place on the excise board, and failed in an attempt two years later to carry on a farm of the lotteries, which was granted him in July 1691, through his inability to raise the requisite sum of £5,000 advance money by the following September. His father’s death was followed by some attempt to reorganize his estate and finances: a private Act to enable him to sell entailed property in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire in order to meet his debts was passed in the 1692–3 parliamentary session (John Arnold* taking an active role in its promotion); and at about this time a ‘Mr Jeffreys’ seems to have become involved in the management of his property. His own interest, combined with that of the Herbert family, was healthy enough for him to be set up as a candidate by local ‘Jacobites’ in 1695 against the Tory-turned-Whig Sir Charles Kemys, 3rd Bt.* Although he did not pursue his candidature to a contest, he secured as the price of withdrawal a promise, duly exacted in the following general election, of his own turn as knight of the shire.2
Returned in 1698 with his cousin John Morgan II, Williams was classified as a supporter of the Court in an analysis of the new Commons, perhaps inevitably so in respect of his parentage and connexions, and was subsequently blacklisted as having voted on 18 Feb. 1699 against the third reading of the disbanding bill. In 1700 he was listed as either doubtful or, perhaps, opposition, and in February 1701 was listed as likely to support the Court in a resolution of the supply committee to continue the ‘Great Mortgage’. His contribution to the business of the House is impossible to disentangle from that of his namesake Sir John Williams, knight of the shire for Herefordshire. However, it was certainly the Monmouthshire Member who was involved in two privilege cases in 1699, both of which indicated a continued financial insecurity: the first a complaint of his own, made on 9 Jan. and which he later withdrew on 8 Feb., against one Jane Hungerford, who had successfully reclaimed lands formerly purchased by Sir Trevor Williams but never paid for; the second a complaint against him by Sir Francis Child* and others, made on 25 Apr., arising from a dispute over an estate mortgaged by Williams himself which was the subject of a pending Chancery suit. His relationship with Morgan, which appears to have remained amicable as late as February 1700, may have deteriorated subsequently. Although they were chosen together as knights of the shire in November 1701 and August 1702, two separate indentures were filed.3
Williams made his will on 31 Oct. 1704, leaving his entire personal estate to his common law wife, Elizabeth Pritchard, also named as executrix. This included the proceeds from fines on his tenants estimated at £700, and a further £600 collected before 1693. His wife was paid the additional compliment of being requested to contribute from her jointure to the maintenance of his illegitimate daughter. His death was reported by Luttrell within a month, on 21 Nov.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Bradney, Mon. iii. 101, 110–11.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1689–90, p. 184; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1174–5, 1268, 1297, 1303, 1316, 1322; PCC 42 Gee; NLW, Penrice and Margam mss L298, Sir Charles Kemys to Thomas Mansel I*, 29 Oct. 1695; NLW, Kemys Tynte mss 389, John Arnold to Kemys, 10 Jan. 1700[–1].
- 3. CJ, xii. 462; Hist. Jnl. xxix. 567.
- 4. PCC 42 Gee; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 489.