WITHER, Charles (1684-1731), of Oakley Hall, nr. Whitchurch, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. 24 July 1684, 1st s. of Charles Wither of Oakley Hall by Dorothy, da. of Sir William Smith, 1st Bt.†, of Redcliff, Bucks. educ. Balliol, Oxf. 1700; travelled abroad (Holland) 1706–7. m. 17 July 1707, Frances (d. 1752), da. of Thomas Wavell of Winchester, Hants, 1s. d.v.p. 4da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1697.1
Sheriff, Hants 1707; surveyor-gen. woods and forests 1720–d.2
The Wither family had been settled at Manydown in Hampshire since the late 14th century. Wither himself was descended from a junior branch whose fortunes had been made in the first half of the 17th century by George Wither, who bought the manor of Oakley Hall in the parish of Deane in 1620, subsequently adding to it estates in five other manors, and the advowsons of two churches. On his death in 1666 George Wither left the bulk of his property to his nephew, Wither’s grandfather, who was initially the rector of Deane, and then of Whitchurch. The neighbouring manor of Withford was added to the family estates by Wither’s father. Wither himself first showed an interest in entering Parliament in early 1707 when he investigated the possibility of standing for Stockbridge at the next general election. In April he secured the promise of support from the Whig Thomas Jervoise*, who had a significant interest in the borough. He was appointed sheriff of Hampshire in November 1707, but had given up the office by the end of the year, possibly owing to the opportunity which had arisen to enter Parliament following the death of John Shrimpton* in December. He duly contested Whitchurch in a by-election in January 1708, being seated on petition on 17 Feb. Soon after his return he was classed as a Whig in an analysis of Parliament undertaken before the dissolution. He did not stand at the ensuing general election. When, during the Walpole (Robert II) administration, he returned to Parliament, he voted consistently with the government Whigs. He died on 20 Nov. 1731, and was buried at Deane.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Ivar McGrath
- 1. Berry, Hants Gens. 257; R. F. B. Wither, Wither Fam. 69–70, 74.
- 2. Add. 36126, f. 256; Wither, 75.
- 3. VCH Hants, iv. 201, 206–7, 220; Hants RO, Jervoise mss, Wither to Jervoise, 8 Apr. 1707; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 317; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss, 48/179, 190, James Vernon I* to Duke of Shrewsbury, 20 Jan., 17 Feb. 1707–8; Wither, 19–22, 69–76; Berry, 257.