TAYLOR, Joseph (?1679-1759), of Stanmore, Mdx. and the Inner Temple.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



28 Jan. - 9 May 1727
1727 - 1734

Family and Education

b. ?1679 (aft. 16 Sept.), prob. posth. s. of Joseph Taylor of Queen St., London, merchant and draper, by his 2nd w. Hannah Rolt.1 educ. M. Temple 1697; I. Temple, called 1707. ?unm. s.p. legit. suc. fa. at birth.

Offices Held

Clerk of Bridewell and Bethlehem Hospitals 1707-d.


Taylor, a Tory lawyer, was described in 1712 as ‘the solicitor, clerk of Bridewell, our Dean’s creature’,2 i.e. of Francis Atterbury, then dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and preacher at Bridewell. He acted as counsel to Lord Oxford during his impeachment in 1715; and was also legal adviser and executor to Edward Gibbon’s father,3 on whose interest he contested Petersfield as a Tory unsuccessfully in 1722. Returned for it at a by-election in 1727, but unseated on petition, he was re-elected unopposed at the general election of that year, voting against the Government. On 23 Feb. 1733 he spoke against Walpole’s motion to issue £500,000 out of the sinking fund towards the supply for the coming year, saying

there were some people, the more they owed, the more advantage they made, and the richer they might be reckoned; these were the bankers or goldsmiths of London. But he much doubted if that could possibly be the case of the nation. He believed the more the nation owed the poorer it was and the longer it owed the poorer it would grow.

Consulted by Lord Chesterfield (Philip Dormer Stanhope) as to the means of securing payment of a legacy of £50,000 left to his wife by her reputed father, George I, whose son, George II, had suppressed the will, he is said to have achieved this object by threatening to bring the matter before the ecclesiastical court.4

The Petersfield seat was taken by Edward Gibbon in 1734 and Taylor did not stand again. He died 19 May 1759, aged about 80, leaving his estate to his ‘kinswoman, Mrs. Charlotte Williamson who lives with me’, probably the sister of another legatee, William Williamson, ‘formerly my clerk and now [1741] at Carolina’, who is described by the 1st Lord Egmont as Taylor’s ‘bastard son ... bred an attorney’.5

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Lic. Vic.-Gen. 1660-79 (Harl. Soc. xxiii), 293; PCC 168 King.
  • 2. HMC Portland, vii. 87.
  • 3. Letters of Edw. Gibbon, i. 232, 236 and app. III.
  • 4. Stuart mss 160/46.; R. Glover, Mems. 55-56 n.
  • 5. PCC 217 Arran; HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 65.