DRAKE, William I (1723-96), of Shardeloes, nr. Amersham, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. 12 May 1723, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Montague Garrard Drake† of Shardeloes by Isabella, da. and h. of Thomas Marshall, merchant, of St. Michael Bassishaw, London. educ. Westminster 1738; Brasenose, Oxf. 1739; Grand Tour 1744-5. m. 9 Feb. 1747, Elizabeth, da. of John Raworth of Basinghall Street, London, dir. South Sea Co., 5s. 3da. suc. fa. 1728.
Drake, who again returned himself for the family pocket borough in 1790, presumably continued to give general support to government. It seems likely that he preserved the silence which he had apparently maintained during his previous 44 years in the House. All the Drake speeches recorded after 1790 have been assigned to his son, but their imprecise attribution in the reports of debates makes it impossible to be entirely confident on the point and it is conceivable that the elder man was responsible for some of them. Father and son were listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791. Drake, who was reckoned to be one of the richest commoners in England, retired from Parliament at the dissolution of 1796. He died 8 Aug. 1796.