ROBARTS, William Tierney (c.1786-1820), of 49 Lower Grosvenor Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



26 Feb. 1818 - 9 Dec. 1820

Family and Education

b. c.1786, 4th s. of Abraham Robarts*, and bro. of Abraham Wildey Robarts*. unm.

Offices Held

Dir. Bank of England 1810-20.


Robarts was a merchant in Old Broad Street, London from about 1810, his banker father having bestowed £20,000 on him in his lifetime and a further £10,000 at his death in 1816. He was also a director of the Bank. Early in 1818 he offered on a vacancy at St. Albans, his uncle George Tierney* having obtained him the goodwill of Earl Spencer’s family. There was a contest, but he had more funds than his opponent. In his will, two years later, he left £25 each to six of his leading supporters in the borough to purchase rings in remembrance of his gratitude for their services. He also expressed his anxiety to enjoy the ‘good opinion and esteem’ of his family and universal benevolence.1

In Parliament Robarts, who is not known to have spoken, followed his uncle’s Whig line, like his eldest brother, who joined him after the election of 1818 (a third entered the House in 1820). On 5, 9, 10 and 11 Mar. 1818 he voted against indemnifying ministers for their conduct in suspending habeas corpus and on 13 and 15 Apr. against the ducal marriage grants. He paired against the Irish window tax, 21 Apr. and was inactive until the dissolution. He headed the poll and in the Parliament of 1818 resumed regular opposition, though his brother was an even better attender. He took Tierney’s line, though a director, on the Bank question. He favoured criminal law reform, 2 Mar. 1819, burgh and parliamentary reform, 1 Apr., 6 May, 1 July, and inquiry into charity abuses, 23 June. Allegedly he, and his brother, were opposed to Catholic relief, 3 May 1819.2 He voted against the restrictions on civil liberty until 15 Dec. 1819. He died 9 Dec. 1820.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. PCC 636 Wynne; Spencer mss, Lady to Ld. Spencer 19, 26, 27 Jan., 27 Feb. 1818; PCC 694 Kent.
  • 2. Morning Chron. 7 May 1819.