Wyndham, Sir William, Bart
WYNDHAM, SIR WILLIAM, BART. (1687-1740), English politician, was the only son of Sir Edward Wyndham, Bart., and a grandson of William Wyndham (d. 1683) of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset, who was created a baronet in 1661. Educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, he entered parliament in 1710 and became secretary-at-war in the Tory ministry in 1712 and chancellor of the exchequer in 1713. He was closely associated with Lord Bolingbroke, and he was privy to the attempts made to bring about a Jacobite restoration on the death of Queen Anne; when these failed he was dismissed from office. In 1715 the failure of a Jacobite movement led to his imprisonment, but he was soon set at liberty. Under George I. Wyndham was the leader of the opposition in the House of Commons, fighting for his High Church and Tory principles against Sir Robert Walpole. He was in constant communication with the exiled Bolingbroke, and after 1723 the two were actively associated in abortive plans for the overthrow of Walpole. He died at Wells on the 17th of June 1740. Wyndham's first wife was Catherine, daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th duke of Somerset. By her he had two sons, Charles, who became 2nd earl of Egremont in 1750, and Percy, who took the name of O'Brien and was created earl of Thomond in 1756.
The Wyndham Family, Sir John Wyndham, a Norfolk man, was knighted after the battle of Stoke in 1487 and beheaded for high treason on the 2nd of May 1502. He married Margaret, daughter of John Howard, duke of Norfolk, and his son Sir Thomas Wyndham (d. 1521), of Felbrigg, Norfolk, was viceadmiral of England under Henry VIII. By his first wife Sir Thomas was ,the father of Sir John Wyndham, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Sydenham of Orchard, Somerset, and founded the Somerset branch of the family, and also of Sir Edmund Wyndham of Felbrigg, who was sheriff of Norfolk at the time of Robert Ket's rebellion. By his second wife Sir Thomas was the father of the seaman Thomas Wyndham (c. 1510-1553), an account of whose voyage to Morocco in 1552 is printed in Hakluyt's Voyages.
From Sir John Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham was descended Thomas Wyndham (1681-1745), lord chancellor of Ireland from 1726 to 1739, who in 1731 was created Baion Wyndham of Finglass, a title which became extinct on his death. His nephew, Henry Penruddocke Wyndham (1736-1819), the topographer, wrote A Gentleman's Tour through Monmouthshire and Wales in June and July 1774 (1775); and Wiltshire from Domesday Book, with a Translation of the Original Latin into English (Salisbury, 1788).
Sir John Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham was also the ancestor of the Windhams of Felbrigg, who adopted this form of spelling the family name, the most noteworthy members of which were the statesman William Windham (<?..), and Sir Charles Ash Windham (1810-1870), a soldier who commanded in the Crimea and in the Indian Mutiny.
The Wyndhams are also connected through a female line with the family of Wyndham-Quin, which holds the earldom of Dunraven. Valentine Richard Quin (1752-1824), of Adare, county Limerick, was created Baron Adare on the union with England in 1800, and earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl in 1822. His son, the 2nd earl (1782-1850), married Caroline (d. 1870), daughter and heiress of Thomas Wyndham of Dunraven Castle, Glamorganshire, and took the name of Wyndham-Quin. Their son, the 3rd earl (1812-1871), who was created a peer" of the United Kingdom as Baron Kenry in 1866, was a well-known man of science, especially interested in archaeology. His son, Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin (b. 1841), the 4th earl, was undersecretary for the colonies in 1885-1887, and became later a prominent figure in Irish politics, as chairman of the Irish Land Conference and president of the Irish Reform Association; he was also prominent as a yachtsman, competing for the America cup (see YACHTING) in 1893 an< i 1895.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)