SCOTT, Hon. William (1794-1835), of 11 Grafton Street, Piccadilly, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1826 - 1 Mar. 1830

Family and Education

b. 23 Mar. 1794, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir William Scott*, 1st Bar. Stowell (d. 1836), and 1st w. Anna Maria, da. and h. of John Bagnall of Erleigh Court, nr. Reading, Berks. educ. Eton 1808-11; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1812. unm. d.v.p. 26 Nov. 1835.

Offices Held


Scott, who was described by Joseph Farington in 1817 as ‘a heavy indolent young man ... who would lay in bed for a fortnight’,1 never threatened to emulate his distinguished father, a judge in the admiralty court, who was created Lord Stowell in 1821. He was in Scotland when a relative on Newcastle corporation nominated him for his father’s native borough at the 1820 general election, and he arrived on the scene half an hour after his name had been withdrawn, following one day’s polling.2 He was returned unopposed for Sir Mark Wood’s† pocket borough of Gatton in 1826. He made no mark in the House, where he is not known to have contributed to debate. It is unclear whether it was he or his cousin William Henry John Scott, lord chancellor Eldon’s son, who divided against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827. He voted against repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. In January 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, suggested him as a possible mover or seconder of the address.3 The following month Planta listed him as being ‘opposed to the principle’ of Catholic emancipation, and he voted accordingly, 6, 18, 27, 30 Mar. He was in the minority for the issue of a new writ for East Retford, 2 June 1829. His name does not appear in the lists compiled by the Ultra Tory leader Sir Richard Vyvyan* that autumn. It is uncertain whether it was he or his cousin who voted for Knatchbull’s amendment to the address on distress, 4 Feb. 1830. He vacated his seat soon afterwards.

Although Scott was the heir to his father’s considerable fortune, their relationship was ‘unexceptionable’ and Stowell ‘would not make him a sufficient allowance to enable him to marry’. His congenitally ‘intemperate habits increased under the disappointment’, and his health eventually collapsed. By October 1835 he was ‘in a hopeless state’, while Stowell was now non compos mentis and oblivious to his plight. On 25 Nov. Lord Sidmouth, the second husband of Scott’s only sister Marianne, told Eldon that ‘the vital powers are nearly exhausted and not likely ... to hold out another day’. He died v.p. in November 1835, and Stowell remained ‘unconscious of what has passed’ until his own death two months later, when the title became extinct.4 Administration of Scott’s effects, which were sworn under £40,000, was granted to Sidmouth and another of Stowell’s executors, 12 Mar. 1836. This grant was revoked by interlocutory decree after there came to light a ‘small piece of paper’, dated 1 Feb. 1821, on which Scott had devised all his property to his sister in the event of his death ‘before marriage and without children’; administration was duly granted to Lady Sidmouth, 22 July 1837. She also inherited the bulk of Lord Stowell’s estate.5

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Farington Diary, xiv. 4995.
  • 2. Newcastle Pollbook (1820), pp. vii-ix.
  • 3. Add. 40398, f. 87.
  • 4. W.E. Surtees, Lords Stowell and Eldon, 143; Twiss, Eldon, iii. 251-2; Gent. Mag. (1836), i. 430.
  • 5. PROB 6/212/185; 11/1859/190; 1882/567; Twiss, iii. 254-5.