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Edward Willes (1723–1787)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The West Prospect of New-Place in East Barnet in the County of Hertford. A view of the house more generally known as Little Grove in East Barnet that Willes purchased in 1767.
The West Prospect of New-Place in East Barnet in the County of Hertford. A view of the house more generally known as Little Grove in East Barnet that Willes purchased in 1767.

Edward Willes (6 November 1723 – 14 January 1787)[1] was an English barrister, politician, and judge.

Early life and family

Willes was the second surviving son of Sir John Willes, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and his wife Margaret Brewster. He was the younger brother of John Willes MP.[2] Edward Willes (1702-1768), Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, was his second cousin.

Willes was educated at Worcester College, Oxford and at Lincoln's Inn where he was called to the bar in 1747, and became a bencher 1757.[2]

In 1752, he married Anne, the daughter of Rev. Edward Taylor of Sutton, Wiltshire. They had 3 sons.[2]

Little Grove

In 1767, Willes purchased Little Grove (now demolished) in East Barnet, the house built for John Cotton of the Middle Temple in 1719.[3] He commissioned Capability Brown to design the gardens.[4]


Willes became a King's Counsel in 1756, served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 1766 to 1768, and then became a justice of the Court of King's Bench from 1768 until his death in 1787, aged 63.[2]

He was a member of parliament (MP) for Old Sarum in 1747, for Aylesbury from 1747 to 1754, and for Leominster from 1767 to 1768.[2]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 3)
  2. ^ a b c d e Lea, R. S. (1970). R. Sedgwick (ed.). "WILLES, Edward (1723-87), of Lincoln's Inn, London". The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754. Boydell and Brewer. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  3. ^ Cass, Frederick Charles. (1885-92) East Barnet. London: Nichols. p. 113.
  4. ^ Little Grove (site of). London Gardens Online. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Old Sarum
May 1747 – July 1747
With: William Pitt
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
With: The Earl of Inchiquin
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Leominster
1767 – Feb 1768
With: Jenison Shafto
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Solicitor-General
Succeeded by

This page was last edited on 9 June 2019, at 23:27
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