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William Aislabie (1700–1781)


William Aislabie (1700–1781)

William Aislabie (1700–17 May 1781) was the son of John Aislabie.

He was first elected as Member of Parliament for Ripon on 17 May 1721 and served continuously until his death in 1781, a period of 60 years 47 days,[1] reaching the position of Father of the House of Commons in 1768. His record for longest unbroken service at the Commons was only superseded more than 100 years after his death by the record 63 years achieved by Charles Pelham Villiers at Wolverhampton.

In the immediate aftermath of his father's disgrace for his connection with the South Sea Bubble, Aislabie's brother John Aislabie Jr. had served as a member of Parliament from Ripon. William Aislabie actually directly succeeded his uncle of the same name as a MP for Ripon. Part of the time he was MP for Ripon the other MP was his cousin, also named William Aislabie.[2] In 1738 Aislabie was also appointed one of the Auditors of the Impress.[3]

Aislabie married firstly, in about 1722, Lady Elizabeth Cecil (1706–1733) the daughter of the 6th Earl of Exeter, with whom he had two sons and two daughters, and secondly, on 6 September 1745, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Charles Vernon of Farnham, Surrey, with whom he had one son and one daughter. None of his sons survived him.[1]

On his father's death in 1742 he inherited the Studley estate and in 1768 he purchased the Fountains estate for £16,000.[4]

Aislabie also spent large amounts of energy developing gardens on his various estates.


  1. ^ a b [1] History of Parliament Online article by A.N. Newman.
  2. ^ Beatson, Robert. A chronological register of both houses of the British Parliament, from the union in 1708, to the third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1807 (Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, 1807) p. 242
  3. ^ Bean, William Wardell. The parliamentary representation of the six northern counties of England: Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Westmoreland, and Yorkshire, and their cities and boroughs. From 1603, to the general election of 1886. With lists of members and biographical notices (C. H. Bramwell, 1890) p. 1026
  4. ^ Coppack, Glen (1993). Fountains Abbey. B. T. Batsford Ltd / English Heritage. p. 105.  
  • Roots web article on Aislabie
  • Parks and Gardens web site
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Aislabie
William Aislabie (elder)
Member of Parliament for Ripon
1721 – 1781
With: William Aislabie (elder) to 1722
John Scrope 1722–27
William Aislabie (3) 1727–34
Thomas Duncombe 1734–41
Hon. Henry Vane 1741–47
Sir Charles Vernon 1747–61
William Lawrence 1761–68
Charles Allanson 1768–75
William Lawrence 1775–80
Frederick Robinson from 1780
Succeeded by
Frederick Robinson
William Lawrence
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