Sir William Pulteney

1684 -- 1764

Sir William Pulteney Earl of Bath was educated at Westminster School & Christ Church, Oxford and inherited considerable property including the land upon which Great Pulteney Street is built. He entered parliament in 1705 and was an active Whig MP until 1734.

He was made secretary of War 1714 resigning office with Walpole, but in 1721 when Walpole returned as First Lord of the Treasury, he was mortified at not being offered the post, and in 1725 openly broke with him and joined Sir William Wyndham in forming new party of malcontent Whigs called "the patriots ".   As an MP for Middlesex (1734 – 42), he vigorously fanned the agitation against Spain which led to the downfall of Walpole’s government in1739.

In 1742 he was requested to form a government, but refused office, stipulating that he should be a member of Wilmington’s Cabinet.  Created Earl of Bath in the same year.  Buried in Westminster Abbey in 1764.

Chiefly remembered for his power as an orator.

Walpole said he "feared Pulteney’s tongue more that any man’s sword".

Check out the National Portrait Gallery's images of Sir William by Gillray.