William Dowdeswell d.1684
William DOWDESWELL d.1684
Born at Pull Court, Bushley, Worcestershire, son of Richard Dowdeswell, landowner, lawyer and MP for Tewkesbury. The family had been augmenting their gentry status for several generations and although other 17th and 18th century members of the family are recorded as having studied at Oxford this William seems not to have been educated there. Both his father and son were MPs, but the History of Parliament notes that he himself “seems to have taken no part in national politics”.
Dowdeswell’s probate inventory includes “books in the study” valued at £10, a very small proportion of a total estate valued at £5569. Several 18th-century members of the family used a bookplate (Franks 8960-3) and it seems likely that such books as the family possessed from the 17th century onwards passed down the generations, although we do not know to what extent there may have been early dispersals. There is no specific mention of books in the will of William, or his father Richard; they would be included with the household effects passed on to the eldest son.
None of Dowdeswell’s books have been identified.
- William Dowdeswell's will, The National Archives PROB 11/376/372.
- Henning, B. The House of Commons 1660-1690, London, 1983.
- Wanklyn, M. (ed), Inventories of Worcestershire landed gentry, 1637-1786, 1998, 237.