William Southwell

William Southwell (1669 – 23 January 1720)[1] was an Irish politician and British Army officer.


He was the third son of Richard Southwell of Castle Matrix, Co. Limerick, and his wife Lady Elizabeth O'Brien, daughter of Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin.[2] His older brothers were Thomas Southwell, 1st Baron Southwell and Richard Southwell.[3] During the Glorious Revolution of 1689, he and his brother were attainted by the parliament of King James II of England.[4]


Southwell entered the British Army under King William III of England in 1693.[5] During the Nine Years' War, he was wounded at the 2nd Siege of Namur in 1695 and was afterwards promoted to captain.[5] In the War of the Spanish Succession, he took part in the Battle of Cádiz and Battle of Vigo Bay as major of the 6th Foot in 1702.[6] He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel a year later.[6] Southwell commanded four hundred grenadiers in the 1st Siege of Barcelona in 1705 and was made colonel of the 6th Regiment of Foot the following year.[5] He sold his colonelcy to Thomas Harrison in 1708 and was appointed captain of the Battleaxe Guards in 1714, protecting the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.[5]

He was elected to the Irish House of Commons for Kinsale in 1703, representing the constituency until 1713.[7] Subsequently Southwell sat for Castlemartyr until 1715 and then for Baltimore until his death in 1720.[7]


In 1709, he married Lucy Bowen, younger daughter of William Bowen,[8] of Ballyadams, Co. Laois, a grandson of Sir William Domville, Attorney General for Ireland. By her he had six sons and nine daughters.[4] His third son, and eventual heir, Bowen was a Member of Parliament for Downpatrick.[3]


  1. Johnston-Liik, Edith Mary (2006). MPs in Dublin: Companion to History of the Irish Parliament 1692–1800. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 125. ISBN 1-903688-60-4.
  2. Burke, John (1863). Bernhard Burke, ed. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. vol. II. London: Harrison. p. 1738.
  3. 1 2 "ThePeerage - William Southwell". Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  4. 1 2 Lodge, John (1789). Mervyn Archdall, ed. The Peerage of Ireland or A Genealogical History of the Present Nobility of that Kingdom. vol. VI. Dublin: James Moore. pp. 17–18.
  5. 1 2 3 4  "Southwell, Thomas (1667-1720)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. P. 304.
  6. 1 2 Cannon, Richard; Arthur Tupper (1836). Historical Records of the British Army. London: William Clowes and Sons. p. 108.
  7. 1 2 "Leigh Rayment - Irish House of Commons 1692-1800". Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  8. Franks, August Wollaston; Edward Gambier (1904). Catalogue of British and American Book Plates. vol. III. London: William Clowes and Sons. p. 61.
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Edward Southwell
James Weller
Member of Parliament for Kinsale
With: Henry Hawley
Succeeded by
Henry Hawley
Edward Southwell
Preceded by
Robert FitzGerald
St John Brodrick
Member of Parliament for Castlemartyr
With: Robert Oliver
Succeeded by
Bartholomew Purdon
Charles Coote
Preceded by
Richard Barry
Michael Beecher
Member of Parliament for Baltimore
With: Michael Beecher
Succeeded by
Sir Percy Freke, 2nd Bt
Michael Beecher
Military offices
Preceded by
James Rivers
Colonel of the 6th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Thomas Harrison
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