Paget, William (1637-1713) (DNB00)

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PAGET, WILLIAM, sixth Lord Paget (1637–1713), born on 10 Feb. 1637, was eldest son of William, fifth baron Paget [q. v.] In 1656 he was allowed to travel abroad (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1655–6, p. 577). He took his seat in the House of Lords on 25 Nov. 1678, and in 1681 signed the petition against the parliament being held at Oxford. He was present at the trial of Edward Fitzharris [q. v.] in 1681 (Luttrell, Brief Historical Relation, i. 95), and at that of the seven bishops on 29 June 1688. In November 1683 he was a witness in favour of Algernon Sidney (ib. i. 290), and in February 1684 was a witness for John Hampden the younger [q. v.] (ib. i. 298). On the landing of the Prince of Orange he was one of the peers who petitioned the king to call a ‘free parliament.’ He subsequently voted for the vacancy of the throne, and for settling the crown on the Prince and Princess of Orange. On their accession he was, in March 1688–9, constituted lord lieutenant of Staffordshire (ib. i. 513), and in the following September was appointed ambassador at Vienna (ib. i. 578). He remained there, with the exception of a brief visit to England in the summer of 1692, till February 1693, when, being appointed ambassador-extraordinary to Turkey, he travelled through Hungary and the Turkish territories to Constantinople (ib. vols. ii. and iii.). By his prudent negotiations the treaty of peace between the imperialists, the Poles, and the Turks was signed at Carlowitz on 26 Jan. 1699; and, soon after, the peace between Muscovy, the State of Venice, and the Turks. He made himself so popular in Turkey that the sultan and grand vizier wrote to William III in March, thanking him for his mediation, and asking that Paget might not be recalled as he urgently desired (ib. iv. 464, 492). Much against his will, Paget consented to stay. He finally quitted the Turkish court at Adrianople in May 1702, laden with presents; and, reaching Vienna in July, stayed there till towards the end of November, to adjust a dispute between the emperor and the grand seignior concerning the limits of their respective territories in the province of Bosnia. Having settled the matter, he had audience of leave of the emperor and empress, who gave him several rich gifts, and went in December to the court of Bavaria to offer England's mediation in adjusting the differences between the prince and the emperor (ib. v. 252). He arrived in London in April 1703 (ib. v. 287), and presented Queen Anne with twelve fine Turkish horses, which the grand seignior had given him (ib. v. 288). On 24 June he was reappointed lord lieutenant of Staffordshire. In January 1705 Paget was again gazetted ambassador extraordinary to the emperor, in order to compose some fresh differences between him and the Porte (ib. v. 512). He died at his house in Bloomsbury Square, London, on 26 Feb. 1713, and was buried in the church of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. He married Frances (d. 1749), daughter of Francis, younger son of Robert Pierrepont, earl of Kingston, by whom he had issue two sons—William, who died unmarried in his father's lifetime; and Henry, his successor, created Earl of Uxbridge, who is noticed separately.

Paget's despatches and letters, 1689–1700, are in Additional MS. 8880; his instructions as ambassador to Turkey, 1692, are in Egerton MS. 918, which also contains letters and papers from him to Lord Shrewsbury, Sir R. Southwell, and others, dated 1693–4. Copies of his credentials and instructions, dated 1692 and 1698, will be found in Additional MSS. 28939 and 28942. An account of his extraordinary expenses in Turkey from 1693 until 1695 is in Additional MS. 33054, f. 30. He maintained a correspondence with Sir W. D. Colt in 1690–1, preserved in Additional MS. 34095; and addressed a letter (Addit. MS. 21551, f. 8) to George Stepney, his temporary successor at Vienna, in 1701.

Paget's portrait, a half-length miniature, dated 1665, belongs to Lieutenant-colonel Leopold Paget.

[Collins's Peerage, 1812, v. 189–91; will registered in P. C. C. 66, Leeds; Luttrell's Brief Historical Relation, ii. 485, 499, 527, 552, 556, iii. 7, 189, 476, iv. 208, 459, 718, v. 52, 80, 210, 218; Cat. of First Exhibition of National Portraits at South Kensington (1866), p. 148.]

G. G.