William Henry Lambton

William Henry Lambton (1764–1797) was a British Member of Parliament (MP) who represented the City of Durham in the House of Commons.

He was the son of Major-General John Lambton, who preceded him as the MP for Durham and the brother of Ralph John Lambton, who was also an MP for Durham. Lambton was educated at Wandsworth (1773-78), Eton School (1778-82) and Trinity College, Cambridge in 1782.

Lambton was a Freemason, and in 1788 was installed as the first Provincial Grand Master of Durham. The Durham cathedral organist, Thomas Ebdon, composed a march for the occasion.[1]

He inherited the estates of his father in 1794 and engaged the Italian architect Joseph Bonomi the Elder (1739-1808) to build a new house in neo-classical style on the site of Harraton Hall, north of the River Wear. The new house would be called Lambton Hall and the original Lambton Hall on the south side of the river demolished. However illness would prevent him from seeing the scheme finished.

He died of consumption on 30 November 1797, and was buried in the old English cemetery in Livorno, Italy. In 1791, Lambton had married Anne Barbara Frances Villiers, the daughter of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey. Their eldest son, John George inherited at the aged of 5 and was later made Earl of Durham .[2][3] He would finalise the building of Lambton Hall, now expanded in scope and renamed Lambton Castle.


  1. See 'Harmony and brotherly love: musicians and Freemasonry in 18th-century Durham City' by Simon Fleming in The Musical Times, 2008 (Autumn), 69–80
  2. Burkes Peerage (1939 edition), s.v. Durham.
  3. William Jerdan, National Portrait Gallery of Illustrious and Eminent Personages, 1833
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Major General John Lambton
John Tempest
Member of Parliament for Durham
With: John Tempest 1787–1794
Sir Henry Vane-Tempest 1794–1797
Succeeded by
Ralph John Lambton
Sir Henry Vane-Tempest
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