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William Seymour Blackstone (1809-1881), Politician: MP for Wallingford

Sitter in 1 portrait
William Seymour Blackstone was the son of James Blackstone, barrister, and grandson of the legal writer William Blackstone. Elected as Conservative MP for Wallingford, Oxfordshire, in 1832, he served until 1852, when the constituency refused to re-adopt him. A staunch anti-Catholic, Blackstone defended the Corn Laws, and was one of the rebels who opposed Robert Peel over Free Trade in 1846. Blackstone fell into debt because of the costs of building a house. He spent some time in debtors' prison in Oxford, and his debts also contributed to the end of his political career.

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The House of Commons, 1833

by Sir George Hayter
oil on canvas, 1833-1843
On display in Room 20 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 54