William Cornwallis Cartwright

William Cornwallis Cartwright (24 November 1825 – 8 November 1915) was an art collector, author and a Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1885

Cartwright as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, July 1884


Cartwright was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Cartwright, Minister at Frankfurt and his wife Marie Elizabeth Augusta Von Sandizell daughter of the Count De Von Sandizell of Bavaria. He lived in Europe for many years. He was highly accomplished in ancient and mediaeval art and literature and authored several works. Cartwright was a J.P. and a Deputy Lieutenant for Northamptonshire and a J. P. for Oxfordshire.[1]

At the 1868 general election Cartwright was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Oxfordshire[2] and held the seat until 1885,[2] when it was divided under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885.

Stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal Unionist for Mid Northamptonshire in 1886.

Cartwright lived at Aynhoe Park where he had a copious library and art collection.[3] He died at the age of 89.

Cartwright married Clementine Gaul from Germany.[1] Their son Sir Fairfax Leighton Cartwright was a diplomat and his cousin Julia Cartwright Ady and her daughter Cecilia Mary Ady were historians who shared his interest in Italy.[4]


  • Papal Conclaves
  • Jesuits:Their Constitution and Teaching
  • Gustave Bergenroth A Memorial Sketch 1870


  1. ^ a b Debrett's House of Commons 1881
  2. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 443. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  3. ^ Dictionary of Art Historians Julia Cartwright Ady
  4. ^ Benjamin G. Kohl, ‘Ady, Cecilia Mary (1881–1958)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oct 2009 accessed 13 Nov 2016

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John North
John Fane
Joseph Warner Henley
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: John North 1868–1885
Joseph Warner Henley 1868–1878
Edward Vernon Harcourt 1878–1885
Constituency divided. See: