Haldimand, William (DNB00)
HALDIMAND, WILLIAM (1784–1862), philanthropist, was the son of Anthony Francis Haldimand (1741–1817), a London merchant, nephew and heir of Sir Frederick Haldimand [q. v.] He was one of twelve children, most of whom died young, and was born in London 9 Sept. 1784. After receiving a plain English education he entered at sixteen his father's counting-house, showed a great talent for business, and at twenty-five became a director of the Bank of England. He was a warm advocate of the resumption of specie payments, and gave evidence in the parliamentary inquiry which led to the act of 1819. In 1820 he was elected M.P. for Ipswich, and was re-elected in 1826, but the return being disputed he gave up the seat. In 1828 he settled permanently at his summer villa, Denantou, near Lausanne. He took a great interest in Greek independence, sending the insurgents 1,000l. by his nephew, and guaranteeing Admiral Cochrane 20,000l. for the equipment of a fleet. A visit to Aix-les-Bains for his health resulted in his erecting there in 1829 a hospital for poor patients. The municipality gave it his name, but after the annexation of Savoy to France it was styled the Hortense Hospital, Queen Hortense having, however, merely endowed some beds in it. Large purchases of French rentes, made with a view of strengthening the new Orleans dynasty, involved Haldimand in considerable losses, but his liberality remained unabated. He gave 24,000l. for a blind asylum at Lausanne, and 3,000l. towards the erection of an Anglican church at Ouchy. Inclined to radicalism in politics, and to scepticism in religion, he nevertheless exerted himself in favour of the free church in Vaud, threatened with state persecution. He died at Denantou 20 Sept. 1862. He was unmarried, and bequeathed 20,000l., the bulk of his remaining property, to the blind asylum at Lausanne. In 1857 he presented to the British Museum Addit. MSS. 21631–895, which include his great-uncle's official correspondence.
[W. de la Rive's Vie de Haldimand; A. Hartmann's Gallerie berühmter Schweizer.]