Windham, William (wĭnˈdəm) [key], 1750–1810, British politician. Elected to Parliament in 1784, he was a friend of Edmund Burke, whom he assisted in the impeachment of Warren Hastings. He served (1794–1801) as secretary for war under William Pitt, resigning with Pitt when the king prevented Catholic Emancipation. He was secretary of state for war and colonies (1806–7) in the ministry of Lord Grenville. His political career was not outstanding, but his influence on leading politicians was great, and his written record is an important source for the period.
See his diary for the years 1784–1810 (ed. by C. A. Baring, 1866); The Windham Papers (1913).
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