Eden, William (1744-1814)

British politician and chief of intelligence operations.

Practiced law and published a book on penal law (1773). Undersecretary of state (1772-78). Member of Parliament for New Woodstock (1774-84) and Heytesbury (1784-93).

Strong supporter of war with America; adviser to Lord North. Lord of Trade (1776-82) and director of British intelligence operations. Commissioner for treating with the American colonies (1778-79). Commercial envoy to France (1785-88). Ambassador to Spain (1788-89) and Holland (1789-93).

Son of Sir Robert and Mary (Davison) Eden. Educated at Christ Church College, Oxford (B.A., 1765), and the Middle Temple. Married Eleanor Elliot in 1776; fourteen children. Created Baron Auckland in the Irish (1789) and British (1793) peerage.