ORME, Thomas (c.1637-1716), of Hanch Hall, Longdon, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1637, 1st s. of William Orme of Hanch Hall by Anne, da. of Thomas Brudenell of Staunton Wivell, Leics. educ. Hart Hall, Oxf. 1657. m. Eleanor (d. 20 Jan. 1692), da. and coh. of William Marshall, citizen, of London, 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1665.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Staffs. 1677-80, capt. of militia horse by 1677-?85, j.p. 1687-9; ensign, Hon. Artillery Co., London c.1687.2

Corporal, yeomen of the guard 1684-7; gent. pens. 1687-?Sept. 1688, by 1692-?1707.3

Capt. Princess Anne’s Ft. 1685-Sept. 1688, Dec. 1688-9.4


Orme’s family acquired gentry status only in the late 16th century, and his grandfather, a grazier, seems to have been the first to reside at Hanch Hall, three miles from Lichfield. His father, also described as a grazier, was imprisoned as a Royalist, sequestrated for four years and fined £558. ‘A great sufferer’, with total losses estimated at £6,000, he was still ‘monied’ after the Restoration, with an estate of £500 p.a., and was described as ‘very orthodox, and always very loyal; an able, prudent man’.5

Orme seems to have impaired his fortune by misusing his position as a trustee. After Lord Nottingham (Heneage Finch) had decided a Chancery suit against him, he was made corporal in the yeomen of the guard; but he stood for Lichfield as a country Tory in 1685. He joined forces with the courtier Robert Leveson on a guarantee of his expenses, which totalled £300, but his colleague did not fulfil the undertaking. An inactive Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed only to the committee for repealing a clause in the Bedford Level Act. He was given an army commission, and made a gentleman pensioner in 1687. He was out of the county ‘at his command in the army’ when the lord lieutenant questioned the Staffordshire justices about their attitude to the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. But he was undoubtedly hostile to the King’s religious policy, and supported John Beaumont in his refusal to admit Irish Papists to the Portsmouth garrison. ‘He was tried and broke by a court martial for that offence, his gentleman pensioner’s place taken from him, and had not the Revolution soon after happened, he had in all probability suffered death’. He failed to persuade the House of Lords to reverse Nottingham’s decision, or to obtain a post in the customs, though William was inclined to do something for him ‘in consideration of his loyalty to the Protestant religion’. He was, however, allowed to sell his commission and was restored as gentleman pensioner. He died in Covent Garden on 22 May 1716 in his 79th year, and was buried at Longdon, the last heir male of his family. He ordered his property to be sold to pay off debts of £785, including a proportion of his election expenses incurred over thirty years before.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Shaw, Staffs. i. 228.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1677-8, p. 90; Staffs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxiii), 179-80.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1683-4, p. 400; 1685, p. 44; 1687-9, p. 47; Shaw, i. 228; Cal. Treas. Bks. xvii. 984.
  • 4. Information from Mr E. J. Priestley.
  • 5. Vis. Staffs. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. v, pt. 2) 227; Shaw, i. 228; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1684-5; Gentry of Staffs. (Staffs. Rec. Soc. ser. 4, iii), 24.
  • 6. Nottingham’s Chancery Cases (Selden Soc. lxxix), 883-5; PCC 14 Whitfield; Luttrell, i. 460; Shaw, i. 228; HMC Lords, ii. 99-100; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 82.