MEDLYCOTT, Thomas (1662-1738), of Binfield, Berks. and Dublin.
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Family and Education
bap. 22 May 1662, 2nd s. of Thomas Medlycott, M.P., of Abingdon, Berks.; bro. of James Medlycott. educ. M. Temple 1680, called 1687, bencher 1712; Irish bar 1691. m. (lic. 1 Jan. 1687) Sarah,1 da. of Mrs. Ursula Goddard, wid., of Mugwell (Monkwell) St., Cripplegate, 2s. 1da.
M.P. [I] 1692-9, 1703-d.
Attorney-gen. of the Palatinate temp. William III; dep. steward of Westminster 1708; chairman of committee of privileges and elections 1714; commr. of revenue [I] Feb. 1714-July 1727, Feb. 1728-Oct. 1733.2
Thomas Medlycott began his career in Ireland as secretary and estate manager to the 2nd Duke of Ormonde, from whom he obtained in 1698-9 lands in Kilkenny, Tipperary and Waterford, and from whose brother, Lord Arran, he purchased land in Mayo in 1701.3 In 1705 he was returned on his family’s interest at Milborne Port, from which he transferred to Westminster in 1708. A Hanoverian Tory,4 he was appointed a commissioner of revenue in Ireland early in 1714, retaining his post on George I’s accession, after which he went over to the Whigs. He did not stand in 1715, remaining in Ireland occupied with his official duties and his private affairs. In the summer of 1721 he began to look for an English seat at the next general election, writing to his friend Edward Southwell, 29 July:
Did you make my compliments to my Lord Nottingham and make me agreeable too, to Colonel [John] Hanbury our knight of Monmouthshire, to whose conduct and disposal I would have my new purchased rents payable by Monmouth town, to be distributed to the poor townsmen of Monmouth, if it could by his friendship and management make me an interest in that borough. If you see Mr. Hanbury I wish you could sound him about this ...
On 16 Jan. 1722 he wrote asking to be remembered to Lords Sunderland, Cadogan and Carteret; and on 13 Feb. about his intention to come to England to look after his election. There seem to have been some doubts in England as to his politics, for he wrote to Southwell, 22 Feb.:
Pray at your leisure introduce to that great man [?Sunderland] a discourse of me and my services and votes in Parliament against the Pretender, which his Lordship and Baron Bothmar remember, and pray find out the bottom of this ... But make no great public question of [it] ... that may invite competitors ...5
He did not secure a seat in 1722 but was returned by his brother for Milborne Port at George II’s accession, when he either gave up or was turned out of his Irish place. In the new year he was reinstated, apparently on the understanding that he remained at his post in Ireland, for on 27 Dec. 1730 he wrote to Dodington who also held an Irish place:
I have desired to attend this sessions in England to do my duty in Parliament for his Majesty’s service, as I am bound, and, indeed, my own corporation take it ill that I have so long neglected them (having been absent almost three years). Besides, my own private affairs in Monmouthshire require my being there. Forgive me, Sir, therefore, if I humbly beg you to intercede with Sir Robert Walpole to procure me leave. Nobody is more dutifully his servant.
On 2 Dec. 1731 he wrote again to Dodington:
Some few months ago I took the liberty to acquaint you of the indispensable necessity that was upon me to be in England this winter to settle my [late] brother’s affairs ... I could not think it became me (a servant of the Crown) to be absent from the Irish Parliament on the arrival of a new lord lieutenant, so have struggled against all the importunities of my sister and her children, till his Majesty’s affairs here were pretty well over. They being now so, I hope you, Sir, will be so good as to interest yourself on my behalf, and please to be my advocate to Sir Robert Walpole for his leave that I may take the first opportunity to come over. I need not tell you, Sir, that I have been near four years without stirring from the board, and persuade myself that that will be some excuse for an indulgence upon this pressing occasion ... besides the ambition I have to attend his Majesty’s service to your Parliament there.6
In June 1732 he was given leave of absence and in October 1733 his son-in-law was appointed his successor, on the ground that Medlycott was ‘obliged to remain in England as a Member of Parliament’.7 In the House he voted with the Government for the excise bill and against the repeal of the Septennial Act. His only recorded speech was made on 21 Feb. 1733 against the clause in the bill for the relief of the sugar colonies providing that no sugar, molasses, or rum should be imported into Ireland except from Great Britain.8 Ousted from Milborne Port in 1734 by his nephew, Thomas, he died shortly before September 1738, leaving the bulk of his estate in trust for Thomas John Medlycott, apparently an illegitimate son.9
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Shirley Matthews
- 1. PCC 218 Brodrepp.
- 2. Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1708-14, p. 611.
- 3. H. E. Medlicott, Medlicott Fam. 51.
- 4. HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 334-5.
- 5. Add. 34778, ff. 81, 110, 114, 118.
- 6. HMC Var. vi. 56.
- 7. Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1731-4, pp. 238, 251, 289, 406, 593.
- 8. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 329, 333.
- 9. PCC 218, Brodrepp.