TOWER, Thomas (?1698-1778), of Weald House, Essex and the Inner Temple.
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Family and Education
b. ?1698, 2nd s. of Christopher Tower and yr. bro. of Christopher Tower. educ. Harrow c.1711; Trinity, Oxf. 22 May 1717, aged 18; I. Temple 1717, called 1722, bencher 1751. unm. suc. fa. at Mansfield, Bucks., and mat. uncle Richard Hale in his Bucks. and Essex estates, both in 1728;1 bought Weald House 1759.
Original trustee and common councilman for Georgia 1732; sheriff, Essex 1760.
Thomas Tower, a lawyer, entered Parliament soon after succeeding to his father’s and uncle’s estates. A consistent government supporter, closely attached to Walpole, to whose recommendation he owed his Wareham and probably his Wallingford seats, he absented himself, together with his brother, Christopher, from the division on a place bill in 1734 because, though approving it, they ‘were not willing to disoblige the ministry’, who were warmly against it. After serving on the gaols committee of the House of Commons, he became for some years a keen member of the governing board of the Georgia Society. When at the beginning of 1739 Walpole seemed to be planning to avoid war with Spain by giving up Georgia, Tower’s intimacy with Walpole gave rise to suspicions among his colleagues on the board that ‘he was not so zealous and true to the trust as he ought to be’.
They thought Mr. Tower would, to oblige Sir Robert, who never cared for our colony, hazard the colony itself, and acquaint him with all our proceedings in too open a manner, and saw him so constantly vote for the measures of the ministry, that it lost us the favour of that party which opposed the Court.
These suspicions were confirmed when he with other of ‘Sir Robert Walpole’s creatures’ absented themselves from a meeting to approve a publication by the board showing the value of Georgia to Great Britain, in case they should be expected to give it ‘a better support, either with Sir Robert or in the House, than they care to give’. A few days later, when the time came to prepare the annual petition to Parliament for a grant-in-aid of the colony, he is said to have ‘slunk away’ to avoid being asked to present the petition to Walpole.2 Soon after this he seems to have given up attending. He did not stand again, and died 2 Sept. 1778.