VERE, Thomas (c.1681-1766), of Thorpe Hall, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



19 Feb. 1735 - 1747

Family and Education

b. c.1681, s. of George Vere, merchant, of Norwich. m. (1) Elizabeth (d. 23 Sept. 1714), da. of Stephen Day, 1da.; (2) Frances, sis. and h. of Sir Peter Seaman, mayor of Norwich, 1 surv. s.

Offices Held

Alderman of Norwich 1722, mayor 1735.


A Norwich merchant, exporting woollen goods, Vere in 1731 gave evidence on the export of Irish cambrics to a select committee of the House of Commons on the woollen industry.1 Returned for Norwich as a government supporter at a by-election in 1735, he spoke a month later for taking off the duties on the importation of Irish yarn into Great Britain. About this time he instituted prosecutions against persons wearing fustians, which were affecting the sales of Norwich woollen goods. The prosecutions were based on the ground that fustians came under the Act of 1731, prohibiting the wearing of dyed calicoes (see under Page, Sir Gregory). On a petition from Manchester fustian manufacturers an Act was passed exempting fustians from the 1721 Act. In 1739, on a bill for relieving the woollen trade, he moved several amendments, including one to extend the Wool Registration Act to Ireland, which was unopposed, and another to increase the penalties on the export of woollen cloth etc. from Ireland, which was opposed by Sir John Barnard, who held that the prohibition of the export of manufactured wool in Ireland was the root of the decay of the English wool industry.2 In 1739 there was a movement to oust him at the next general election, which was attributed to his having ‘neglected opportunities of making himself acceptable’,3 but he was re-elected in 1741 after a contest. One of Walpole’s last acts before resigning was to appoint Vere’s son to a vacant commissionership of the salt office.4 He continued to support the Government till the end of the Parliament, when he failed to secure re-nomination for Norwich. ‘I am sorry for Vere’, Pelham wrote, ‘he should not have wanted help if I had known how to have conveyed it to him’.5 He died, never having stood for Parliament again, 28 June 1766, aged 85.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. CJ, xxi. 573.
  • 2. HMC Egmont Diary, ii. 162; iii. 36-37; Harley Diary, 9 and 16 Feb. 1736.
  • 3. J. Fowle to ‘old’ Horace Walpole, 10 Nov. 1739, Walpole (Wolterton) mss.
  • 4. Gent. Mag. 1742, p. 108; Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1742-5, p. 212.
  • 5. Pelham to ‘old’ Horace Walpole, 4 July 1747, Add. 9186, f. 105.