WATTS, Thomas (d.1742), of Enfield Chase, Mdx.

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



1734 - 1741
1741 - 18 Jan. 1742

Family and Education

s. of William Watts of Shanks House, Cucklington, Som. m. Susannah, da. of Benjamin Gascoyne of Chiswick, sis. of Sir Crisp Gascoyne, ld. mayor of London, 2s.1

Offices Held

Sec. Sun Fire Office 1723-34, cashier 1726-41.


A member of a good Somersetshire family, Watts joined the Sun Fire Office in 1720, soon becoming its ‘ruling genius’ and a leading man in the city.2 Returned as an opposition Whig by Lord Falmouth for Mitchell in 1734, he opposed the Westminster bridge bill on 31 Mar. 1736,3 was absent from the division on the Spanish convention in 1739, and voted against the Administration on the place bill of 1740. In 1741 he was returned as an opposition candidate for Tregony, retiring from the Sun Fire Office in July with an annuity of £200 p.a. in recognition that

many of the good regulations made in this office and more particularly the scheme and success of the subscription stock (from which era we may date the establishment and good fortune of the office) were owing in a great measure to the contrivances and good services of Mr. Thomas Watts.4

He died 18 Jan. 1742, leaving two sons who, in turn, succeeded him as secretary to the board.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. PCC 38 Trenley.
  • 2. F.B. Relton, Fire Insurance Companies, 286.
  • 3. Harley Diary.
  • 4. E. Baumer, Early Days of the Sun Fire Office, 51.