LISTER, Thomas (1752-1826), of Gisburn Park, nr. Clitheroe, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



16 Apr. 1773 - 1790

Family and Education

b. 22 Mar. 1752, o.s. of Thomas Lister.  educ. Westminster c.1764-9; B.N.C. Oxf. 1769.  m. 7 Nov. 1789, Rebecca, da. and coh. of Joseph Fielding, 1s. 2da.  suc. fa. 1761; cr. Baron Ribblesdale 26 Oct. 1797.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Yorks. 1794-5.


Lister’s first votes were with the Opposition on the naval captains’ petition, 9 Feb. 1773, and Grenville’s Act, 25 Feb. 1774, and in 1774 he was classed by Robinson as ‘contra’. On the outbreak of the American war he fitted out at his own expense a frigate which he placed at the disposal of the Government; and in 1779 raised a regiment of horse, Lister’s Light Dragoons, and was gazetted major in the army. He spoke against Burke’s plan of conciliation, 22 Mar. 1775;1 but voted with the Opposition on the civil list debts, 18 Apr. 1777, on Fox’s motion against sending the Old Corps out of the kingdom, 2 Feb. 1778, and the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779. His only other recorded speech, 13 Dec. 1779, was to move that all offers to raise regiments should be laid before the House. In 1780 the English Chronicle wrote about him: ‘A very honest Member of Parliament, misled by the minister in numberless votes for the American war, but of late rather inclined to opposition.’ In Robinson’s electoral survey of July 1780 he was again classed as ‘contra’.

In 1780 Lister deprived the Curzons of the other seat at Clitheroe, and returned his brother-in-law John Parker. His conduct was severely criticized, but it was not till 1790 that, after much argument, he agreed to revert to the previous practice of the two families nominating one Member each.

From 1780 till the fall of North Lister steadily opposed the court; voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; and for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. He continued in opposition until he left the Commons.

He died 22 Sept. 1826.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Walpole, Last Jnls. i. 450.