BROADHEAD, Theodore Henry (1767-1820), of Holly Grove, Windsor, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1812 - 1818
1820 - 12 Dec. 1820

Family and Education

b. 3 Dec. 1767, 1st s. of Theodore Henry Broadhead of Bretton, Yorks. and Carshalton, Surr. by Mary, da. of John Bingley of Goldthorne, Bolton on Deane, Yorks. educ. Eton 1776-83; Emmanuel, Camb, 1784. m. 11 May 1797, Elizabeth, da. of William Gordon Macdougall of St. George’s Hanover Square, Mdx., 8s. 4da. suc. fa. 1810.

Offices Held

Cornet, 1 Life Gds. 1790; lt. W. Yorks. militia 1791, capt.-lt. 1792, capt. 1794; lt. Marylebone vols. 1798.


Broadhead was descended from a Hanoverian court page named Brinckman. His father changed his name in accordance with the will of a brewer uncle, Henry Broadhead (d.1754), thereby acquiring property at Monk Bretton, Yorkshire and elsewhere, and in 1791 applied to Pitt for a baronetcy, after previous attempts through the mediation of Lords Grantley and Abercorn. The latter was informed, the same year, that Broadhead was ready to offer £3,000 for a seat in Parliament and to support government, though he feared that his son might become a convert to opposition. Renewing his application in 1794, he referred to his support of Pitt’s administration, to the ‘very superior abilities’ of his heir and to his two other sons in the King’s service. In 1806 it would appear that the Prince of Wales was prepared to urge Broadhead’s claims for a baronetcy, for Lord Moira assured the Prince that he had urged Lord Grenville to procure him one, but left his name off a list he handed to Grenville.1 Broadhead died in 1810, his unfulfilled ambition being taken up by his heir.

Broadhead purchased a seat in Parliament from his Clifford Street neighbour, John Calcraft*, in 1812. Calcraft had been urged to return Whigs, but there seems to have been no political stipulation. Broadhead was not on the Treasury list after the election. He voted with the minorities against the vice-chancellor bill, 11 Feb. 1813, and against the joint paymaster-general’s salary, 8 Mar. On 29 Mar. he was in the majority in favour of the sinecure regulation bill. He supported Catholic relief steadily in 1813 and, despite his grumbling later that year that the Catholics were spoiling their own cause,2 did so again on 21 May 1816. He was in the majorities in favour of Christian missions to India, 22 June and 1 July 1813. He appears at this time to have been a follower of Canning, and in July 1814 when Canning had a list of five names of candidates for two baronetcies ready to press on Lord Liverpool in his negotiation with him, Broadhead was fourth on the list.3 He did not obtain one, but it was possibly with a view to deserving one that he suddenly surfaced in debate. On 20 May 1814 he favoured the corn trade committee and on 6 June said that the agricultural interest had no need of protection. On 10 June he claimed that the honour of the House was damaged by the conviction for fraud on the Stock Exchange of two of its Members. On 13 June he moved for a copy of their conviction and on 24 June for their attendance to answer to it. On 5 July he called for action to be taken against them: they were duly expelled.

From 1815 Broadhead voted silently with government. His voting with them on 1 Mar. 1815 on the treatment of the Spanish Liberals was denied in the Morning Chronicle, but there was no doubt of his having done so when present thereafter until the end of the session of 1816. He was inactive for the rest of the Parliament, possibly disillusioned. He did not seek re-election in 1818. In 1820 he came in for another close borough, but died soon afterwards, 12 Dec. 1820. His son of the same name replaced him and obtained the coveted baronetcy in 1831.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1810), i. 391; E. T. Evans, Hendon, 130; PRO 30/8/116, ff. 163, 165; PRO NI, Abercorn mss IB3/2/38, Barnard to Abercorn, 28 Aug. [1791]; Prince of Wales Corresp. v. 2216, 2275.
  • 2. Northumb. RO. Wallace (Belsay) mss S76/9/50, Broadhead to Wallace, 20 Dec. 1813.
  • 3. Harewood mss, Canning to his wife, 14 July 1814.