HALL, Thomas (1747-1815), of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumb.
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Family and Education
bap. 12 July 1747,1 1st s. of William Hall, corn merchant, of Berwick-upon-Tweed by Margaret, da. of Thomas Balderston of Newwaterhaugh, nr. Berwick-upon-Tweed. m. (I) Margaret (d. July 1775), da. of George Richardson, step-da. of his uncle Thomas Hall, surgeon, of Berwick-upon-Tweed, s.p.s.; (2) 5 May 1778, Jane (d. Sept. 1781), da. of Marmaduke Grey of Kyloe, Northumb., 1s. 2da.; (3) Isabella Davison (d. May 1802), s.p. suc. fa. 1793.
Landing surveyor, port of London c.1784-c.90.
Mayor, Berwick-upon-Tweed 1793, 1796, 1799; maj. commdt. Berwick vols. 1794, Lt.-col. commdt. 1797, 1803.
Hall, whose father was three times mayor of Berwick, came from a family settled there since at least the early 18th century. In the 1780s he was a landing surveyor in the port of London and when he joined the Whig Club on 15 Jan. 1788 his address was the Custom House. By 1792 he had moved to Stotford Hall, Northumberland, and between 1792 and 1799 seceded from the Club. He was active in Berwick politics in the 1790s, raised four companies of volunteers and in 1799 instigated a public campaign to promote his own candidature as a third man in opposition to the established interests of the Delaval family and Sir John Callander*, who described him as ‘my confidential friend, a person to whom I trusted the entire management of all my political business there’.2
Doubts were expressed as to Hall’s ability to stay the course in so expensive a constituency, and one of Delaval’s agents suspected that a canvassing journey to London in April 1801 was merely a pretext ‘to try to find a nabob to take the burden off his own shoulders which by this time, I presume, he finds is far too heavy for him to bear’.3 An alliance with a neighbouring gentleman, John Fordyce*, enabled him to head the poll in 1802, but he was unseated nine months later as a result of distributing tickets for entertainment during his canvass, a custom which he protested had been practised without punishment at Berwick for over 40 years. At the subsequent by-election he successfully brought forward Francis Sitwell in his place,4 but thereafter he is not known to have been active in local politics. By 1807 he was bankrupt. On 27 June 1809 he wrote to William Adam* from the Isle of Man for ‘pecuniary assistance’. He had been there over a year, ‘reduced to pinching poverty’.5 He died 10 May 1815.