SCOTT, Thomas, 2nd Earl of Clonmell [I] (1783-1838), of Allesley Park, Warws.

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



1807 - 1812

Family and Education

b. 15 Aug. 1783, o.s. of John Scott, 1st Earl of Clonmell [I], by 2nd w. Margaret, da. and h. of Patrick Lawless, banker, of Dublin. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1801. m. 9 Feb. 1805, Lady Henrietta Louisa Greville, da. of George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick, 2s. 7da. suc. fa. as 2nd Earl of Clonmell [I] 23 May 1798.

Offices Held

Capt. Duke of Gloucester’s vols. 1803-4, Warws. yeoman cav. 1805.


Clonmell, the son of a notorious Irish placehunter, inherited estates valued in 1799 at £20,000 a year,1 but they did not enable him to establish any commanding electoral interest in Ireland. William Ord, a Cambridge contemporary, wrote of him to Lord Henry Petty, 6 Dec. 1801:

We have but a rum specimen of the Irish nobility in Lord Clonmell ... he seems silly and childish; however I do not know enough of him to decide. The only remarkable trait in his character is a violent partiality for going to chapel ... the other noblesse seem much alarmed lest he should be made a precedent for their doing so too and they try all their endeavours in vain to debauch him— rather odd this for an Irishman!

Perhaps these endeavours were not entirely fruitless, for in 1830 Mrs Arbuthnot, nettled by Clonmell’s objections to the marriage of his daughter to her stepson, dismissed him as ‘a drunken hunting squire’.2 His marriage brought him into contact with English political society and, although he added to his Irish property by a purchase in Tipperary, he sold his two houses in Ireland and took up residence near Coventry.

At the general election of 1807 he came in for New Romney on the Dering interest, probably by purchase. He apparently supported the Portland ministry and voted with their successors on the address, 23 Jan., and the Scheldt inquiry 26 Jan., 23 Feb., 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, though the Whigs, curiously, listed him as ‘doubtful’ in mid March. He voted against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810, in the ministerial minorities on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811, and the sinecure offices bill, 4 May 1812; and paired on their side for the division on the orders in council, 3 Mar. 1812. He voted for inquiry into Catholic relief, 24 Apr., and was in the minority who opposed Stuart Wortley’s call for the formation of a stronger administration, 21 May 1812.

Clonmell dearly coveted an Irish representative peerage. Ministers in England, including Portland, Liverpool, Perceval and Ryder, readily admitted the strength of the claims given him by his ‘bringing himself into Parliament as he does and the uniform support he has given us, coming up from his place in Warwickshire upon every occasion that we have sent for him, and regularly attending the House, his rank, fortune and character’; but his non-residence in Ireland proved an ‘insurmountable objection’ to the realization of his ambition.3 He is not known to have spoken in the House and did not seek re-election in 1812. He died 18 Jan. 1838.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge


  • 1. H. Macdougal, Sketches of Irish Pol. Characters (1799), 299.
  • 2. Lansdowne mss; Jnl. of Mrs Arbuthnot, ii. 353.
  • 3. NLI, Richmond mss 63/584; 71/1369; Prince of Wales Corresp. viii. 3085, 3146; Add. 38249, f. 263.