TUDWAY, Clement (1734-1815), of Wells, Som. and 1 Devonshire Place, Mdx.

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



1761 - 7 July 1815

Family and Education

b. 8 Oct. 1734, 1st s. of Charles Tudway of Wells by Hannah, da. of William Moore. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1751-4; M. Temple 1752, called 1759. m. 7 June 1762, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Rowland Hill, 1st Bt., of Hawkstone, Salop, s.p. suc. fa. 1770; bro. Ald. Charles Tudway 1810.

Offices Held

Recorder and ten times mayor of Wells.

Lt.-col. 2 E. Som. vols. 1803.


Tudway was described in 1808 as:

a respectable provincial barrister who resides in the city [Wells] of which he is recorder and where he assuredly possesses great influence ... his name seldom occurs in the divisions and never, we understand, in the debates: he appears to support the present cabinet.1

Little can be added to this. After supporting Pitt on the Regency crisis, he was regarded as a friend of his administration. On 14 Mar. 1791 he presented the report of the Stirlingshire election committee. He was among opponents of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in a canvass of the House in 1791. He was a defaulter on 20 Jan. 1795, but appeared six days later. In March 1804 he was listed ‘Pitt’, in May ‘doubtful’, in September and again in July 1805, ‘Pitt’. A West India proprietor, he was, as an afterthought, listed ‘adverse’ to the abolition of the slave trade in 1806. On 4 Mar. 1807 he was a defaulter, ordered to attend on 26 Mar. Leaves of absence for ill health were granted him on 16 Apr. 1807 and 16 Mar. 1808. The Whigs were ‘doubtful’ of him in March 1810. His only known votes in this period were against the release of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr., and against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. He was absent ill on the Regency, December 1810-January 1811, and on 9 June 1812 was granted further leave for ill health. Listed a Treasury supporter in 1812, there is no evidence of his attendance between then and his death, 7 July 1815. His nephew John Paine Tudway succeeded to his estates and seat.2

On 23 Dec. 1805 Tudway had applied to Pitt for the deanery of Chester for Rev. Robert Hill. His other brother-in-law Sir Richard Hill* had previously assured Pitt that the news of this appointment ‘would almost cure Mr Tudway of the gout’. At the time of his death he had ‘long been considered the father of the House of Commons’.3 It is doubtful whether the House ever had a ‘father’ who so seldom appeared there.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. J. Wilson, Biog. Index (1808), 626.
  • 2. V. L. Oliver, Antigua, iii. 148, 154; PCC 480 Pakenham.
  • 3. PRO 30/8/145, f. 48; 184, f. 190; Gent. Mag. (1815), ii. 184.