BLOUNT, Thomas Pope (1649-97), of Tittenhanger, Ridge, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 12 Sept. 1649, 1st s. of Sir Henry Blount of Tittenhanger by Hester, da. and h. of Christopher Wase of Islington, Mdx., wid. of Sir William Mainwaring of Chester. educ. L. Inn 1668. m. 22 July 1669, Jane (d. 14 July 1726), da. of (Sir) Henry Caesar of Bennington, Herts., 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 9da. cr. Bt. 27 Jan. 1680; suc. fa. 1682.1
Commr. for assessment, Herts. 1673-80, St. Albans 1679-80, 1689, Herts. and Mdx. 1689-90, j.p. and dep. lt. Herts. ?1687-d.2
Commr. for public accounts 1694-6.3
The Hertfordshire Blounts have been doubtfully affiliated to the distinguished medieval family of Staffordshire. But though they can certainly be traced back to that county in early Tudor times, the descent has not been proved. In the female line they were descended from the family of Pope which obtained Tittenhanger at the Dissolution. Blount’s grandfather inherited the estate, lying some three miles from St. Albans, in 1593. Though his father, the celebrated traveller, had been a pensioner of Charles I, he changed sides early in the Civil War, and during the Interregnum acted as a judge of probate. A good commonwealth man, he presented a petition from the well-affected of Hertfordshire to the Rump in 1659. Although he accepted the Restoration, serving as sheriff in 1661-2, he had apparently judged it prudent to settle Tittenhanger on his wife, and on her death in 1678 Blount succeeded to the estate. From his father he inherited literary talent and a radical outlook, but he was more cautious than his deist brother Charles, and in any case published nothing till after the Revolution. All three joined the Green Ribbon Club, and Blount, who represented St. Albans in the Exclusion Parliaments, was marked ‘honest’ on Shaftesbury’s list. Totally inactive in committee in 1679, he spoke only to explain how he had come to deliver to the Speaker a letter from a madman, which seemed designed to interrupt the business of the House. He was absent from the division on the exclusion bill, and was so far from committed to the Opposition that he was created a baronet in 1680. A moderately active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to four committees, including those to examine the disbandment accounts and to repeal the Corporations Act. No activity can be ascribed to him in the Oxford Parliament.
Although Blount was belatedly compelled to pay £1,000 for his baronetcy in 1686, he was regarded as a possible Whig collaborator, and appointed to local office in 1687. He transferred to the county seat in 1689, but he was inactive in the Convention, sitting on II committees, of which the most important were those to inquire into the authors and advisers of grievances and to repeal the Corporations Act. He helped to prepare reasons for the conference of 20 Apr. on the new oaths of allegiance and supremacy. He was listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and appointed to the committee for reversing the judgments de scandalis magnatum obtained by the Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset). He continued to represent the county as a court Whig until his death on 30 June 1697. He was buried at Ridge, the only member of the Hertfordshire family to sit in Parliament.4