VILLIERS, Hon. Thomas (1709-86), of The Grove, Watford, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 1709, 2nd s. of William Villiers, M.P., 2nd Earl of Jersey, by Judith, da. and h. of Frederick Herne, London merchant. educ. Eton 1725; Queens’, Camb. 1728. m. 30 Mar. 1752, Lady Charlotte Capel (coh. of her mother), da. of William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex, by Lady Jane Hyde, da. of Henry Hyde, M.P., 4th and last Earl of Clarendon, 3s. 1da. cr. Baron Hyde 3 June 1756; Earl of Clarendon 14 June 1776.
Envoy to Poland 1738-43; minister to Austria 1742-3; envoy to Poland 1744-6, to Prussia Feb.-Sept. 1746; ld. of the Admiralty 1748-56; P.C. 9 Sept. 1763; jt. paymaster gen. 1763-5; chancellor of duchy of Lancaster 1771-82, 1783-6; jt. paymaster gen. 1786-d.
Villiers was appointed to Poland in 1738 on the recommendation of Queen Caroline, at the instance of his brother, Lord Jersey.1 He retired in 1746, feeling that ‘he would be happier in an honourable retreat than in the enjoyment of a foreign employment’, but making it clear that he expected to be provided for.2 Returned in 1747 for Tamworth on the interest of his cousin, the 2nd Viscount Weymouth, he was submitted with Sir Peter Warren for a vacancy on the Admiralty board by Pelham to the King, who chose Villiers. Though Horace Walpole calls Villiers ‘a very silly fellow’,3 he managed to remain in lucrative posts for most of the time till he died, Earl of Clarendon, 11 Dec. 1786.