COTTON, Sir Lynch Salusbury, 4th Bt. (1705-1775), of Llewenny, Denb. and Combermere, Cheshire

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



5 Dec. 1749 - 1774

Family and Education

b. 1705, 2nd s. of Sir Thomas Cotton, 2nd Bt., by Philadelphia, da. of Sir Thomas Lynch of Esher, Surr.  m. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Rowland Cotton of Etwall, Derbys., 3s.  suc. bro. as 4th Bt. 27 Aug. 1748.

Offices Held

Receiver of the land tax in N. Wales and Cheshire 1742-75.


By a compromise with Richard Myddelton of Chirk Castle, Cotton was returned unopposed for Denbighshire, while Myddelton represented the borough. Newcastle’s ‘Present State of Elections for England and Wales’,1 drawn up about the end of March 1754, marks against Denbighshire and its Members: ‘County and town settled by agreement between them’. And this was continued in 1761 and 1768, preserving the peace of the county and the pockets of its two representatives.

Here is the description which Cotton’s niece, Mrs. Thrale, gives of him in Thraliana (pp. 103-4):

Sir Lynch Cotton ... was an odd man as I have seen; impudent yet bashful, full of rusticity which offended, but had humour to divert one, he would say things nobody else thought on, and would be merry about his own fortune, his own children, and his own vices, with a sort of steady insensibility, that looked like archness.

He was harsh to his children; made one of his sons do his office business in North Wales, and gave him nothing for it; and was altogether miserly. After Cotton’s return in 1768 Roger Kenyon wrote on 26 Apr. that his ‘whole expense ... amounted not to ten pounds, five of which was squeezed out of him, with prodigious reluctance, towards a ball for the Denbigh ladies’.2 Johnson described him as ‘gross’.3

In Bute’s list Cotton is marked as ‘Tory’; by Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763 as ‘pro’. He voted with Administration on general warrants, 6 Feb. 1764, and was classed by Rockingham in July 1765 as ‘doubtful’; he appears in Meredith’s list as having voted with the Opposition in the second division on the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766, but not in the printed list. Rockingham in November 1766 classed him as ‘Swiss’; he appears in two out of the three extant division lists on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, as voting with the Opposition. In 1774 he voluntarily withdrew from the representation of Denbighshire in favour of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 4th Bt., who had meantime come of age. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.

He died 14 Aug. 1775.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Add. 32995, f. 82.
  • 2. HMC Kenyon, 500.
  • 3. Tour in Wales, ed. Broadley, 227.