HUTCHINGS (afterwards HUTCHINGS MEDLYCOTT), Thomas (c.1728-95), of Ven House, Milborne Port, Som.
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Family and Education
b. c.1728, o.s. of John Hutchings of Lovestreet, Dorset by Elizabeth, da. of James Medlycott, M.P., sis. of Thomas Medlycott. m. 21 Sept. 1766, Jane, da. of William Coles of Salisbury, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1737; uncle 21 July 1763, and took add. name of Medlycott.
Medlycott inherited his uncle’s interest at Milborne Port, and succeeded him in the representation of the borough. His political conduct during his first spell in Parliament was variable and unpredictable. He voted with Opposition on general warrants, 18 Feb. 1764, was classed by Jenkinson as normally friendly to Government, but by Newcastle, 10 May 1764, as a ‘sure friend’ to Opposition. In July 1765 Rockingham classed him as ‘doubtful’; and in November 1766 as ‘Whig’, but with a query; and he voted with the Chatham Administration on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768. In the next Parliament his only known vote was with Opposition on the expulsion of Wilkes, 3 Feb. 1769.
In May 1770 Medlycott retired from Parliament, probably by arrangement with Administration, in favour of Lord Catherlough, who is said to have paid £3,000 for the seat. In 1772 the compromise with Edward Walter, by which each recommended to one seat at Milborne Port, broke down; and at the by-election of that year Medlycott’s candidate was defeated at the poll but returned on petition. In 1774 Medlycott and Walter each named two candidates and after a hard contest Medlycott again won on petition. But he had been put to considerable expense; and in 1779 accepted an offer from North to advance the money to buy out Walter, in return for one seat at Milborne Port being placed at the disposal of Government.1
At the general election of 1780 Medlycott returned himself and a Government candidate. On 8 Mar. 1781 he made his only reported speech:2 a defence of Lord North’s loan, which reads as if he himself had been consulted about it. In this speech he revealed that four years before he had subscribed to a loan—the only evidence of his engaging in such transactions. In November 1781 he vacated his seat in favour of another Government supporter. At the general election of 1784 Robinson classed Milborne Port among the ‘open boroughs where seats may probably be obtained with expense’;3 in fact the sitting Members, both of whom supported Pitt, retained their seats.
Medlycott died 15 May 1795.