PELHAM CLINTON, Lord Thomas (1752-95).

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



1774 - 1780
17 Dec. 1781 - 22 Feb. 1794

Family and Education

b. 1 July 1752, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Henry Pelham Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle, and bro. of Henry Fiennes, Earl of Lincoln, and Lord John Pelham Clinton.  educ. Eton 1763-4, and at Angers, France. Grand Tour 1769-72.  m. 2 May 1782, Lady Anna Maria, da. of William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington, 2s. 2da. Styled Earl of Lincoln 1779-94;  suc. fa. 22 Feb. 1794.

Offices Held

Ensign 12 Ft. 1769; capt. 1 Drag. Gds. 1770; capt. 1 Ft. Gds. and lt.-col. 1775; served in America 1779-81; col. 1780; col. 75 Ft. 1782-5; col. 17 Lt. Drag. 1785- d.; maj.-gen. 1787.

Ld. lt. Notts. 1794- d.


Clinton’s candidature for Westminster in 1774 was arranged by North, who saw in it the best means to beat the Wilkites. The scheme was backed strongly by the King, and Administration undertook all the trouble and expense of the canvass and election.1 He stood again in 1780, after much pressure on himself and his father by North and Robinson. Administration spent over £8,000 on the election, but the popularity of Charles Fox, the defection of part of the Bedford interest, and mistaken tactics, combined to cause Lincoln’s defeat.2 Newcastle accused Administration of neglect during the election and insisted on further military promotion for Lincoln,3 whose appointment as colonel followed shortly afterwards.

On the death of Lord John Pelham Clinton, Lincoln re-entered the House on the family interest at East Retford. At the beginning of 1782 he began to waver in his support for the North ministry. As recriminations broke out over Yorktown, Newcastle quarrelled with the ministers over the defence of Sir Henry Clinton’s reputation; and told Lincoln to vote as he pleased, ‘having no wish that he should support Government unless he likes it’; and after 22 Feb. Lincoln, despite pleas from North which his father forwarded, declined to attend the House.4 During the rest of 1782 and throughout 1783 he seems to have taken little part in Parliament; he voted neither on the peace preliminaries nor on the East India bill; but after December 1783 followed his father and supported Pitt. He is not known to have spoken in the House.

He died 18 May 1795.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: I. R. Christie


  • 1. North to Newcastle, 25, 28, 30 Sept., 2 Oct. 1774, Newcastle (Clumber) mss; Fortescue, iii. 132.
  • 2. North to Newcastle, 14 Aug. 1780; Newcastle to North, same date; Robinson to Newcastle, 24, 25 Aug. 1780; Newcastle (Clumber) mss.
  • 3. HMC Carlisle, 445.
  • 4. Ibid. 562; Fortescue, v. 390.