PARKYNS, Thomas Boothby (1755-1800), of Rookley, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1784 - 1790
1790 - 17 Nov. 1800

Family and Education

b. 24 July 1755, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Parkyns, 3rd Bt., of Bunny Park, Notts. by 1st w. (his gt.-niece of the half-blood), Jane, da. and h. of Thomas Parkyns of Wymeswould, Leics. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1773. m. 16 Dec. 1783, Elizabeth Anne, da. and h. of Sir William James, 1st Bt., of Park Farm Place, Eltham, Kent, 9ch., 1s. 5da. surv.1 cr. Baron Rancliffe [I] 3 Oct. 1795.

Offices Held

Equerry to Duke of Cumberland 1783-90; maj. 82 Ft., 57 Ft. 1794; lt.-col. Leicester (Prince of Wales’s) fencibles 1794, brevet col. 1794.


Parkyns, a boon companion of the Prince of Wales and a prominent freemason, owed his candidature at Leicester in 1790 to his brother-in-law Clement Winstanley of Braunston, a local Whig stalwart. Returned after a compromise intended to prevent an all-out contest, he had to hide from ‘the violence of his own friends’.2 He was an inconspicuous Member. He voted, as in the preceding Parliament, against Pitt on Oczakov, 12 Apr. 1791, and was reckoned favourable to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland the same month. He was listed a Portland Whig in December 1792 and thought of for recruitment to Windham’s ‘third party’ in February 1793. His only further minority vote was for Fox’s motion calling for better convoy protection for the merchant navy, 18 Feb. 1794. That summer when Portland joined the government he elicited from him the promise of an Irish peerage, confirmed by Portland in December 1794 when Parkyns was raising a fencible regiment. The peerage was delayed until October following. At the dissolution of 1796 he was in Limerick ‘in consequence of an order to attend a court martial’, but his re-election, as a ministerial supporter, was managed for him by his brother-in-law.3

Rancliffe’s wishes, expressed to Portland in 1797, for peerage or military promotion could not be met. He died of dropsy v.p. 17 Nov. 1800.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1797), i. 85. The marriage was registered at St. Marylebone on 24 Dec. 1783.
  • 2. Annual Reg. (1850) app. 275; A. Temple Patterson, Radical Leicester, 66; E. Suff. RO, Tomline mss, Rose to ?, 25 June 1790.
  • 3. Portland mss PwF7346, 7348, 7349; PwV108, Portland to Parkyns, 14 Dec. 1794; PRO 30/8/168, f. 128; Add. 33102, f. 9; Morning Chron. 24 May 1796.
  • 4. Portland mss PwV110, 111, Portland to Rancliffe, 29 Nov. 1796, 29 Mar., 9 Oct. 1797; Gent. Mag. (1800), ii. 1117.