THORP, John Thomas (1776-1835), of 14 Aldgate Within, London and Walthamstow, Essex.

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



1818 - 1820

Family and Education

b. 16 Jan. 1776, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Samuel Thorp, wholesale haberdasher, of 14 Aldgate Within, and Grove House, Walthamstow by w. Elizabeth (d. 20 Mar. 1820). educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1784-9. unm. suc. fa. 1822.

Offices Held

Common councilman, London 1812-17, sheriff 1815-16, alderman 1817-35, ld. mayor 1820-1.

Member, Drapers’ Co. (by apprenticeship) 1790; gov. Irish Soc. of London 1817-d.; police magistrate, Southwark 1831-5.

Lt. 10 Loyal London vols. 1803, capt. 1803.


Thorp’s father was established as a haberdasher at Aldgate by 1770 and became senior member of the corporation of London. An unobtrusive Whig, he was credited with procuring the aldermanic election of Harvey Christian Combe*. He took his sons into business partnership with him. John Thomas Thorp was also a member of the corporation and stood for the City in 1818. His election committee boasted of his charitable activities, especially as governor of the Irish Society of London. He offered as an independent friendly to peace, economy and parliamentary reform and hostile to the suppression of habeas corpus and of the liberty of the press. He defeated Sir William Curtis for fourth place, which caused considerable surprise and was due mainly to his fellow reformers Wood and Waithman’s coalescing with him, once their own election was secure. He promised to obey livery instructions. Farington the diarist was informed, ‘Thorp’s father was a democrat, and his son like him’, and this is confirmed by his moving the resolutions for economy and parliamentary reform at the Freemasons’ Tavern meeting in January 1817.1

Thorp voted consistently with opposition in his one Parliament, though he did not sign the requisition to Tierney to lead the Whig opposition. He voted for burgh reform, 6 May 1819, and for Burdett’s reform motion on 1 July. He spoke only once, 7 Dec. 1819, in defence of the London petition to limit the duration of coercive legislation and to remedy the prevailing public discontent, a subject on which he had also spoken in the court of aldermen. He voted against repressive measures until 20 Dec. 1819. He was defeated at the election of 1820, though his politics secured him preference over more senior aldermen in the mayoral election that autumn. He made no attempt to re-enter Parliament and died 6 Nov. 1835.2

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1823), i. 183; (1850), ii. 336; The Times, 6, 24 June; Morning Chron. 6 June; Morning Herald, 17, 24 June 1818; Greville Mems. ed. Strachey and Fulford, i. 56; Farington, viii. 199.
  • 2. Parl. Deb. xli. 810; Gent. Mag. (1819), ii. 366; Beaven, Aldermen of London, i. p. xxvi; Gent. Mag. (1836), i. 210, where Thorp is incorrectly stated to have been Member for Arundel 1826-32, presumably by confusion with John Atkins*.