THYNNE, Lord John (1772-1849), of 15 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.

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



1796 - Dec. 1796
8 Dec. 1796 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 28 Dec. 1772, 3rd s. of Thomas, 1st Mq. of Bath, and bro. of Lord George Thynne* and Thomas Thynne I, Visct. Weymouth*. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1792-4. m. 18 June 1801, Mary Anne, da. of Thomas Master* of The Abbey, Cirencester, Glos., s.p. suc. bro. George as 3rd Baron Carteret 19 Feb. 1838.

Offices Held

Vice-chamberlain July 1804-12, (Windsor) 1812-20; PC 11 July 1804; member of Board of Trade May 1805; dep. groom of stole 1812-20.

Maj. Wilts. vol. cav. 1797; lt.-col. Hanover Square vol. inf. 1799-1804.


Lord John was returned for Weobley on the family interest in 1796, only to vacate soon after to succeed to his elder brother’s seat for Bath. This seat was not a perquisite of the family and he was offered it as a friend of Pitt’s administration. He retained it until his retirement in 1832.

In the House, Thynne never spoke unless he had to. He voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798, despite his constituents’ wishes to the contrary. He was well described by the Whigs in 1810 as ‘against the Opposition’, for his name appeared only in government minorities. His membership of Brooks’s Club (22 June 1800) had no political connotation. In 1801 the King urged Addington to make either his brother Lord George or Thynne himself a lord of the Treasury: George was appointed. On Pitt’s return to power he obtained the vice-chamberlain’s office, worth over £1,150 p.a., when the King heaped honours on his family. (His wife was lady of the bedchamber to the princesses.) To Pitt he wrote, 13 July 1804, ‘I shall feel myself more than ever bound to support that administration in which you hold so responsible a situation’. His acceptance of the place had been delayed until the day before, first by membership of the Middlesex election committee and then by illness. He obtained re-election on 20 July. It was not until 12 Mar. 1805 that it was noticed that he had taken his seat and voted without taking the oaths and submitting his qualification in due form.1 This oversight necessitated a bill of indemnity, introduced on 18 Mar., which received a hurried royal assent on 22 Mar. He was obliged to seek re-election on 29 Mar. and resumed his seat on 2 Apr., in time to join the government minority against the censure of Melville on 8 Apr. On 10 June he introduced a bill for the better recovery of small debts in his constituency.

Thynne’s support of Pitt was not personal: on 30 Apr. 1806 he voted for the repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act and he was regarded as a friend of his government by Lord Grenville.2 On 16 Mar. 1807 he failed to carry the Bath Common division bill. He readily transferred his support to his uncle the Duke of Portland’s administration having been instructed by the King to oppose Catholic relief;3 and, after voting with Perceval’s ministry throughout on the Scheldt question, opposed the reform of criminal law, sinecures and Parliament (1, 17, 21 May 1810). He adhered to ministers, 1 Jan. 1811, on the Regency, which a year later necessitated a new title for his Household place. He reported to the House the Regent’s consent to his former colleague John Palmer’s* compensation, 24 May 1811. He further voted against sinecure reform, 7, 24 Feb. and 4 May 1812, and was in the minority against a stronger administration, 21 May. His omission from the Treasury list after the election of 1812 was evidently a mere oversight.

Thynne was a diehard opponent of Catholic relief, 22 June 1812 and in the next two Parliaments. It was the only neutral subject on which his vote appeared before 1820. He could usually be relied on to muster for ministers on all critical divisions and, if unable to do so, apparently kept the Treasury informed.4 On 23 Feb. 1818 he opposed the Bath gaslight bill, like his colleague. He twice took leave of absence in the spring of 1819, but was in the majorities against Tierney’s censure motion and for the foreign enlistment bill, 18 May and 10 June. On the death of George III in 1820 he was left without a place. He died 10 Mar. 1849.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Morning Chron. 30 Dec. 1797; Geo. III Corresp. iii. 2361; iv. 2849, 2911, 3043; PRO 30/8/183, f. 192; Colchester, i. 542-3.
  • 2. Fortescue mss, Grenville to Bute, 19 Oct. 1806.
  • 3. Malmesbury Diaries, iv. 363.
  • 4. T.64/260, Thynne to Arbuthnot, 23 Jan. 1818.