Lord Edward Thynne
Lord Edward Thynne (23 January 1807 – 4 February 1884) was an English nobleman. After a short career as an army officer, he sat in the House of Commons for two periods, separated by 26 years, and opposed parliamentary reform on both occasions.
A duellist and philanderer who outlived his two wives, Thynne gambled away his own wealth and that of his first wife. In 1881, the aged Thynne was described by Vanity Fair magazine as a "hoary old reprobate".
Thynne was the 8th child of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath and Isabella Byng, daughter of the 4th Viscount Torrington. He was educated at Charterhouse and then matriculated in 1825 to Oriel College, Oxford. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in March 1828, he was commissioned in April 1828 as a second lieutenant in the Duke of York's rifle corps.
He retired from the British Army in June 1830 when he married Elizabeth Mellish, the heir to William Mellish a wealthy naval contractor. The novelist Emily Eden described him in a letter at that time as "totally unlike all the Thynnes I ever saw—full of fun and dashes out everything that comes into his head".
At the 1831 general election his father bought him a seat as Member of Parliament (MP) for the rotten borough of Weobley, alongside his brother Lord Henry Frederick Thynne. The borough was disenfranchised under the Reform Act 1832, which he and his brother had repeatedly voted against.
Despite having been given £20,000 by his father when he married in 1830 (equivalent to £1,984,000 in 2019), by 1832 Thynne's marriage and finances were in deep trouble. His wife was estranged from him, and he was repeatedly sued by his creditor Thomas Slingsby Duncombe; in response he canvassed against Dubscombe at the Finsbury by-election in 1834, and at the following year's general election.
In 1835 his father gave him a further £60,000 to clear his debts (equivalent to £5,952,000 in 2019). However, after his father's death in 1837, his family cut him off, and by August of that year he was imprisoned for debt in the Queen's Bench Prison in Southwark. Thynne and Dunscombe resolved their quarrel in November, triggering Thynne's release from prison and allowing him to avoid bankruptcy. When Thynne was discharged from insolvency at the end of that month, the court was told that his debts were £221,059 (equivalent to £21.4 million in 2020), which The Spectator described as an "enormous sum".
After the death of Elizabeth's father, when his estate was reported at nearly £3 million (equivalent to £290 million in 2020), she unsuccessfully sued her family for more of her father's wealth (having been given £100,000 on her marriage, equivalent to £9,920,000 in 2019). Her estate was worth only £3,000 when she died in 1849.
Thynne married again in 1853, to Cecilia Gore, daughter of the novelist Catherine Gore. As a girl, Cecilia had been famous for her wasp waist. The historian Macaulay described the union in his memoirs as "the noosing of a young – or rather a defiant young flirt to an old roué".
Thynne was a skilled marksman who in 1851 shot a golden eagle with a rifle at a hundred yards range, while deer stalking in Scotland as a guest of the Earl of Malmesbury. The killing of the 8.5 pounds (3.9 kg) bird was reported to be the only instance of a flying eagle being killed with a single ball. He resumed his military career in 1855, when he was appointed as a cornet in the Wiltshire Yeomanry Cavalry. In 1863, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 18th Somerset Volunteer Rifle Corps
Return to ParliamentEdit
In July 1856, the Liberal MP Viscount Dungarvan succeeded to the peerage, triggering a by-election in July for his Commons seat in the borough of Frome in Somerset. Thynne was one of three candidates nominated, and a poll was demanded, but Thynne later withdrew. The seat was won by the Liberal William George Boyle, a relative of Dungarvan's.
The following year, at the 1857 general election, Thynne was nominated again, and this time did not withdraw. However, he polled poorly, coming third behind two Liberal candidates. Boyle lost the seat to fellow Liberal Donald Nicoll.
At the 1859 general election Thynne was returned to the House of Commons after a 26-year absence. Standing as an "anti-ballot conservative", he had defeated the sitting Nicoll by 194 votes to 147. A petition was lodged against the result, but subsequently withdrawn amidst a dispute about allegations that Nicoll had made improper use of Disraeli's name, a charge which Nicoll strenuously denied. Thynne did not contest the 1865 election, when Sir Henry Rawlinson regained the seat for the Liberals.
Some time in 1872, Thynne called at the London home of the 5th Marquess Townshend, and eloped to France with his wife Clementina (née Duff). Clementina, who was 16 years Townshend's junior and 40 years younger than Thynne, had been neglected by her philanthropist husband, and was described as "more than willing" to escape. Her husband had to wait 9 years for his revenge.
At the Salisbury Petty Sessions in May 1881, Thynne described how he had been accosted by Lord Townshend and two accomplices on the road between Laverstock and Salisbury. A Colonel Nepean held the pony's head while Townshend struck him several times with the handle of a horse whip. Thynne acknowledged having eloped with Lady Townshend in 1872, but noted that the Marquis had never sued for divorce, and alleged that Lord Macduff had attacked him over the same matter while he was abroad.
Townshend was convicted of the assault, and sentenced to a fine of £500 or three months in prison. After some hours in jail, he reluctantly paid the fine, equivalent to £50,800 in 2020. Townshend denounced the court, while Vanity Fair reported unnamed others as saying "the only regret is that he [Thynne] was not thrashed earlier and worse".
- Margaret Escott (2009). D.R. Fisher (ed.). "THYNNE, Lord Edward (1807–1884), of 2 Richmond Terrace, Mdx". The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820–1832. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- F. M. L. Thompson (May 2006). Townshend, John Villiers Stuart, fifth Marquess Townshend (1831–1899). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- D.R. Fisher, ed. (1828). The British Critic and Quarterly Theological Review. London: F. and C. Rivington. p. 244.
- "No. 3638". The Edinburgh Gazette. 15 April 1828. p. 101.
- "No. 18688". The London Gazette. 8 June 1830. p. 1125.
- Emily Eden (2010) . Violet Dickinson (ed.). "Miss Eden's Letters". Nabu Press. ISBN 978-1177734806. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- The Law Journal for the Year 1832–1949: Comprising Reports of Cases in the Courts of Chancery. E. B. Ince. 1837. p. 26. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
- Andrew W. Tuer and Chs. E. Fagan (1887). The first year of a silken reign (1837–8). p. 99. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Insolvent Debtors' Court, August 18". The Times (16499). London: The Times Digital Archive. 19 August 1837. p. 6. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Mr. Thomas Duncombe and Lord Edward Thynne have made up". The Spectator. 25 November 1837. p. 2. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "The Metropolis". The Spectator. 2 December 1837.
- The Annual Register, or a view of the history, politics and literature of the year 1834. p. 208.
- Emily W. Sunstein (1991). Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality. JHU Press. p. 449.
- M.C. Rintoul (2014). Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction. Routledge.
- "Scotland". The Spectator. 20 September 1851. p. 5. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Obituary". The Times (31048). London: The Times Digital Archive. 5 February 1884. p. 9. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "No. 22714". The London Gazette. 6 March 1863. p. 1358.
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 128. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- "Archive". The Spectator. 26 July 1856. p. 8. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- Craig records the 1856 poll as having been Boyle and Thynne. However, The Times and The Spectator both report that Thynne withdrew, and the poll was between Boyle and Nicoll
- "Representation of Frome". The Times (22427). London: The Times Digital Archive. 23 July 1856. p. 8. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- "No. 22260". The London Gazette. 6 May 1859. p. 1869.
- "Election Intelligence". The Times (23295). London: The Times Digital Archive. 2 May 1859. p. 6. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Election Petitions". The Times (23344). London: The Times Digital Archive. 28 June 1859. p. 7. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Letters to the Editor of the Times: E. C. MORLEY". The Times (23783). London: The Times Digital Archive. 21 November 1860. p. 12. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "News in Brief". The Times (25128). London: The Times Digital Archive. 9 March 1865. p. 12. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "The Assault on Lord Edward Thynne". The Times (30209). London: The Times Digital Archive. 1 June 1881. p. 7. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- Burke, Sir Bernard, (1938 ed) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Shaw, London. p. 243
- Woodfall, H. (1768). The Peerage of England; Containing a Genealogical and Historical Account of All the Peers of that Kingdom Etc. Fourth Edition, Carefully Corrected, and Continued to the Present Time, Volume 6. p. 258.
- Lee, Sidney; Edwards, A. S. G. (revised) (2004). "Thynne, William (d. 1546)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27426. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Girouard, Mark, Thynne, Sir John (1515–1580), estate manager and builder of Longleat in Oxford Dictionary of Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
- Booth, Muriel. "Thynne, John (?1550–1604), of Longleat, Wilts". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Lancaster, Henry; Thrush, Andrew. "Thynne, Charles (c.1568–1652), of Cheddar, Som". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Pugh, R. B.; Crittall, Elizabeth, eds. (1957). "Parliamentary history: 1529–1629". A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 5. British History Online. London: Victoria County History.
- Ferris, John P. "Thynne, Sir James (c.1605-70), of Longbridge Deverill, Wilts". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Helms, M. W.; Ferris, John P. "Thynne, Sir Thomas (c.1610–c.69), of Richmond, Surr". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Marshall, Alan (2008) . "Thynne, Thomas [nicknamed Tom of Ten Thousand] (1647/8–1682)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27423. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Heath-Caldwell, J. J. "Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath, 3rd Viscount Weymouth". JJ Heath-Caldwell. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Hayton, D. W. "Thynne, Hon. Henry (1675-1708)". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Dunaway, Stewart (2013). Lord John Carteret, Earl Granville: His Life History and the Granville Grants. Lulu. p. 33. ISBN 9781300878070.
- "Bath, Thomas Thynne". Encyclopedia Britannica 1911. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Thorne, Roland. "Carteret [formerly Thynne], Henry Frederick". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath (1765–1837)". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Escott, Margaret. "Thynne, Lord Henry Frederick (1797-1837), of 6 Grovesnor Square, Mdx". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "John Thynne, 4th Marquess of Bath (1831-1896), Diplomat and landowner". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Lord Edward Thynne
- Portraits of Lady Cecilia Thynne (née Gore) at the National Portrait Gallery, London , second wife of Lord Edward
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Lord Henry Thynne
Lord William Thynne
| Member of Parliament for Weobley
1831 – 1832
With: Lord Henry Thynne
| Member of Parliament for Frome
1859 – 1865
Sir Henry Rawlinson, Bt