Sir Thomas Colby, 1st Baronet

Sir Thomas Colby, MP for Rochester, portrait in Rochester Guildhall.

Sir Thomas Colby, 1st Baronet (c. 1670 – 23 September 1729) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1724 to 1727.

Colby was the son of Philip Colby (1638–92) of Colby House and his wife Elizabeth Flewellin, daughter of William Flewellin.[1] His father became rich in the last years of his life by supplying a considerable amount of clothing to the army of William III. Colby took up residence in Colby house which was rebuilt, most probably around 1713. On 21 June 1720, he was created a baronet, of Kensington in the County of Middlesex.[2] He earned a reputation for great wealth, invested mainly in stocks and was cited as an example of avarice by William King, a Jacobite don and satirist.[3]

Colby was Navy Commissioner, and sat as Member of Parliament for Rochester from 1724 to 1727.[4]

Colby died a bachelor in September 1729. According to King his death was caused when he got up in the middle of the night in a heavy sweat because he was worried the servants may steal a bottle of port as he had left the key lying around.[5] The baronetcy became extinct on his death. He was buried with great pomp in the family vault in the parish church. It was thought that he died intestate and there was great controversy about his estate, which was said to be near £200,000. He had in fact drafted a will bequeathing his house and property in Kensington to his "Kinsman and namesake Thomas Colby late Clerke of the Cheque of His Majesty's Yard at Portsmouth", but failed to sign or date it. That will was therefore ignored and administration of the estate was granted to his cousin Flewellin Apsley, to be divided among his heirs.[3]


  1. ^ John Burke, John Bernard Burke A genealogical and heraldic history of the extinct and dormant baronetcies
  2. ^ "No. 5859". The London Gazette. 14 June 1720. p. 4.
  3. ^ a b Colby Court, Kensington House and Kensington Court, Survey of London: volume 42: Kensington Square to Earl's Court (1986), pp. 55–76. Date accessed: 15 November 2010
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 2)
  5. ^ William King Political and literary anecdotes of his own times
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Palmer, Bt
Sir John Jennings
Member of Parliament for Rochester
With: Sir John Jennings
Succeeded by
David Polhill
Sir John Jennings
Baronetage of Great Britain
New creation Baronet
(of Kensington)