Thomas Lister (British politician, born 1688)

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Thomas Lister (1688–1745), of Gisburne Park, Yorkshire, was a British landowner and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1713 to 1745.

Early lifeEdit

Lister was baptized on 18 October 1688, the eldest son. of Thomas Lister of Arnoldsbigging and Westby, Yorkshire and his wife Elizabeth Parker, daughter of John Parker of Extwisle, Lancashire. He was educated at Eton College from 1698 to 1706 and matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford on 1 February 1706, aged 17,[1] although he claimed to have learnt very little in two and a half years there. He succeeded his father in 1706. In 1709 he was admitted at Middle Temple. He married Catherine Assheton, (died 1728), daughter of Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd Baronet of Middleton and Whalley, Lancashire on 27 November 1716.[2]


Lister's family held an electoral interest at Clitheroe, having owned property there since the 14th century. When he stood at a by-election on 23 April 1713, he was described as a ‘very puisne young gentleman’, as well as being ‘honest’. After being returned as Member of Parliament for Clitheroe in 1713, he made little impact in Parliament. He was classed as a Tory but in spite of Tory leanings, he voted on 18 June 1713 against the French commerce bill.[2]

Gisburne Park

At the 1715 general election, Lister was elected MP for Clitheroe again in a contest. He improved his local interest by his marriage in 1716, and after he was elected in a contest at the 1722 general election he was able to turn this into control of one seat. He consistently voted against the Government, and spoke on 7 May 1728 against a vote of credit. He moved the family seat from Arnoldsbigging to Lower Hall in Gisburn, which his father had acquired from Sir John Assheton in 1697. He rebuilt Lower Hall as Gisburne Park between 1726 and 1736. The hall is of two storeys on an H-shaped floor plane, with nine bays on the south front, the central three being recessed, pebbledashed with sandstone dressings and with a hipped slate roof.[3] The park was also developed and designs were produced by Lord Robert Petre.[4] Lister was returned unopposed on his own interest at the general elections of 1727, 1734 and 1741.[5]

Death and legacyEdit

Lister died on 15 May 1745 and was buried at Gisburn on 22 May 1745. He had two sons and three daughters, one of whom predeceased him. Both his sons, Thomas and Nathaniel Lister, sat for Clitheroe, as did his grandson Thomas, who was raised to the peerage as Baron Ribblesdale.[2]


  1. ^ Foster, Joseph. "Lee-Llewellin in Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714 pp.892-921". British History Online. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "LISTER, Thomas II (1688-1745), of Gisburn Park, Yorks". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Gisburne Park, Gisburn". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  4. ^ Historic England. "GISBURNE PARK (1400674)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  5. ^ "LISTER, Thomas (1688-1745), of Gisburn Park, nr. Clitheroe, Yorks". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 11 January 2019.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Edward Harvey
Christopher Parker
Member of Parliament for Clitheroe

With: Christopher Parker
Charles Zedenno Stanley
Edward Harvey
Nathaniel Curzon
The Viscount Galway
William Curzon
Succeeded by
Thomas Lister II
William Curzon