THYNNE, Thomas II (c.1648-82), of Longleat, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

22 Nov. 1670
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1648, o. surv. s. of Sir Thomas Thynne. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 14 Dec. 1666, aged 18; M. Temple 1669. m. July 1681, Lady Elizabeth Percy, da. and h. of Joceline, 11th Earl of Northumberland, wid. of Henry, Earl of Ogle, s.p. suc. fa. c.1669, uncle Sir James Thynne in Longleat estate 1670.1

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Wilts. 1672-3, 1673-81; commr. for assessment, Wilts. and Westminster 1673-80, Som. 1677-80; col. of militia, Wilts. to 1681.2

Biography

Thynne succeeded to his uncle’s seat, probably unopposed, as well as to his estate. His immense wealth, and lack of any other distinction, earned him the nick-name of ‘Tom of Ten Thousand’. Most of his parliamentary career coincides with that of his cousin Thomas Thynne I, and it is only by their geographical interests that they can be separated. He was probably moderately active in the Cavalier Parliament, serving on at least three committees and possibly 30 more. On his first taking his seat, he was regarded by the Opposition as a member of the court party, and as late as 1673 the King was insisting that the Duke of Somerset (Lord John Seymour) should restore him to the lieutenancy. According to Flagellum Parliamentarium, he had been ‘cullied for leave to hunt in New Park’. But it was not long before he went into opposition. In 1674 he probably served on the committees for the impeachment of Arlington, for Irish affairs and for the appropriation of the customs to the use of the navy. In the next session he acted as teller for the adjournment of the debate on the King’s speech. In the brawl which developed in grand committee on 10 May 1675 over the division on the recall of British subjects from French service, he was one of the ‘young gallants’ who leapt over the benches to the assistance of William, Lord Cavendish. With his brother-in-law John Hall he acted as teller against the adjournment of the supply debate on 6 Nov., and in the same session was appointed to the committee for the liberty of the subject. In 1677 he may have served on the committee for educating the royal family as Protestants, and was noted by Shaftesbury as ‘doubly worthy’. A bill to enable him to make a jointure was reported by (Sir) John Malet on 22 Feb. 1678. He was probably appointed to the committee to draw up the address for the removal of counsellors, and his activity increased with the Popish Plot; he was one of the Members to attend the King on 19 Nov. with an address against the release of Secretary Williamson, and he was twice employed as a messenger to the Lords, once to desire a conference on the safety of the King and kingdom, and again to carry up the impeachment of Lord Belasyse.3

Thynne was re-elected for Wiltshire to the three Exclusion Parliaments. He was marked ‘worthy’ by Shaftesbury. He was probably active in the first Exclusion Parliament, and may have sat on as many as 17 committees, including those on the bill for security against Popery and the habeas corpus amendment bill. He was sent to the Upper House to desire the peers to continue sitting on 5 May 1679, and six days later to ask for a free conference on the trial of the lords in the Tower. He voted for exclusion. With Sir Walter St. John and