WHARTON, Sir Thomas (c.1615-84), of Edlington, Yorks.

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

Constituency

Dates

Family and Education

b. c.1615, 2nd s. of Sir Thomas Wharton of Aske by Lady Philadelphia Carey, da. of Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth. educ. Eton 1624-5; Exeter, Oxf. matric. 3 Mar. 1626, aged 11; travelled abroad (France) 1629-32; L. Inn 1638. m. (1) 1645, his cos. Lady Mary Carey (d. June 1672), da. of Henry Carey, 1st Earl of Dover, 1s. 3da.; (2) lic. 20 Apr. 1677, Jane, da. of Rowland Dand of Mansfield Woodhouse, Notts., wid. of Leonard Robinson of Ravensworth, Yorks., 2da. KB 2 Feb. 1626.1

Offices Held

Lt.-col. of ft. [I] by 1640-4, capt. c. Nov. 1660-3.2

J.p. Westmld. and Yorks. (N. Riding) Mar. 1660-d.; commr. for militia, Lincs. and Westmld. Mar. 1660, assessment (W. Riding) 1663-80, recusants, Westmld. and N. Riding 1675; dep. lt. (W. Riding) 1680-d.3

Warden of the Mint 1680-d.4

MP [I] 1639-40.

Biography

Wharton, a younger brother of the fourth lord, was brought up in a deeply Calvinistic household, ‘frequenting God’s house not only twice on the Lord’s day, but ordinarily on lecture days’. As a young man, he went to seek his fortune in Ireland, proving himself a good soldier and becoming something of a favourite with Ormonde, the lord lieutenant, who sent him as an envoy to the Long Parliament in May 1643. His brother, who was active on the committee of both Houses on Irish affairs, used him as an intermediary in 1646 to negotiate with his old commander for the surrender to Parliament of the remaining royal garrisons in Ireland. He acquired several adventures of forfeited land in co. Meath, and during the Interregnum he helped his royalist cousin, Sir Philip Musgrave, to buy back his property.5

In February 1660 Wharton presented to George Monck the Yorkshire declaration for a free Parliament, and in March he was reported to have pledged himself to work for a restoration. He was returned for Westmorland at the general election on the family interest, defeating Thomas Burton by 150 votes, and was put down as one of his brother’s ‘managers’ for a dozen counties. He was appointed to five committees in the Convention, including those on the bills for restitution to Ormonde and the Earl of Inchiquin, another prominent Irish loyalist. His services were rewarded with the wardenship of the Mint in reversion. In a debate on the bill for religion on 16 July he admitted that he was ‘in his judgment episcopal’, but moved to consult the divines, and a fortnight later he proposed to give Sir George Booth £10,000 and a vote of thanks for his part in the Restoration. He wrote to Ormonde to recommend some Presbyterian ministers who had preached ‘honestly and boldly’ for the King. Further evidence of his religious sympathies is provided by his appointment to the committees for the better observation of the Lord’s day and the suppression of profanity. On 17 Nov. he was added to the committee to bring in a bill for modified episcopacy, in accordance with the Worcester House declaration. He gave evidence to vindicate his brother from complicity in the plot against the life of Charles I on the Isle of Wight.6

Wharton did not stand for re-election. In 1662 he purchased Edlington, and later acquired further lands in Westmorland and Yorkshire. Ormonde insisted on the payment of his arrears in 1663 as ‘the only man, so far as I know, of the then army, besides myself, who paid his men for a whole year out of his own purse’, and he was compensated with a grant of lands in Ireland worth £300 p.a. He sold his company in Ireland at this time. When his reversion to the Mint fell in after 20 years, he showed little more than a dilettante interest in his department. The Westmorland freeholders were canvassed on his behalf in 1681, but he did not go to the poll. He died on 30 Oct. 1684 and was buried at Edlington. In his will, he left £2,000 to the archbishop of York and the bishop of Chester to buy up impropriations where the ministers’ stipends were small, so as to encourage preaching. His son survived him for only six months, and his granddaughter brought the Edlington estate to Robert Byerley.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Leonard Naylor / Eveline Cruickshanks

Notes