BULKELEY, Hon. Thomas (c.1633-1708), of Dinas, Caern.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1679 - Mar. 1681
1685 - 1687
1689 - 1690
1690 - 1695
10 Feb. 1697 - 1705
1705 - 23 Mar. 1708

Family and Education

b. c.1633, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of Thomas Bulkeley, 1st Visct. Bulkeley of Cashel [I], by Blanche, da. of Robert Coytmore of Coytmore; bro. of Henry Bulkeley† and Robert Bulkeley†, 2nd Visct.  educ. Jesus, Oxf. 1652; G. Inn 1654.  m. Jane, da. and coh. of Griffith Jones of Castellmarch, Caern., wid. of Thomas Williams of Dinas, s.p.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Caern. Jan.–Nov. 1688; freeman, Caernarvon by 1692.2

Biography

Like his nephew the 2nd Viscount (Richard†), Thomas Bulkeley had lost his local offices in 1688 through refusing to consent to the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act. He had even been pricked as sheriff to prevent him from standing for re-election to Parliament. The family candidate for knight of the shire for Anglesey in the Convention, he was brought in by the 3rd Viscount again in 1690 at Beaumaris, leaving the Caernarvonshire seat free for another nephew, Sir William Williams, 6th Bt.*, who was also the 2nd Viscount’s son-in-law. Relations with Williams later came under strain, Thomas Bulkeley fighting a duel in 1692 with Williams’ close friend Sir Bourchier Wrey, 4th Bt.*, but this quarrel does not seem to have extended to any attempt against Williams at the polls in Caernarvonshire. An old Tory and anti-Exclusionist, Bulkeley had evidently behaved with as much tact as his nephew Lord Bulkeley in 1689, for he was not listed as voting against the transfer of the crown. Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) classed him as a Tory, and possibly a Court supporter, in March 1690, and in the following December he was listed as a likely supporter in the event of a Commons attack upon Carmarthen. In April 1691 Robert Harley* listed Bulkeley with the Country party opposition. During the 1694–5 session he was included on Henry Guy’s* list of ‘friends’, probably in connexion with the Commons’ investigation of Guy.3

Bulkeley did not put up in the 1695 election but was returned again for Caernarvonshire two years later at a by-election following the death of Sir William Williams. In September 1698 he was listed as a member of the Country party, and the following month was included in a list of likely opponents of a standing army. Bulkeley was now much less involved in the work of the House. In the 1701 Parliament he was forecast as likely to support the Court in agreeing with the supply committee’s resolution to continue the ‘Great Mortgage’, but he made little further impact upon the record of this Parliament and on 31 May he was granted leave of absence. Classified with the Tories by Harley in December 1701, he was listed as having favoured the motion of 26 Feb. 1702 vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the previous Parliament on the impeachments of the four Whig lords. On the death of another nephew, Hon. Robert Bulkeley*, in 1702 there was a rumour that he would succeed to Robert’s Household office as equerry to Queen Anne, but this would seem to have been without foundation. He introduced a private bill in February 1704, and in November of that year bore out a forecast by voting on the 28th for the Tack. Transferring to Caernarvon Boroughs in 1705 he voted on 25 Oct. against the Court candidate for Speaker, and remained a Tory to the end, being classed as such in a list dating from shortly before his death, which occurred on 23 Mar. 1708, by which time he had reached the age of 75.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton

Notes