HEATH, Thomas II (1684-1741), of Mile End Green, Mdx.
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Family and Education
bap. 10 July 1684, 1st. s. of William Heath of Stepney, Mdx. by Jane, da. of Edmund Pike, grocer, of London. m. 19 Jan. 1713[–14], Katherine, da. and coh. of Arthur Bayley, Virginia merchant, of Mile End Green, 2s. 3da.1
Freeman, Harwich 1713.2
Heath’s father, an eminent East India captain whose wealth included £2,000-worth of Bank stock by 1710, became a director of the East India Company in 1713. It was no doubt this paternal influence that encouraged Heath to contest Harwich in that year. He may have stood on the Parker interest, based at nearby Erwarton, since he and Sir Philip Parker, 3rd Bt.†, were on good enough terms in 1717 to make a joint purchase of crown lands at the port. Heath was created a freeman a week before the poll, at which the mayor made a double return of him and Carew Hervey Mildmay, the nominee of the town’s recorder Lord Bolingbroke (Henry St. John II*). Before the meeting of Parliament, he married in January 1714 a wealthy heiress who brought with her an estate worth £28,000. On 6 Mar. he petitioned the Commons concerning his return, but on 6 Apr. the House resolved that a number of his voters had not fulfilled the residence qualification stipulated by the corporation’s charter, and Mildmay was seated. Heath stood again at a by-election for Harwich the following month, and this time was elected, rather than Bolingbroke’s candidate, Hon. Benedict Leonard Calvert*. On 25 May Calvert petitioned on the grounds that the Whig mayor had abused his powers, but the long delay in hearing the case meant that on 25 June Heath was able to act as a teller in favour of a motion supporting the right of Quakers to vote at the Southwark election. Four days later, however, he was unseated as a result of very questionable evidence produced by the Tories, who alleged that he had bribed some of the borough’s capital burgesses. Although he and Parker were returned for the town in January 1715, and Heath appeared to have strengthened his interest by buying Stansted Mountfitchet on Thomas Middleton’s* death in 1715, he was defeated in 1722, and attempts to win back support in 1727 and 1733 failed, mainly due to the growing interest of Parker’s brother-in-law, Viscount Perceval (John†). Heath died on 7 Sept. 1741, leaving his estate, valued at £1,450 a year, to his elder son, Bayley Heath, with a further bequest to his own brother, Edmund Pike Heath†. He also left £3,000 to his younger son, and provided for marriage portions of £10,000 for both his surviving daughters, the elder of whom inherited her uncle’s estate and married Henry Knight†.3