LISTER, Thomas I (c.1658-1718), of Coleby, Lincs.

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



1705 - 1715

Family and Education

b. c.1658, 1st s. of William Lister of Coleby by Frances, da. of Sir John Franklyn† of Willesden, Mdx.  educ. Sidney Sussex, Camb. adm. 7 Apr. 1675, aged 16; G. Inn 1678.  m. 5 June 1683, Jane, da. of John Hawtrey of Ruislip, Mdx., 1s. d.v.p. 6da.  suc. fa. 1687.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Lincs. 1695–6; freeman, Appleby 1704.2

Commr. army, navy and transport debts 1700–5, public accts. 1711–14.


Lister was a descendant of a family settled at Wakefield, Yorkshire in the 15th century. His great-grandfather had established himself at Coleby, six miles from Lincoln, and became sheriff of his adopted county, while his great-uncle Thomas Lister represented the town in the Long Parliament. Lister himself gained the shrievalty of Lincolnshire in December 1695, but analysis of his public career in the capital is hampered by the prominence of several namesakes. In particular, Thomas Lister (d. 1711), of Whitfield, Northamptonshire, an equerry under Queen Anne, is more likely to have been carver to Queen Mary and gentleman usher to the Duke of Gloucester from 1698 to 1700. However, in April 1700 the future Member was positively identified by James Vernon I* as one of the newly elected commissioners for army, navy and transport debts. Such promotion may well have been aided by his influential political contacts, most notably Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Bt.*, who had married Lister’s aunt, and Ralph Hawtrey*, his wife’s uncle. The commission gave him an annual salary of £400, and involved him with investigations into the monies unaccounted for in the hands of John Parkhurst*, as well as the charges against Lord Ranelagh (Richard Jones*) as paymaster. Given his connexion with Musgrave, he was probably the ‘honest Mr Lister’ who during Anne’s reign frequently dined at Bishop Nicolson’s in the company of Christopher Musgrave*, Jonathan Jennings* and Thomas Harrison*.3

Returned unopposed for Lincoln in 1705 on his own interest, Lister was listed as a ‘Churchman’, and also r