MANSEL, Thomas II (1678-1706), of Briton Ferry, Glam.

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



20 Dec. 1699 - Nov. 1701
Dec. 1701 - 7 Jan. 1706

Family and Education

b. 4 May 1678, o. s. of Thomas Mansel† (o. s. d.v.p. of Bussy Mansel*) of Briton Ferry by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Richard Games of Penderyn, Brec. unmsuc. gdfa. 1699.1

Offices Held

Constable, Cardiff Castle 1701–d.2


It is possible, though unlikely, that this Member may be identified with an ensign commissioned in an infantry regiment in 1694 and still in receipt of half-pay as late as 1702. However, any thoughts of a military career, had they existed, would have evaporated with his succession to his grandfather’s estate, valued at around £2,000 p.a. In the absence of his kinsman and namesake Thomas Mansel I* of Margam he was also able to succeed to Bussy Mansel’s place as knight of the shire, holding onto the seat in the January 1701 election despite the fact that Thomas I had now returned home and had hopes himself of the county representation. Any rift between the Mansels was healed by the time of the second election of 1701, when the Margam Thomas took the county seat and Thomas of Briton Ferry retreated to the Boroughs, content thereafter to act as junior partner in the family alliance. In December 1701 Robert Harley* classed him as a Tory, and he was listed as having favoured the motion of 26 Feb. 1702 vindicating the Commons’ proceedings of the previous Parliament over the impeachments of the four Whig lords. Aside from a month’s leave of absence granted on 22 Dec. 1704, his parliamentary activity cannot be differentiated from that of the other Thomas Mansel, who was in any case the more prominent of the pair. The influence of Margam may well be seen in his appearance in a forecast dating from 30 Oct. 1704, as one inclined to oppose the Tack; in his employment by Robert Harley as a lobbying agent against the measure; and in his failure, along with the other Harleyites, to vote for this measure on 28 Nov., as a result of which he was labelled ‘Low Church’ in a list of the ensuing Parliament. In local politics he collaborated closely with his cousin and namesake in the bitter struggle against Sir Humphrey Mackworth* (see GLAMORGAN; CARDIFF BOROUGHS). He himself had a vested interest, as a neighbour of Mackworth and the proprietor of rival collieries.3

Opposition to the Tack was to be the last recorded act of his parliamentary career. Reported as ‘dangerously ill’ at Kensington in September 1705, he was, not surprisingly, absent on 25 Oct. from the division on the Speaker and died on 7 Jan. 1706, leaving his estate to Thomas Mansel I for his lifetime, with a remainder to Mansel’s youngest surviving son, Bussy, who sat for Cardiff Boroughs under George II and eventually succeeded as 4th Lord Mansell.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum, 496; E. P. Statham, Fam. of Mansell, ii. 30, 685; Cat. Penrice and Margam Mss, ser. 2, p. 113; L. B. John, ‘Parl. Rep. Glam. 1536–1832’ (Wales Univ. M.A. thesis, 1934), 32.
  • 2. Cardiff Recs. ed. Matthews, v. 498.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 289; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 272; xv. 449; xvii. 1116; NLW Jnl. xxi. 163; Glam. Co. Hist. iv. 387, 399–400; P. Jenkins, Making of a Ruling Class, 129, 140; Bull. IHR, xxxiv. 93–94; xxxvii. 23, 46; D. R. Phillips, Vale of Neath, 235–6, 262–3; Morgannwg, xiii. 68–73.
  • 4. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 595; Statham, 34, 685–7.