TOLLEMACHE, Hon. Wilbraham (1739-1821), of Calveley Hall, Cheshire

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



13 Dec. 1771 - 1780
1780 - 1784

Family and Education

b. 23 Oct. 1739, 2nd s. of Lionel, 4th Earl of Dysart [S], by Grace, da. of John, 2nd Earl Granville.  m. Anna Maria, da. of David Lewis of Malvern Hall, Warws., s.p.  suc. bro. as 6th Earl of Dysart 22 Feb. 1799.

Offices Held

Capt. 106 Ft. 1761; half pay 1763; capt. 6 Ft. 1765; maj. 1771; ret. 1772.

Sheriff, Cheshire 1785-6.


Tollemache’s father was high steward of Ipswich and had an estate near the borough, and Tollemache unsuccessfully contested Ipswich in 1768. Through his mother he was first cousin to John, 1st Earl Spencer, who secured his unopposed election at Northampton in 1771 and 1774.1 In 1780 this seat was required for Lord Althorp but Tollemache, with the help of Shelburne, his uncle by marriage, obtained another at Liskeard from Edward Eliot, probably paying £3,000, the sum asked by Eliot from other clients.2

Tollemache voted regularly with the Opposition to North’s Government, but is not known to have spoken in the House. In 1780 he was an active champion of economical reform, becoming chairman of the Cheshire Committee of Association.3 In November 1782 Shelburne assumed, naturally but as it proved incorrectly, that Tollemache would support his Government,4 but on 18 Feb. 1783 Tollemache, following his Spencer connexions, voted against the peace preliminaries, and at the beginning of 1784 he sided with the Coalition against Pitt’s ministry. In consequence Eliot declined to have him re-elected at Liskeard, and neither his cousin George John, 2nd Earl Spencer, nor any other Opposition leader, was able to provide him with a seat elsewhere.

He died 9 Mar. 1821.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: I. R. Christie


  • 1. Mrs. Delany, Autobiog. and Corresp. (ser. 2), i. 390.
  • 2. Edw. Eliot to Shelburne, 16 Nov. 1780, Lansdowne mss.
  • 3. Add. 38593, ff. 8-9.
  • 4. Parliamentary list, Lansdowne mss.