DAVIES, Thomas Henry Hastings (1789-1846), of Elmley Castle, Worcs.
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Family and Education
b. 27 Jan. 1789, 1st s. of Thomas Davies, adv.-gen. to E.I. Co., by Anna, da. of Hugh Baillie of Monckton, Ayr. educ. Sandhurst. m. 17 Jan. 1824, Augusta Anne, da. and h. of Thomas Champion Crespigny* of Ufford Park, Suff., s.p. suc. fa. 1792; gdfa. Thomas Davies of New House, Herefs. 1795.
Ensign 52 Ft. 1804, lt. 1805, capt. 1808; lt. and capt. 1 Ft. Gds. 1809, capt. and lt.-col. 1815-18; lt.-col. Chasseurs Britanniques (half-pay) 1818, brevet col. 1837; col. 6 Drag. 1839, ret. 1839.
Davies served with distinction in the Peninsular war and at Waterloo. In 1816 he purchased the Elmley estate. He was a candidate in the Worcester by-election that year, but did not go to a poll. On 18 June 1817 he joined Brooks’s Club. He stood successfully and at great expense at Worcester in 1818, resigning his officer’s commission to allay criticism. He was an advocate of moderate reform.
He did not sign the requisition to Tierney to lead the Whig opposition, but acted steadily with them in his first Parliament. His maiden speech was critical of the cash payments bill: he described it as for the convenience of the Bank and at the expense of the country, which would be inundated with paper currency. On 7 May 1819 he explained how the army estimates might be cut by £120,000, but failed to carry his point, 10 May. (He tried again on 17 Dec., promising a motion for inquiry after the recess.) He objected in limine to the foreign enlistment bill, 13 May, and, at greater length, on 10 June. He pleaded for retrenchment, 12 July. He voted for criminal law reform, 2 Mar., for burgh reform, I Apr. and 6 May, and against public lotteries, 4 May. On 30 Nov. 1819 he seconded Althorp’s motion for inquiry into the state of the country, warning ministers that repressive measures would end in despotism. He opposed the seditious meetings bill until 6 Dec., when he voted for limited duration, and subsequent coercive measures, claiming on 21 Dec. that ministers made no answer to objections to the blasphemous libel bill: ‘In the history of Parliament—gentlemen might laugh, but he would repeat, that in the history of Parliament, was nothing to be found so indecent’. Davies died 11 Dec. 1846.
Gent. Mag. (1847), i. 310; The Late Elections (1818), 414, 418.