TAYLOUR, Thomas, Earl of Bective (1787-1870), of Bective Castle, co. Meath.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1812 - 24 Oct. 1829

Family and Education

b. 4 May 1787, 1st s. of Thomas, 1st Mq. of Headfort [I], by Mary, da. and h. of George Quin of Quinsborough, co. Clare. educ. Harrow 1798-c.1803; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1811. m. (1) 29 Jan. 1822, Olivia (d. 21 July 1834), da. of Sir John Stevenson, D. Mus., of Dublin, wid. of Edward Tuite Dalton of Fennar, co. Meath, 3s. 3da.; (2) 5 Apr. 1853, Frances, da. of John Livingstone Martyn of co. Tyrone, wid. of Sir William Hay MacNaghten, 1st Bt. and of Col. James C. McClintoch of the Bengal army, s.p. Styled Visct. Headfort 1795-1800, Earl of Bective 1800-29; suc. fa. as 2nd Mq. of Headfort [I] 24 Oct. 1829; cr. Baron Kenlis [UK] 19 Sept. 1831; KP 15 Apr. 1839.

Offices Held

Ld. of bedchamber 1835-7; ld. in waiting 1837-41; PC [I] 30 May 1835.

Ld. lt. co. Cavan 1831-d.

Col. R. Meath militia 1823.


Lord Bective’s father sat in the Irish house of commons from 1776 until he succeeded to the title in 1795, being then Member for Meath. He was reckoned, like his father and brother, a steady supporter of English government, without the inducement of place; moreover, though ‘no orator’, as the viceroy informed Pitt in 1790, he spoke ‘boldly and handsomely in defence of government when every political orator shrunk from the danger’. At the Union he was rewarded with a marquessate and became a representative peer, while his brother Clotworthy, then county Member, became a baron.

Bective was returned unopposed for county Meath in 1812, the year his father became a lord of the bedchamber to the Prince Regent, and was listed a friend of government. Representing a predominantly Catholic constituency, he prudently voted for Catholic claims, 2 Mar., 13 and 24 May 1813, 30 May 1815, 9 May 1817 and 3 May 1819. Otherwise, except on the Irish window tax, 5 May 1819, his name appears only in government division lists and government circularized him for attendance on critical occasions, though he did not always appear. No speech is known: out of the House, Creevey found him ‘a chattering, capering, spindleshanked gaby’. Lord George Thomas Beresford* committed his mentally unstable wife to an asylum for crim. con. with Bective in 1816. He died 6 Dec. 1870.

PRO 30/8/140, f. 45; 331, f. 22; Add. 40191, f. 133; Creevey Pprs. ed. Maxwell, ii. 326; Spencer mss, Lady to Ld. Spencer [23 Jan.]; Morning Chron. 1 July 1816.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: P. J. Jupp