TOMLINE, William Edward (1787-1836), of Riby Grove, Lincs.

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



1812 - 1818
1818 - 1820
1826 - Feb. 1829
1830 - 1831

Family and Education

b. 27 Feb. 1787, 1st s. of Rt. Rev. George Tomline (formerly Pretyman), bp. of Lincoln and later of Winchester, by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Thomas Maltby of Germans, Bucks. educ. privately; Trinity Coll. Cambridge 1804. m. 18 Apr. 1811, Frances, da. and h. of John Amler of Ford Hall, Salop, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1827 (but not to the baronetcy of Pretyman to which his claim was established in 1823).

Offices Held

Sheriff, Lincs. 1824-5.

1st maj. Lindsey regt. Lincs. militia 1809, lt.-col. 1814; col. R. North Lincs. militia 1831, col. 1835-d.


Bishop Tomline, Pitt’s tutor, secretary, confidant and future biographer, encouraged his eldest son’s youthful talent for public speaking1 and in 1812 his friendship with George Rose* procured him a seat in Parliament on Rose’s interest. Rose assured the premier, ‘I will be answerable for him in all respects’.2 He duly appeared on the Treasury list of supporters. His father was at that time in the forefront of opposition to Catholic relief and in his maiden speech Tomline took the same line, 25 Feb. 1813. He ventured to doubt whether Pitt would have supported the measure, had he lived, for which he was taken to task by speakers on the other side: after this, not a syllable in debate before 1820. Voting steadily against Catholic relief in 1813 and again in 1817, he was also inflexible in his support for agricultural protection. When in March 1815 a petition from his constituents against the corn bill was presented, he informed his patron, ‘I am persuaded that neither you nor they will be offended at my not altering the line of my conduct in a question of general policy my doing which would disgrace myself without promoting the success of their wishes’.3 He voted against protect