WHITMORE, Thomas I (?1742-95), of Apley, Salop.
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Family and Education
b. ?1742, 1st s. of Charles Whitmore, wine merchant, of Southampton, s. of William Whitmore† of Apley, and bro. of Sir Thomas Whitmore† and William Whitmore†, by w. Mary née Kelly. m. (1) June 1770, his cos. Mary (d.1776), da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Whitmore† of Apley, 3da.; (2) Jan. 1780, Mary, da. of Capt. Thomas Foley, RN, of Stockton, Salop, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1770; uncle (fa.-in-law) Sir Thomas Whitmore to Apley 1773.
Ensign, 9 Ft. 1759, 1 Ft. Gds. 1761; capt. 9 Ft. 1762, maj. 1767, ret. 1773.
Recorder, Bridgnorth 1775-d.
Whitmore represented the sixth generation of the family to sit for Bridgnorth and was secure in his seat until his death. He joined the Whig Club, 6 Mar. 1787. After 1790 he continued to act with the Foxite Whigs, voting with them in at least nine major divisions, and being listed favourable to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791. The divisions included Grey’s Oczakov resolutions, 12 Apr. 1791, Fox’s amendment to the address, 13 Dec. 1792, and his motions against the war 1793-4 and Grey’s motion for parliamentary reform, 7 May 1793. In January 1795 he voted against the further suspension of habeas corpus on the 23rd and favoured Grey’s motion for peace on the 26th. He did not usually intervene in debate, though George Rose reported on 26 Apr. 1793, after Pitt had parried an opposition attack on his foreign policy the night before, that the Foxites were loath to ‘take the sense of the House but Mr Whitmore two thirds drunk and one third mad compelled it’. On 29 Apr. he tried to convince the House that the war against France was unpopular. On 20 Mar. 1794 he wrote to William Adam, offering to attend any motion of Grey’s against the landing of allied troops in England, if desired; otherwise he would resume attendance in May. He concluded by asking to be remembered to ‘Fox, Grey, and the rest of us’. He publicly attacked the Duke of Portland on his junction with government in July 1794, whereupon George Forester† remarked, ‘He goes on the old way, and I fear the consequence will be bad one day or other’.1
Within a year this prophecy was realized. Whit-more was drowned in a lead cistern in his shrubbery into which he fell during an apoplectic fit, 17 Apr. 1795, aged 52. His heir being a minor, his cousin John Whitmore succeeded him as locum tenens for Bridgnorth. The other Member, Browne, assured Pitt that the new Member would not be of the Foxite group and that the late Member’s attachment to them ‘arose entirely from his own sentiments, not from the principles of his family’.2