DALMAHOY, Thomas (d.1682), of The Friary, Guildford, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



5 Dec. 1664
Mar. 1679

Family and Education

3rd s. of Sir John Dalmahoy of Dalmahoy, Ratho, Midlothian by Barbara, da. of one Bernard. m. (1) 19 June 1655, Lady Elizabeth Maxwell (bur. 2 Sept. 1659), da. and coh. of James, 1st Earl of Dirletoun [S], wid. of William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton [S], s.p.; (2) 19 Feb. 1681, Elizabeth, da. of William Muschamp of Rowbarns, East Horsley, Surr., wid. of Sir William Clerke, 2nd Bt., of Shabbington, Bucks., s.p.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Surr. 1661-80; freeman, Guildford 1664; j.p. Surr. 1664-d., dep. lt. by 1665-d., commr. for recusants 1675, rebuilding of Southwark 1677.2

Lt. indep. tp. 1667.3


Dalmahoy came from a 13th century Scottish knightly family. He was in the service of the Hamiltons by 1632, but later claimed to have ‘suffered for my constant loyalty and duty to his Majesty [Charles II] and to his father of blessed memory’. As master of the horse to the second Duke, who was mortally wounded at Worcester in the Stuart cause, Dalmahoy arranged his funeral, and subsequently married his widow. The Hamilton estates in Scotland remained sequestrated; but as coheir to her father she brought him property and interest at Guildford, though her daughters apparently disputed some part of the settlement. Samuel Pepys, meeting the ‘Scotch gentleman’ on his way to the exiled Court in May 1660, found him ‘a very fine man’, and Speaker Onslow, whose family was akin to Dalmahoy’s second wife, called him genteel and generous. He was proposed for the order of the Royal Oak, with an income of £1,200 p.a.4

Dalmahoy was returned for Guildford at a by-election in 1664, with the personal support of the Duke of York, who was said in A Seasonable Argument to have voted for him. A moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to 49 committees, acted as teller in three divisions, and made ten recorded speeches. Although a consistent supporter of the Government, he joined forces with Sir Nicholas Carew of the country party to oppose the Wey navigation bill in 1665, and secured its rejection on first reading. He was appointed to the committee for the continuation of the Conventicles Act in 1668. A friend of Ormonde, he appeared on both lists of the court party in 1669-71. When the Wey navigation bill was reintroduced in 1670, he submitted a proviso and was appointed to the committee. His name appears on the Paston List. Lauderdale’s brother, Lord Halton, had acquired the property next to his ancestral home, and so it was not merely a countryman but a neighbour whom he had to defend against the increasingly vociferous demands for his removal. He pointed out on 13 Jan. 1674 that Lauderdale was not even in Scotland when the Scottish Parliament gave the Government the power to use the militia outside their own country. In the spring session of 1675, he was appointed to the committee to consider an alleged assault by Lauderdale’s servants on a witness, and reminded the House that:

the Duke of Lauderdale has been banished and imprisoned by the late usurped powers from 1648 till the King’s Restoration; and hopes he deserves not such severity.

In the same session he became involved in a case in the House of Lords concerning his first wife’s mother, though only as a legatee. The four lawyers who had appeared for the appellant were sent to the Tower, and it was moved that Dalmahoy, like John Fagg I, should join them for betraying the privileges of the Commons; but he protested that he had neither directly nor indirectly applied himself to the Lords, or owned their power, and the motion was rejected without a division.5

Dalmahoy was named on the working lists and included by Sir Richard Wiseman among the government supporters, while Shaftesbury in 1677 marked him ‘doubly vile’. In A Seasonable Argument he was described as ‘a Scotch serving-man’ and ‘a creature of Lauderdale’s’. When the Duke of Norfolk’s estate was debated on 9 Mar. Dalmahoy defended the character of his absent colleague Arthur Onslow, one of the trustees, although they were of opposite parties. When complaint was made of Scots regiments in the French army, he pointed out that there were three times as many in the Dutch service. On 7 May 1678 he was appointed to the committee to draw up the address for the removal of counsellors, but he twice acted with Lord Ancram (Charles Kerr) as teller for the adjournment in order to avoid a debate on Lauderdale. His name appeared on both lists of the court party for this year.6

Dalmahoy stood for re-election on the corporation interest at the first general election of 1679, and defeated the republican Algernon Sidney, despite energetic canvassing by the Quakers. Shaftesbury marked him ‘vile’ and he voted against exclusion. His only committees in the first Exclusion Parliament were to inquire into the decay of the woollen manufactures and the abuses of the post office. In his only recorded speech, he again defended Lauderdale:

No man in his station has defeated the designs of the Papists more than the Duke. When ten or twelve thousand were up in rebellion in Scotland, all at a time, did not the Duke show himself a good subject? ... I never saw the French Ambassador with him, and I frequent his house.

As one of the ‘unanimous club’ he did not stand again, and sold his Guildford property in 1681. He died on 24 May 1682, and was buried at St. Martin in the Fields. No other member of his family sat in Parliament, either north or south of the border.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. lx), 34; Scots Peerage, iii. 130; Her. and Gen. v. 380.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1664-5, p. 527; Add. 6167, f. 208.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1667, p. 183.
  • 4. Statistical Account, i. 83; HMC Hamilton, 183; PCC 69 Cottle; CSP Dom. 1651, p. 455; 1660-1, p. 380; Pepys Diary, 11 May 1660; Burnet, i. 350.
  • 5. CJ, viii. 602; ix. 152, 350; Statistical Account, i. 83; Grey, ii. 238; iii. 214; Dering Pprs. 97, 98.
  • 6. Grey, iv. 217, 259; CJ, ix. 477, 479.
  • 7. A. Collins, Mems. Sidney Fam. 153-4; Grey, vii. 191-2; Her. and Gen. v. 380.