TIPPING, Thomas (1653-1718), of Wheatfield, Oxon.

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



Family and Education

bap. 20 Apr. 1653, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Tipping of Wheatfield by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir White Beconshaw of Moyles Court, Ellingham, Hants. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1669; L. Inn. 1672. m. lic. 17 Mar. 1698, Anne (d. 29 Jan. 1728), da. of Thomas Cheeke, lt. of the Tower, of Pirgo, Havering, Essex, and h. to her bro. Thomas, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1693; cr. Bt. 24 Mar. 1698.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Woodstock and Wallingford 1685; commr. for assessment, Oxon. and Berks. 1689-90; dep. lt. Oxon. 1689-1702; j.p. Oxon. 1689-d., Berks. by 1701-d.2

Lt. col. Lord Mordaunt’s Ft. Nov. 1688-91.

Gent. of privy chamber 1689-1702.3


Tipping’s ancestors were in Oxfordshire by the early Tudor period, first settling at Wheatfield in 1594. His father avoided commitment during the Civil War, but served on local commissions from 1647, and was sufficiently flexible to receive a knighthood and continue in office after the Restoration until the Exclusion crisis. Although Tipping had not yet inherited the estate, and was later ‘as notorious a Whig as any in the county’, he was successful for Oxfordshire in 1685, presumably because he was considered less extreme than Thomas Horde. An active Member of James II’s Parliament, he was named to 14 committees, including those to peruse expiring laws and to inspect the accounts of the disbandment commissioners. He achieved prominence in the debates on the bill for preserving the King’s person by moving for a proviso that clergymen might continue to ‘assert any doctrine against the Church of Rome without incurring the danger of the Act, that they may not be tender-mouthed in that particular’. He was among those ordered to bring in a clause to forbid any resolution altering the succession; but the bill made no further progress. He committed a breach of trust by contriving to marry his ward, one Silverlock to a whore of his own, ‘promising the relations of the young esquire she was a fortune, and should be worth him seven or eight thousand pounds’. Rather than pay the fine of £5,000 imposed for this, he fled to Holland in 1686 and was outlawed, though his mother tried to bribe Brent, a ‘popish solicitor’, to enter a nolle prosequi. He was listed among those opposed to James in 1687-88, and in autumn 1688 was excepted from the general pardon issued by the King. Apparently he enlisted under William of Orange, for when the Prince arrived in England, he was second-in-command of Lord Mordaunt’s radical regiment, and was an active supporter of the Revolution.4

Tipping did not contest Oxfordshire again, but in 1689 stood for Wallingford, some ten miles distant from Wheatfield. The election was contested, but his own return was not opposed. A moderately active Member, he made nine recorded speeches, acted as teller in five divisions, and was appointed to 32 committees, including that which prepared the declaration of rights. In his speech of 2 Feb. he insisted that the flight of James constituted abdication, and he was appointed to the committee to prepare reasons for a conference with the Lords. In a further speech on 7 Feb. he moved ‘that none that have been Papists shall be capable to inherit the crown’. Other important committees during the early weeks of the Convention included those to draw up an address of thanks for the abolition of the hearth-tax, to inquire into the authors and advisers of grievances, and to bring in the first mutiny bill. He was given leave on 15 Mar. to go to his command at Portsmouth, but had returned by early April when he criticized a treason bill sent from the Lords.

As this bill is penned, I think no Member in the House will be for it. To declare or proclaim King James is treason. I have been always against making words treason; for passion, or a man in drink, or a mistake of a word, may put our lives into our servants’ hands, who may swear treason against us. Certainly you must have a proviso for the Protestants in Ireland, who have been compelled to own King James. But it is necessary to make promoting King James’s title to be treason, for as the law now stands, it is not treason. Therefore I would commit the bill to mend it.

In the event, the bill did not obtain a second reading. He successfully applied to the court of King’s bench for a writ of error to reverse his outlawry. On 18 May, he acted as chairman of the committee to inquire into sending Papist children abroad for their education, and twice reported its findings. As nephew of Alice Lisle, condemned to death by Judge Jeffreys, he was anxious to restore the family honour, and carried to the Lords on 21 May the bill to reverse her attainder. Next day he helped to manage a conference on toleration, and carried up a request for a conference on the additional poll bill. He spoke on the subject of defence on 18 June, declaring:

I was lately at Portsmouth where I saw one of the greatest ships given in upon account fitted, and weeds grew on her sides, three times as long as the table; which, Lord Torrington said, must have been at least three years laid up.

He was then named to the committee to draw up an address about the dangers from Ireland and France.5

After the recess Tipping moved for the attainder of Jeffreys, deploring that he had

died in his bed with so much guilt of murder upon him, and the House sitting. ... Innocent blood he fought for, and condemned; as Mrs Lisle, for harbouring a traitor knowing him to be such, and he knew he was not. He has raised his estate on the ruin of the laws. His estate and honour are the price of your blood.

He brought in the bill and was appointed to the committees to examine a petition from the family of Sir Thomas Armstrong, another victim of Jeffreys, and to reverse the attainder. He served as chairman of the committee for the second mutiny bill, and after three reports returned it to the Lords. He was teller for the second reading of the bill to reverse the attainder of Thomas Walcot, for adjourning the debate on the responsibility for the appointment of Commissary Shales and for leaving the King free to appoint Members to Irish posts. In grand committee on the state of the nation, he defended the conduct of the war in Ireland and said:

I wonder any man should vindicate any persons that would mediate for King James. They cannot wish well to the present Government, and I move you to declare King James an irreconcilable enemy to the kingdom.

He was appointed to the committees to examine public accounts, and to prepare an address for provision for Princess Anne. He acted as teller for the more moderate version of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and was named to the committees to indemnify those who had taken part in the Revolution, and to compensate Edmund Prideaux from Jeffreys’s estate. He lost his seat at the general election, but continued to vote as a country Whig when he returned to Parliament, and was given a baronetcy in 1698. His later years were marked by financial difficulty. He died in a debtors’ prison on 1 July 1718, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Lipscomb, Bucks. i. 451; VCH Oxon. viii. 267; St. Paul’s Covent Garden (Harl. Soc. Reg. iii), 66.
  • 2. Wallingford bor. statute bk. 1648-1766, f. 128; Woodstock council acts, 11 Mar. 1685.
  • 3. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 203.
  • 4. Lipscomb, i. 450; HMC Portland, vii. 25; Add. 38012, f. 11; Ellis Corresp. ii. 13, 30; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 166; Bramston Autobiog. (Cam. Soc. xxxii), 319.
  • 5. Grey, ix. 49, 72, 206, 336; CJ, x. 38, 180, 207; Luttrell, i. 527.
  • 6. Grey, ix. 398-9, 489; CJ, x. 309, 312, 313, 316; VCH Oxon. viii. 267; LJ, xvii. 370-1.