READE, Sir Thomas, 4th Bt. (c.1684-1752), of Shipton Court, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxon. and Golden Square, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1713 - 1741
24 Dec. 1741 - 1747

Family and Education

b. c.1684, 2nd s. of Sir Edward Reade, 2nd Bt., of Barton Court, Berks. and Shipton Court by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Harby of Adstone, Northants.; bro. of George Reade†.  m. 29 Oct. 1719, Jane Mary (d. 1721), da. of Sir Ralph Dutton, 1st Bt.*, 1s.  suc. bro. Sir Winwood Reade as 4th Bt. 30 June 1692.1

Offices Held

Gent. privy chamber c.1702–27; clerk of household to Prince of Wales c.1722–7; clerk of Bd. of Green Cloth 1727–d.2

Gov. Christ’s Hosp. Abingdon 1724, master 1727, 1730, 1741.


Reade, when a suitor in 1705 for the hand of a sister of the Earl of Leicester (John Sydney*), was described as a gentleman of £3,000 a year. Although the grandson of a noted Cavalier, the 1st baronet, he was in Hearne’s words ‘a staunch Whig’. Other defects observed by Hearne were that he ‘never had any literary education’; that he was ‘a loose debauchee’; and that he had ‘little or nothing of religion’. The occasion of these remarks was a by-election for Oxfordshire in February 1710, at which Reade opposed a Tory candidate. While ‘the minister of his own parish would not without some difficulty’ vote for him, he did enjoy the backing of the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†), who allegedly persuaded Oxford University’s vice-chancellor, William Lancaster, to ‘give his interest’, and the other knight of the shire Lord Rialton (Hon. Francis Godolphin*), Marlborough’s son-in-law, to appear for him. This was not enough, however, and Reade lost by nearly 170 votes, a signal rebuff to the Marlboroughs that Dyer reported with glee. Reade did not court a repetition of this snub at the following general election, and his first successful candidacy at Cricklade in 1713 may have been partly helped by the interest of an outgoing Member there, Edmund Dunch, who was also connected with Marlborough. Reade voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele on 18 Mar. 1714, but disappointed local Whigs by agreeing to stand neutral at a by-election at Cricklade in 1714 in order not to obstruct the Tory Samuel Robinson*. He was classed as a Whig in the Worsley list and in two lists of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments.3

After a long career in the service of George II, both as prince and as King, Reade died at Shipton on 25 Sept. 1752, and was buried there.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. C. Reade, Redes of Barton Court, 51, 53–54.
  • 2. N. Carlisle, Gent. Privy Chamber, 211, 219.
  • 3. Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 9 Aug. 1705; Reade, 41; Hearne Colls. ii. 348–9; Add. 70421, Dyer’s newsletters 16, 25 Feb. 1710; BL, Evelyn mss, (Sir) John Evelyn II* (1st Bt.), to [Hugh] Boscawen [II*], 25 Feb. 1710; Glos. RO, Ducie mss, Edmund Bray* to Matthew Ducie Morton*, 2 May 1714.
  • 4. Materials Hist. Cricklade ed. Thomson, 158; Gent. Mag. 1752, p. 432; Reade, 54.