CAVE, Sir Thomas, 3rd Bt. (?1682-1719), of Stanford Hall, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



22 Feb. 1711 - 21 Apr. 1719

Family and Education

b. ?1682, 1st s. of Sir Roger Cave, 2nd Bt., M.P., by Martha, da. and h. of John Browne of Eydon, Northants., clerk of the Parliaments. educ. Rugby 1690; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 27 Jan. 1699, aged 16. m. 20 Feb. 1703, Margaret, da. of John Verney, 1st Visct. Fermanagh [I], and sis. of Ralph Verney, 1st Earl Verney, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 11 Oct. 1703.

Offices Held


Cave belonged to an old Leicestershire family, who had represented the county since the sixteenth century. Returned for it as a Tory in 1711, he stood again in 1715. On 1 Jan. 1715 he wrote to his father-in-law, Lord Fermanagh:

Your tender concern for my election was very obliging, and the motives of it considerable, viz. the trouble and expense; the first of these I shall never think much of, I confess to the other I must have more respect. I hope to have obliged all without profuseness, or any apparent danger to my affairs, and I’m now sedately prepared to attend the issue of our contest, wherein appear to me some difficulties by our adversary being largely supplied with money ab incognito, all the great men against us, and our sheriff a rank Whig.

When it was clear that Cave and Sir Geoffrey Palmer would have a majority the sheriff refused to make a return, necessitating a fresh election, at which they were successful. In the House Cave deplored the treatment of the many election petitions, by which ‘the Whigs daily purge the House of honest men’, as well as the proceedings against the Tory leaders, especially Stanhope’s ‘inveteracy’ against ‘the good Duke’ of Ormonde. In 1716 he wrote to Lord Fermanagh asking him to attend the House ‘to prevent the impending danger of a bill [the septennial bill], which must wound a great part of the constitution ... indeed all our friends wish for every single Member’. He himself voted against the bill, and against the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts in 1719. He died 21 Apr. 1719 aged 38, leaving heavy debts, probably caused by the two contests of 1715.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Verney Letters of 18th Cent. i. 325, 339-40; ii. 31, 66-67.