COLBY, Sir Thomas, 1st Bt. (c.1670-1729), of Colby House, Kensington.

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



16 Jan. 1724 - 1727

Family and Education

b. c.1670, 1st surv. s. of Philip Colby of Kensington by Elizabeth, da. and eventually coh. of William Flewellin, alderman of London. unm. suc. fa. 1692. cr. Bt. 21 June 1720.

Offices Held

Commr. of transports 1705-15, sole commr. 1715-17; commr. for disbanding marine regts. 1711-15; commr. of the navy 1717-28.


Sir Thomas Colby, presumably of the East Anglian family of that name,1 is sometimes confused with his namesake and relative, a commissioner of victualling under Queen Anne. He inherited fortunes both from his father, an army clothier, and through his mother. After serving as a commissioner of transports for nearly 13 years, he was transferred to the navy office in December 1717, with special responsibility for the transport service,2 and created a baronet in 1720. Brought in by the Administration for Rochester at a by-election in 1724, he was ‘prevailed on to decline’3 in 1727 in favour of a local man, David Polhill. Resigning his navy office in January 1728, he died 23 Sept. 1729, having

killed himself in the middle of the night when he was in a very profuse sweat, the effect of a medicine which he had taken for that purpose, and walking downstairs to look for the key of the cellar which he had inadvertently left on a table in his parlour; he was apprehensive that his servants might seize the key and rob him of a bottle of port wine.4

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: A. N. Newman


  • 1. Norfolk Archaeology, i. 98; ii. 494;
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 145; xxxii. 149.
  • 3. Sir John Jennings to Walpole, 30 July 1727, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 4. W. King, Anecdotes, 36.