CECIL, Hon. Thomas Chambers (1728-78).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1761 - 1768

Family and Education

b. 25 June 1728, 2nd surv. s. of Brownlow, 8th Earl of Exeter, and bro. of Brownlow, Lord Burghley. m. 20 Feb. 1751, Charlotte Garnier (or Gormiez), said to have been a Basque, 1s.

Offices Held


In June 1760 Cecil returned from abroad to stand for Rutland at the general election, but on 4 Dec. Lord Exeter told Lord Hardwicke that his brother was too ill ‘to appear at the election, much less to attend Parliament’, and would again have to go abroad.1 There is no record of Cecil having spoken or voted, and he may never have taken his seat. In Bute’s list he appears as ‘absent’; he was still abroad in 1764;2 and from Dinant, 30 May 1766, wrote a letter to Lord Winchilsea which suggests reasons for absence other than health:3

I left England in conformity to the desires of my brother, your Lordship, and the rest of my friends; and should be very glad to oblige them by staying out of it; but alas! my former indiscretions and extravagancies not being properly provided for by my brother, will involuntarily compel me to act otherwise.

He had been ill for ‘many months’, and nothing would restore his health but ‘spa water’—which he could not afford—or his ‘native air’, but he presumed his return would be contrary to his brother’s wishes. His recent expenses had been so great that he was ‘at a great loss what course to take ... to avoid further reflections’ on his conduct. He concluded:

I think it very hard fate to have a seat in the British Parliament, and at the same time in such a situation subject to so many inconveniences and vicissitudes in life. I would not presume to dictate to any of my friends, whose knowledge and understanding ... far exceeds mine ... but nevertheless cannot help being of opinion that a little comfortable provision might be made for me in some employment or other.

There is no record of his receiving an appointment or returning to England while a Member. He did not stand again in 1768.

He died 14 Aug. 1778.4

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Hardwicke to G. Heathcote, 4 Dec. 1760, Add. 35596, ff. 197-201.
  • 2. Court and City Reg. 1764.
  • 3. Add. 29589B, f. 28.
  • 4. Annual Reg. 1778, p. 226 gives 7 Aug.