DRAX, Thomas Erle (?1721-89), of Charborough, Dorset

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



7 Dec. 1744 - 1747
1747 - 26 Jan. 1748
1761 - 1768

Family and Education

b. ? 1721, 1st s. of Henry Drax, and bro. of Edward Drax. educ. Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1740. m. 16 Oct. 1754, Hon. Mary St. John, da. of John, 11th Baron St. John, s.p. suc. fa. 1755.

Offices Held


In 1754 Drax and his father stood at Wareham against the Pitts of Encombe; after a double return a compromise was arranged by which Thomas Erle Drax withdrew.

In 1761 he was returned without a contest, and received Newcastle’s whip through Robert Nugent, who had married his sister. In Bute’s list of 1762 he is classed as ‘Tory’ and ‘Bute’, and he supported Bute’s and Grenville’s Administrations.

On 21 June 1764 Nugent wrote to Grenville:1 ‘As I see in the public papers that some Irish peers have been now created, I must beg leave to put you in mind of Mr. Drax’s wishes upon this subject. He does not know that I ever mentioned them to you.’ Grenville replied on 24 June:2 ‘I understood from you that Mr. Drax wished this, but was far from being very eager about it, which made me avoid entering upon the subject unless I had thought it very likely to succeed.’

When the Rockinghams took office Drax followed Nugent into Opposition, and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766. Nugent took office under Chatham, and Drax supported his Administration.

In 1766 or 1767 he sold his interest at Wareham to John Calcraft, and in 1768 he did not stand.  He died December 1789.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: A. N. Newman


  • 1. Grenville mss (JM).
  • 2. Grenville letter bk.