FOX STRANGWAYS, Henry Thomas, Lord Stavordale (1747-1802).

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



1768 - 1774

Family and Education

b. 10 Aug. 1747, 1st s. of Stephen Fox Strangways, 1st Earl of Ilchester, by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Thomas Strangways Homer of Mells Park, Som. educ. Eton 1760-4; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1765. m. (1) 26 Aug. 1772, Mary Theresa (d. 14 June 1790), da. and h. of Standish O’Grady of Cappercullin, co. Limerick, 2s. 6da.; (2) 28 Aug. 1794, Mary, da. of Very Rev. William Digby, dean of Durham, 3s. suc. fa. as 2nd Earl 26 Sept. 1776.

Offices Held

Cornet 1 Horse 1770; capt. 24 Ft. 1771; sold out 1775.


Lord Stavordale seems to have been hardly less afflicted with the passion for gambling than his cousins, Charles James and Stephen Fox. Horace Walpole wrote to Mann about him on 2 Feb. 1770:

Lord Stavordale, not one and twenty, lost eleven thousand ... last Tuesday, but recovered it by one great hand at hazard: he swore a great oath—‘Now if I had been playing deep I might have won millions.’

And George Selwyn to Lord Carlisle, November 1775:1 ‘Stavordale ... told me himself the other night that this last trip to town had cost him £4,000 ... He is the most framed to be a victim of any young man I ever saw.’

Stavordale was returned unopposed for Midhurst, which in 1768 was placed by its patron, Viscount Montagu, at Lord Holland’s disposal. In the House of Commons he was of little consequence. His first recorded vote was with Administration on Brass Crosby’s case, 27 Mar. 1771. On the royal marriage bill he voted with his cousins in opposition; and his only other recorded vote was with Administration on the revival of the Middlesex question, 26 Apr. 1773. In 1774 Holland had lost control of Midhurst, and Stavordale is not known to have stood anywhere else.

He seems also to have taken his military career very lightly; and when in 1775 his regiment was ordered to America, he resigned his commission.2

He died 5 Sept. 1802.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. HMC Carlisle, 304.
  • 2. Selwyn to Carlisle, 12 Dec. 1775, ibid. 310.