MEDLYCOTT, Thomas (1697-1763), of Ven House, Milborne Port, Som.

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



1734 - Jan. 1742
2 Dec. 1747 - 21 July 1763

Family and Education

bap. 22 Oct. 1697, 1st s. of James Medlycott, M.P., of Ven House by his w. Anne Howard. educ. M. Temple 1720.  m. (1) Elizabeth (d. June 1741), da. of Anthony Ettrick of High Barnes, co. Dur., wid. of Musgrave Davison, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 1742 or 1743, Elizabeth, wid. of Gilbert Dawson.  suc. fa. 1731.

Offices Held

Commr. of hawkers and pedlars, Jan.-Sept. 1742, of taxes Sept. 1742-June 1744.


During the first half of the 18th century the representation of Milborne Port was contested between the Harvey and Medlycott families, as a result of which the Harveys went bankrupt and the Medlycotts became impoverished. When Newcastle became first lord of the Treasury in March 1754 Thomas Medlycott was in receipt of a secret service pension of £600 p.a., which he still held when Newcastle resigned in May 1762. The story of his parliamentary career during these years is one of pathetic attempts to ingratiate himself with Newcastle, with a view to securing the continuance, or if possible, the increase of his pension.1 His letters were humble, his professions of devotion boundless: ‘all I mean upon my honour’, he wrote, 31 Dec. 1755,2 ‘is to free myself from any influence but yours, in whose cause I am embarked and will ... continue so to my dying day’. And on 25 May 1762, after Newcastle had resigned, Medlycott thus acknowledged the latest instalment of his pension:3 ‘I hope God has given me a grateful heart, and that I shall show upon all occasions how sincerely I am etc.’

No secret service accounts are extant for the Bute Administration, and it is not known whether Medlycott continued to enjoy his pension. Nor is there any evidence as to his political conduct: he appears neither in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries nor in any list of the minority against them. That he still retained some regard and gratitude for Newcastle is shown by his letter of 8 Apr. 1763:4

I did myself the honour to call at your house as soon as I was able to crawl and indeed before I could well get up your steps ... The reason of my waiting on you was to inquire after your Grace’s health and to assure you of the fidelity of etc.

Medlycott died 21 July 1763.5

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. See Namier, Structure, 406-9.
  • 2. Add. 32865, f. 243.
  • 3. Add. 32939, f. 97.
  • 4. Add. 32948, f. 75.
  • 5. Grenville to Edw. Walter, 21 July 1763, Grenville letter bk.