THORNHAGH, John (c.1721-87), of Osberton and Shireoaks, Notts. and South Kelsey, Lincs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1721, o. surv. s. of St. Andrew Thornhagh of Osberton by Letitia, da. of Sir Edward Asycough of Stallingborough and South Kelsey, Lincs. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1739. m. 23 July 1744, Arabella, da. of Sir George Savile, 7th Bt., sis. and coh. of Sir George Savile, 8th Bt., 3da. suc. fa. 1742; and to Shireoaks under will of his god-fa. Sir Thomas Hewett 1756, and took name of Hewett.
Hewett was a large landowner in Nottinghamshire and held his county seat without a contest for twenty-seven years. His political connexions were with the Duke of Newcastle and Sir George Savile. He stood to Newcastle in much the same relationship as Savile did to Rockingham: connected politically and territorially, but independent and disinterested, not seeking office, and of more importance to Newcastle in Nottinghamshire than Newcastle was to him. The service of his constituents was his first care. ‘I think it imprudent’, he wrote to Newcastle on 8 Nov. 1761,1‘for county Members to do anything not absolutely necessary which may bear the interpretation of dictating to their constituents.’ His letters to Newcastle are short, dry, business-like: they are mostly requests for favours, though not for himself; there is hardly a line on general politics. Newcastle wrote to him on 12 July 1766: ‘You never asked anything of me, but such trifles as I should be ashamed to refuse if you insisted upon them and I could do them.’ To which Hewett replied: ‘Almost all I’ve asked has been with a view to support myself in this county.’2
He voted against the peace preliminaries, 9 and 10 Dec. 1762, but was ill at the time of the debates on general warrants and did not attend. He spoke against the Regency bill, 11 May 1765, and for the reduction of the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and voted for Savile’s nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768. He took little part in politics after 1768: he made one speech (15 Nov. 1768, on nullum tempus) but his name does not appear in any division list, and he did not stand in 1774.
Hewett died 17 May 1787.