THOROLD, Sir John, 9th Bt. (1734-1815), of Syston Park, Lincs.

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



15 Dec. 1779 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 18 Dec. 1734, 1st, s. of Sir John Thorold, 8th Bt. (fellow of Lincoln, Oxf. and close friend of John Wesley) by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Samuel Ayton of West Herrington, co. Dur.  educ. Hertford, Oxf. 1752.  m. 18 Mar. 1771, Jane, da. and h. of Millington Hayford of Oxton Hall, Notts. and Millington Hall, Cheshire, 3s. 1da.  suc. fa. as 9th Bt. 5 June 1775.

Offices Held


Thorold was returned unopposed for Lincolnshire at the by-election of 1779. In the House he voted steadily with the Opposition, and Robinson wrote about him in his survey for the general election of 1780:

It is not certain Sir John Thorold will [come in again]. His conduct in all points opposing Government has given offence to many persons of consequence and interest, and there is some talk of opposition.

He was however returned unopposed, and continued to vote with the Opposition. After the fall of North, Thorold, though completely independent, seems to have inclined to Fox rather than to Shelburne: but he abstained from voting against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and in Robinson’s list was classed as ‘doubtful’. He voted for Fox’s East India bill, and Robinson, at the end of 1783, expected him to be returned again, and to be against the new Government. In fact Thorold voted steadily against Pitt.

The Public Ledger, writing about Thorold soon after he had entered Parliament, reported that according to its correspondent Thorold ‘never speaks’, but that an account ‘from a very respectable authority ... states the opposite’. The English Chronicle, dealing with the Parliament of 1780, wrote about Thorold:

He is a sensible man, and sometimes speaks in the House, but he wants that brilliancy of elocution which gives effect and grace to reasoning, and is not therefore at all eminent in the present list of parliamentary orators.

In Debrett’s reports no speech by him is noted 1779-84, and only three in the Parliament of 1784-90, all concerned with the export of wool.

He died 25 Feb. 1815. The town of Thorold in Ontario, a settlement of United Empire Loyalists, was named after him in view of his interest in colonial matters and the fact that he had voted against the war with America. The link between the town and the Thorold family has been maintained ever since.1

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Ex inf. Rev. Henry Thorold.