TUDWAY, Clement (1734-1815), of Wells, Som.

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



1761 - 7 June 1815

Family and Education

b. 8 Oct. 1734, 1st s. of Charles Tudway by his w. Hannah. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1751; M. Temple 1752, called 1759. m. 7 June 1762, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Rowland Hill, 1st Bt., sis. of Sir Richard Hill, 2nd Bt., s.p. suc. fa. 1770.


Offices Held


In 1761 Tudway was returned unopposed at Wells on his father’s interest. In Bute’s parliamentary list for December 1761 he was classed as ‘Fox’ and early in December 1762 was included by Fox among Members favourable to the peace preliminaries. On 2 Oct. 1763 Fox told Sandwich to ‘look upon Tudway as a Tory’;1 and he was classed by Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763 as a Government supporter. But he voted with Opposition on Wilkes and general warrants, 15, 18 Feb. 1764. He was classed by Newcastle on 10 May 1764 as a ‘sure friend’, but by Rockingham, July 1765, as ‘doubtful’ and in November 1766 as ‘Tory’. He voted with Opposition on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and (though counted by Newcastle on 2 Mar. as a follower of Administration) again on nullum tempus, 17 Feb. 1768. In 1768 there was a contest at Wells, but through his father Tudway already commanded ‘sufficient interest always to procure a return for himself without expense’,2and topped the poll. During this Parliament he voted with Administration on the expulsion of Wilkes, 3 Feb. 1769, and the Middlesex election, 15 Apr.; was classed as ‘pro, present’ in both Robinson’s surveys on the royal marriage bill, March 1772, but voted with Opposition on the commitment of the bill, 11 Mar. In short, he was thoroughly independent, and a problem for parliamentary managers.

Tudway’s only reported speeches during his 29 years in the House before 1790, were on the second reading of the Protestant Dissenters’ relief bill. He said, 10 Mar. 1773:3

Unused as I am to speak in this assembly, I shall offer a few words against the bill now before you ... I have no scruple to say this bill is big with mischief, that the object of it is to undermine and overthrow some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

He also spoke against the bill on 17 and 25 Mar. Tudway voted with Opposition on Grenville’s Election Act, 25 Feb. 1774, but was marked in the King’s list as a friend; was classed by Robinson in September 1774 as a Government supporter, and at the general election was returned for Midhurst apparently as a Government candidate. He elected to continue representative of Wells where he was returned unopposed. He does not appear in any of the minority lists 1775-February 1778, but voted with Opposition on the conciliatory proposals, 4 Dec. 1778. The Public Ledger wrote of him in 1779: ‘Appears an independent man, although he votes constantly with the ministry’, and he was classed by Robinson as ‘pro, absent’ on the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779. But during 1780 all his recorded votes were with the Opposition, and though Robinson in his electoral survey of July 1780 classed him as ‘hopeful’, Tudway continued to vote steadily with Opposition till the fall of North. He did not vote on Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, but in Robinson’s list of March 1783 was classed as a follower of Shelburne. He voted for parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783; in the division list on Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, is reported to have voted with Opposition, but according to Sir John Sinclair did not vote.4 Sinclair added: ‘He is brother-in-law to Sir Richard Hill, and generally votes with him, and consequently may be depended upon.’ In Robinson’s list of January 1784, in Stockdale’s of 19 Mar., and in Adam’s of May he was classed as an Administration supporter. His only recorded votes during this Parliament were with Pitt over the Regency, 1788-9.


Tudway died 7 June 1815.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Sandwich mss.
  • 2. Oldfield, Boroughs , ii. 444.
  • 3. Cavendish’s ‘Debates’, Egerton 243, pp. 345-7.
  • 4. Parlty. mem., Sinclair mss, Thurso East Mains.