MYERS, Thomas (1764-1835), of 4 Tilney Street, Mdx. and Greys, Sible Hedingham, Essex.
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Family and Education
bap. 26 July 1764, 1st s. of Rev. Thomas Myers, LLB, of The Brow, Barton, Westmld., vicar of Lazonby, Cumb., by Anne, da. of Richard Wordsworth, attorney, of Falthwaite, Yorks. and Stockbridge, Westmld. by Mary Robinson of Appleby, aunt of John Robinson I*. m. 2 Jan. 1802, Lady Mary Catherine Nevill, da. of Henry Nevill†, 2nd Earl of Abergavenny, by Mary, da. and h. of John Robinson I, 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1826.
Writer, E.I. Co. (Bengal) Oct. 1781, cadet Nov. 1781; asst. commercial dept. 1783; examiner, revenue dept. 1784; clerk to ct. of requests 1784; factor 1785, jun. merchant 1790, sen. merchant 1795; dep. accountant-gen. 1793, accountant-gen. 1796-9; left India 1800, left service 1805.
When Myers left India in January 1800 he was furnished by Lord Wellesley with a letter of introduction to Pitt:
This letter will be delivered to you by Mr Thomas Myers, who has been for some time (and during the whole of my government) accountant general of Bengal. I recommend him to you most warmly and partially, and I refer you to Dundas for his character. Mr Myers expects to be brought into Parliament soon after his arrival in England. You will find him a most intelligent, active and honourable man; and I shall consider any mark of your attention to him as a personal kindness to me.
Pitt’s attention had already been drawn to Myers by his relative John Robinson I, who on 31 Oct. 1798 sent the prime minister a paper on the finances of Bengal drawn up by Myers. The latter described himself as ‘only an humble imitator of a great master of finance’.1 Henry Dundas, who also received his financial reports, was informed by Wellesley, 25 Jan. 1800, that though ‘not fit for council’, Myers would make ‘an excellent director’ and was ‘zealously attached’ to Dundas and his policies. By September 1800 Dundas had this to report to Wellesley:
Mr Myers is the distinct and intelligent man you represent him, and I will often have occasion to resort to him on the subject of finance. He was not able to give me any hopes of any such surplus as will operate on the reduction of our large Indian debt.2
When Addington replaced Pitt, Myers wrote to him, 24 Oct., 12 Nov. 1801, offering his services as an expert on Indian financial affairs.3
In 1802 Myers, who had recently married John Robinson’s granddaughter, was returned for Harwich with Robinson, defeating Addington’s brother-in-law James Adams*. This was supposed to have been against Robinson’s wishes. In any case, Myers was unseated on petition. Meanwhile Robinson died and Myers was unable to maintain an interest at Harwich. He was returned for Yarmouth in 1810 on the Holmes interest, thanks to Lord Wellesley’s friendship with the patron. Wellesley was in office and Myers silently followed his line, voting with ministers on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811, before obtaining a month’s leave of absence for ill health. On 4 Feb. 1812 he voted in the minority for a review of the state of Ireland. His last known vote with ministers was on 24 Feb. against the abolition of the sinecure paymastership. Wellesley having fallen out with the ministry, Myers joined opposition and voted with them for Turton’s censure motion, 27 Feb. and against the orders in council, 3 Mar. He voted for Catholic relief, 24 Apr., and for a more efficient administration, 21 May. That month he dedicated his Observations on the report of the select committee ... on the East India Company to Wellesley. He had wished to be a member of the select committee.4
Although Wellesley had earmarked him as secretary to the Treasury if he formed an administration, Myers did not re-enter Parliament in 1812 and lapsed into obscurity. Glimpses of him appear in the correspondence of his cousins, William and Dorothy Wordsworth. It was to Dorothy and to his brother John that he entrusted his natural daughter, ‘Indian by the half blood’. Myers was described by Dorothy as ‘a sensible man and very clever in business’ and as ‘a man of haughty spirit, but has not a hard heart’. As late as 1833 he was compiling a memorandum on East Indian affairs during his former sojourn there. He died at Norwood, 1 Oct. 1835, leaving his property encumbered by mortgages of £38,500 which he directed to be cleared by sale, so that his son and daughter might share the balance.5
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. SRO GD29/2067/38; Kent AO, Stanhope mss 731/8; PRO 30/8/362, ff. 189-198.
- 2. Two Views of British India ed. Ingram, 215, 230, 232, 297. For Myers’s official papers, Add. 13750.
- 3. Sidmouth mss.
- 4. Atkinson, Worthies of Westmld. ii. 151; Add. 38363, f. 64; SRO GD51/4/1524.
- 5. Add. 37297, ff. 166-7; 37311, f. 83; Early Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth ed. de Selincourt, 138, 564; The Later Years, i. 6, 45; PCC 661 Gloucester.