TYRWHITT DRAKE, William (1785-1848), of Shardeloes, nr. Amersham, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



21 Nov. 1810 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 21 Oct. 1785, 2nd s. of Thomas Drake Tyrwhitt*, and bro. of Thomas Tyrwhitt Drake*. educ. Westminster 1801; Christ Church, Oxf. 1803. m. 22 Aug. 1832, Emma, da. of Joseph Thompson Halsey* of Gaddesden Park, Herts., 2s. 1da.

Offices Held

Cornet, R. Horse Gds. 1805, lt. 1807, capt. 1811, maj. 1815; maj. R. Horse Gds. 1820; brevet lt.-col. 1820; ret. 1825.


Tyrwhitt Drake, who succeeded his father in the Amersham seat in November 1810, followed an almost identical line to that of his elder brother. He voted with government on the Regency proposals, 1 Jan. 1811, but there was doubt as to his allegiance in ministerial circles, probably because of a poor record of attendance, which he shared with his brother. Robert Ward, pressed by Arbuthnot to recruit the Drakes for the debate on Brougham’s motion of 3 Mar. 1812 for inquiry into the orders in council, reported:

I saw and spoke to the second, asking how long he stayed in town. I did not know how he felt at present in politics. He smiled, but coloured too, saying, ‘O! I am still with you, I hope I do not so soon change, and I shall certainly stay for the debate’. He said ... his brother ... would not be in town; and supposing he was hunting in Oxfordshire, I would not disturb him. Both gentlemen however came.

Nevertheless Tyrwhitt Drake, like his brother, voted against government on the sinecure offices bill, 4 May, and did not support them against Stuart Wortley’s motion for the formation of a more efficient administration, 21 May 1812.

This pattern of behaviour continued after 1812. Counted a supporter of government in the post-election list, Tyrwhitt Drake, who for part of the period was on active service and who fought at Waterloo, does not seem to have become much more zealous on their behalf in the lobbies. He voted against reduction of the army estimates, 8 Mar. 1816, and for Binning’s inclusion on the finance committee, 7 Feb. 1817; but against the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816, and for Sumner’s amendment to the Duke of Clarence’s grant, 15 Apr. 1818. Like his brother, however, he appears only on the government side in the surviving division lists of the 1818 Parliament, voting against Tierney’s motion for inquiry into the state of the nation, 18 May, and for the foreign enlistmentbill, 10 June 1819. He made no recorded speech in the House before 1820 and consistently opposed Roman Catholic claims. He died 21 Dec. 1848.

Phipps, Plumer Ward Mems. i. 445.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher