THYNNE, Lord John (1772-1849), of 15 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1796 - 23 Nov. 1796
8 Dec. 1796 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 28 Dec. 1772, 3rd s. of Thomas, 1st mq. of Bath (d. 1796), and Lady Elizabeth Bentinck, da. of William, 2nd duke of Portland.; bro. of Lord George Thynne† and Thomas Thynne I, Visct. Weymouth.† educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1792. m. 18 June 1801, Mary Anne, da. of Thomas Master† of The Abbey, Cirencester, Glos., s.p. suc. bro. George as 3rd Bar. Carteret 19 Feb. 1838.1 d. 10 Mar. 1849.

Offices Held

Vice-chamberlain 1804-12, (Windsor) 1812-20; PC 11 July 1804; member, bd. of trade May 1805; dep. groom of stole 1812-20.

Maj. Wilts. vol. cav. 1797; lt.-col. Hanover Square vol. inf. 1799-1804.


Thynne’s appointment to the royal household, worth £1,200 a year, terminated on the death of George III, which left him, his wife and his brother George unplaced.2 His recent mediation had failed to heal the rift between his brother the 2nd marquess of Bath, whom he had succeeded as Member for Bath in 1796, and the latter’s eldest son Thomas Thynne II, Viscount Weymouth†.3 Weymouth’s Weobley seat was accordingly placed at the disposal of the treasury at the general election of 1820, with the suggestion that it be offered to Sir George William Gunning†, one of Thynne’s key supporters on the corporation of Bath, where the recorder, the 2nd marquess of Camden, was intriguing on behalf of his heir Lord Brecknock*.4 In the event, the return for Weobley of the lord of the admiralty Sir George Cockburn posed no threat to Thynne, a staunch and generally silent ministerialist opposed to Catholic relief, and he topped the token poll to come in with his former liberal colleague Charles Palmer.5

Never one to delight in public speaking, Thynne was joined in the Commons by his indolent nephews Lords Frederick Cavendish Bentinck and Edward, Henry and William Thynne. No longer committed as a placeman, his recorded votes in the 1820 Parliament were sparse, and his role as a member of select committees diminished. He remained staunchly anti-Catholic, and voted against concessions, 30 Apr. 1822, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825 (but not on 28 Feb. 1821). A radical publication in 1825 noted that he ‘attended occasionally and voted with ministers’.6 He held aloof from the Queen Caroline affair, notwithstanding its popular appeal in Bath,7 and demonstrated his support for Lord Liverpool’s government in the divisions on the revenue, 4 July 1820, tax reductions, 11 Feb., retrenchment, 27 June 1821, the salt duties, 28 Feb. 1822, and the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr. 1823. He voted against condemning the indictment in Demerara of the Methodist missionary John Smith, 11 June 1824. He divided for the duke of Cumberland’s grant, including the award for Prince George’s education, 30 May, 2, 10 June 1825. He regularly attended corporation dinners and functions in Bath, where, in the autumn of 1825, Camden prevailed on several of his supporters to give second votes to Brecknock, so enabling him to defeat Palmer at the general election of 1826, when Thynne, hailed again as a ‘No Popery’ candidate, topped the poll.8

He voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar., received a fortnight’s leave on urgent business after serving on the Wells election committee, 1 May, and presented a petition of complaint against the regulations of the Royal College of Surgeons from its members in Bath, 22 June 1827.9 He voted against repealing the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and Catholic relief, 12 May, and divided with the duke of Wellington’s ministry against ordnance reductions, 4 July 1828. In view of the turmoil generated by Palmer’s recent by-election challenge to Lord Brecknock, Bath and his sons Henry and Edward accompanied Thynne to the mayor’s dinner in Bath in October.10 Notwithstanding his constituents’ dismay and hostile petitions, Thynne, as predicted, divided ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. 1829.11 His prospects of re-election were consequently ‘doubtful’, and he stayed away from Bath that Michaelmas.12 He voted against Lord Blandford’s reform scheme, 18 Feb., and the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., and was probably the ‘Lord Thynne’ who divided against Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., 17 May 1830. At the general election that summer, he eventually prevailed at Bath at Brecknock’s expense through a late surge of split sympathy votes from Palmer’s supporters.13 His nephews Edward and Henry supported him at the corporation dinner in October.14

Lord Bath, who had hoped for timely concessions on reform, caused comment by leaving town in November 1830 without giving Wellington his proxy; and Thynne, who had been listed among his ministry’s ‘friends’, was absent from the division on the civil list when they were brought down, 15 Nov.15 His support for the Somerset magistrates’ anti-reform petition and votes against the Grey ministry’s reform bill at its second reading, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831, made him unpopular with the populace of Bath, where, though taunted, hissed and pelted, he was returned unopposed with Palmer at the ensuing general election.16 Whereas Lord Bath adopted an increasingly sanguine approach to the reform bill, Thynne, like their brother Lord Carteret, remained a committed anti-reformer, but confined his votes to key divisions.17 He voted against the reintroduced reform bill at its second reading, 6 July, paired for adjournment, 12 July, and divided against the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July, and the bill’s third reading, 19 Sept., and passage, 22 Sept 1831.18 He voted against government on the Dublin election controversy, 23 Aug. New appointments were made to the corporation of Bath before the October dinner, which coincided with the fervent pro-reform petitioning which followed the bill’s defeat by the Lords and calls for Thynne’s ejection.19 He voted against the revised reform bill at its second reading, 17 Dec. 1831, and against enfranchising Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He divided with opposition on the Russian Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July 1832. With no prospect of success, he did not seek re-election, and at the October 1832 dinner he proposed the toasts to the mayor and corporation of Bath and thanked them for electing him six times in 36 years.20

Thynne succeeded his brother to the Carteret barony and estates in Bedfordshire, north Cornwall and Somerset and a personal fortune of almost £46,000 in 1838. He died without issue at his seat, Hawnes Place, near Ampthill, Bedfordshire, in March 1849 after a short illness, whereupon the barony became extinct.21 His will, dated 3 Dec. 1846, was administered by his nephew and residuary legatee, Lord John Thynne (1798-1881), dean and canon of Westminster, whose succession to the Carteret estates it confirmed.22

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. Not 22 Feb. as stated in W.R. Williams, Herefs. MPs, 171.
  • 2. Black Book (1820), 83; The Times, 16 Aug. 1831.
  • 3. TNA C13/2630, Weymouth v. Bath.
  • 4. Add. 38283, f. 127; 38458, f. 285; HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 343-4; iv. 119-20. See also WEOBLEY and BATH.
  • 5. HP Commons, 1790-1820, v. 382-3; HMC Fortescue, x. 454; Bath Chron. 9, 16 Mar.; Keenes’ Bath Jnl. 13, 27 Mar. 1820.
  • 6. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 487.
  • 7. Keenes’ Bath Jnl. 13, 20 Nov. 1820.
  • 8. Ibid. 16 Oct. 1820, 15 Oct. 1821, 14 Oct. 1822, 13 Oct. 1823, 15, 22 Oct. 1825; Cent. Kent Stud. Camden mss U840 C202/11/14; Bath Herald, 10 June, Bath Chron. 15 June 1826.
  • 9. The Times, 23 June 1827.
  • 10. Bath Chron. 12 June, 28 Sept., 16 Oct. 1828.
  • 11. Ibid. 26 Feb., 12 Mar. 1829.
  • 12. Camden mss C38/1; Bath Chron. 24 Sept., 1, 7, 15 Oct. 1829.
  • 13. Bath Chron. 8, 22, 29 July, 5 Aug.; Bath Herald, 10, 17 July, 7 Aug. 1830.
  • 14. Bath Chron. 30 Sept. 1830.
  • 15. Greville Mems. ii. 57.
  • 16. Glos. RO, Sotherton Estcourt mss D1572/E411, Salmon to Estcourt [Mar.]; Camden mss C202/4-5; Keenes’ Bath Jnl. 18 Apr., 2 May; Bath and Cheltenham Gazette, 26 Apr., 3 May; Bath Herald, 30 Apr.; Devizes and Wilts. Gazette, 5 May 1831; S. Brooks ‘Bath and Great Reform Bill’, in Bath in Age of Reform, 1830-41 ed. J. Wroughton, 21-31.
  • 17. Add. 63010, ff. 3, 9.
  • 18. The Times, 16 July 1831.
  • 19. Bath Chron. 19 May, 14 July, 29 Sept.; Bath Herald, 1, 15 Oct. 1831.
  • 20. Bath Chron. 12 July, 4, 11, 18 Oct.; Bath Herald, 13 Oct. 1832.
  • 21. Ann. Reg. (1849), Chron. p. 225; Gent. Mag. (1849), i. 537-8; IR26/1477/241.
  • 22. Longleat mun. Carteret 132, 21/07/1846; 29/03/1849; PROB 11/2089/178; IR26/1829/181.