THYNNE, Lord William (1803-1890), of Longleat, Wilts.

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



1826 - 1831

Family and Education

b. 17 Oct. 1803, 4th s. of Thomas Thynne†, 2nd mq. of Bath (d. 1837), and Hon. Isabella Elizabeth Byng, da. and coh. of George, 4th Visct. Torrington; bro. of Thomas Thynne II, Viscount Weymouth†, Lord Edward Thynne* and Lord Henry Frederick Thynne*. m. 19 Dec. 1861, Belinda, da. of George Archer Brummell, attorney, of Morpeth, Northumb., s.p.1 d. 30 Jan. 1890.

Offices Held

Ensign R. Fus. 1820, lt. 1822, capt. 1825, maj. 1830, lt.-col. (half-pay) 1838, ret. 1844.


A career soldier, Lord William Thynne was brought in for his father’s borough of Weobley in 1826 in place of his brother Henry, then absent on naval service. No speeches by him were reported, and although he could be relied on to support the duke of Wellington’s ministry his attendance was spasmodic. He received a week’s leave after serving on the Dublin election committee, 3 May 1827. He voted against investigating chancery delays, 24 Apr., Catholic relief, 12 May, and ordnance reductions, 4 July 1828; and as their patronage secretary Planta predicted, he voted ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. 1829. He was given three weeks’ leave on urgent private business, 8 Mar. 1830, but may have been the ‘Lord Thynne’ who divided against Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., although it was probably his uncle Lord John Thynne. He was returned in absentia at the general election in August and promoted to major later that month. The ministry listed him among their ‘friends’ and, unlike his relations, he divided with them on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830, when they were brought down. He did not vote on the Grey ministry’s reform bill, which proposed Weobley’s disfranchisement, and made way for his younger brother Edward at the dissolution in April 1831.

Thynne, who was based mainly in Gosport while on active service, tried hard to secure a reconciliation between Edward and his estranged first wife.2 His own late marriage proved childless. He maintained a residence at 24 Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, following his wife’s death in 1869, but spent his later days at Ditton Park, Slough, the home of his sister Charlotte Anne, dowager duchess of Buccleuch, where their brother Charles, a former dean and cannon of Canterbury and convert to the Roman Catholic church, was chaplain. Invalided by a stroke, Thynne died there in January 1890 and was buried in nearby Datchett churchyard.3 His will, dated 19 Mar. 1884, was proved in London, 2 Feb. 1890, and administered by his nephews Francis John and Alfred Walter Thynne, sons of his brother Lord John Thynne (1798-1881), dean and canon of Westminster. Alfred and his three younger brothers were Thynne’s joint residuary legatees, but the main beneficiary was his manservant Samuel MacLean, who received ‘£700 and his master’s clothes’.4

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. Information from Thynne’s marriage certificate. Not therefore 1864, as stated in Burke PB and W.R. Williams, Herefs. MPs, 174.
  • 2. Longleat mun. Lord Edward Thynne 150, 06/08/1833 (ix, x, xix).
  • 3. Warminster and Westbury Jnl. 1 Feb.; The Times, 6 Feb.; Slough, Eton and Windsor Observer, 8 Feb. 1890.
  • 4. Longleat mun. Lord William Thynne 195, 22/01/1890.