TOLLEMACHE, Frederick James (1804-1888), of Ham House, Surr. and 1 Hyde Park Place, Mdx.

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



1826 - 1830
1837 - 1852
1857 - 1865
1868 - 1874

Family and Education

b. 16 Apr. 1804, 5th s. of Sir William Manners† (afterwards Talmash), 1st bt., Lord Huntingtower (d. 1833), of Buckminster Park, Leics. and Catherine Rebecca, da. of Francis Grey of Lehena, co. Cork; bro. of Felix Thomas Tollemache* and Lionel William John Tollemache*. educ. Harrow 1811. m. (1) 26 Aug. 1831, Sarah (d. 3 Jan. 1835), da. of Robert Bomford of Rahinstown, co. Meath, 1 da. d.v.p.; (2) 4 Sept. 1847, Isabella, da. of George Gordon Forbes of Ham, 1 da. d. 2 July 1888.

Offices Held


One of Lord Huntingtower’s four sons who sought a seat at Grantham in this period, Tollemache, ‘a very tall and uncommonly handsome young man’, was the only one to succeed.1 His father, who also had influence at Ilchester, headed the Blue party at Grantham, but had been unable to secure a seat there since 1812, as a result of the predominance of the Red party, headed by Lord Brownlow, and the determined opposition of some independent freemen. Shortly before the 1826 general election, one of the sitting Members, Sir Montague Cholmeley, announced his retirement, creating an unexpected opening, for which Tollemache came forward with good prospects of success, 5 June, it being noted by the press that the feeling of the freemen towards his family was now ‘so different ... to that which some time ago existed in the town’. At the nomination Tollemache described himself as ‘an enemy to Catholic emancipation’ and ‘hoped that no further pledge of political conduct would be required’. After a severe four-day contest against two other Tories he was returned in first place.2

He presented a Lincolnshire petition for agricultural relief, 20 Feb. 1827.3 Thereafter, his parliamentary record is difficult to distinguish from that of his brothers (especially Felix), who were seated for Ilchester on petition, 22 Feb. He may have voted for the spring guns bill, 23 Mar. Either he or Felix divided against the corn bill, 2 Apr. He voted against the disfranchisement of Penryn, 28 May, and was probably the Tollemache who divided for the election expenses bill that day, and the grant to improve Canadian water communications, 12 June 1827, against repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and inquiry into chancery delays, 24 Apr. 1828. He voted against Catholic claims, 12 May. Either he or Felix voted for the usury laws amendment bill, 19 June, and one of the brothers voted with ministers against ordnance reductions, 4 July, amendments to the corporate funds bill, 10 July, and for the customs bill, 14 July 1828. In early February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, predicted that he would vote ‘with government’ for their concession of Catholic emancipation, and he was probably the ‘F. Tollemache’ who divided thus, 6, 30 Mar. On 26 Mar. he presented a Newton petition against Catholic claims, but noted that when it was signed the government’s proposals were not known. ‘If they had been’, he declared

they would have petitioned not against them, but in their favour. For my own part I have twice voted against Catholic claims, but I have since felt it right to come to a different conclusion, and shall accordingly now give a different vote on the question, as I consider that the fullest securities are given for the Protestant establishment by the disfranchisement of the 40s. freeholders ... By that wholesome measure, the priests and the Catholic Association are deprived of that tremendous power which for some time past they have exercised over the population of Ireland.

Either he or Felix divided for the issue of a new writ for East Retford, 2 June 1829, and against the transfer of its seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb. 1830. One of them voted against Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., 17 May, and for abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 24 May, 7 June 1830.

At the 1830 general election Tollemache belatedly offered again for Grantham, amid reports that none of Lord Huntingtower’s sons was ‘desirous of being in Parliament’, and having told an enquiring London meeting of Grantham electors that he ‘did not know who his father should choose to put up’. Attacked by Drakard’s Stamford News for his failure to support reform, retrenchment and reduced taxation, on the hustings he defended his parliamentary record and promised to perform his duties ‘satisfactorily’ if re-elected. After a four-day contest he was defeated in third place, owing, it was alleged, not to ‘any personal feelings’ towards him but to his father’s ‘neglect’ and ‘oppressive habits’.4 A petition against the return failed and an attempt by his brothers to recapture the borough in 1831 was unsuccessful, but in 1832 his brother Algernon headed the poll as a Conservative. On the latter’s retirement in 1837 Tollemache came in, after a contest, as a ‘moderate Conservative’. He lost the seat in 1852, by when he had moved into the ranks of the Liberals, but was returned again in 1857, defeated in 1865, re-elected in 1868 and retired in 1874.5 He died at Ham House, which he shared with Algernon, in July 1888.6 The bulk of his estate was divided equally between Algernon and his son-in-law Charles Douglas Richard Hanbury Tracy, 4th Baron Sudeley.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Philip Salmon / Martin Casey


  • 1. Drakard’s Stamford News, 16 June 1826.
  • 2. Ibid.; Grantham Pollbook (Storr, 1826), passim.;
  • 3. The Times, 21 Feb. 1827.
  • 4. Lincs. AO, Ancaster mss xiii/B/5x, 5y; Drakard’s Stamford News, 2 July; Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, 16 July 1830; Grantham Pollbook (Storr, 1830), passim.
  • 5. Dod’s Parl. Companion (1847), 247; (1852), 290; (1869), 307.
  • 6. E.D.H. Tollemache, Tollemaches of Helmingham and Ham, 127.