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

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



21 Nov. 1810 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 21 Oct. 1785, 2nd s. of Thomas Drake Tyrwhitt† (afterwards Tyrwhitt Drake) (d. 1810) of Shardeloes and Anne, da. and coh. of Rev. William Wickham of Garsington, Oxon.; 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, Hemel Hempstead, Herts., 2s. 1da. d. 21 Dec. 1848.

Offices Held

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


Colonel Tyrwhitt Drake, who had fought at Waterloo, continued to sit for the family borough. He was an even worse attender than his elder brother Thomas, but was marginally more inclined to oppose the Liverpool ministry on specific issues.1 He voted in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. He divided against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He divided with government against parliamentary reform, 20 Feb. 1823, but against them on grants to the royal dukes, 18 June 1821, 6, 9, 10 June 1825, the beer duties bill, 24 May 1824, and the admission of bonded corn, which his brother accepted, 8 May 1826. He voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828. He was in the Wellington ministry’s majority on ordnance salaries, 4 July 1828, but, as expected, was a diehard opponent of their concession of Catholic emancipation in 1829. In the 1830 session he voted against the sale of beer bill, 4 May, 21 June, 1 July, for repeal of the Irish coal duties, 13 May, and against Jewish emancipation, 17 May. Like his brother, he was listed among the ‘moderate Ultras’ by ministers after the 1830 general election, and he too abstained from the civil list division of 15 Nov. 1830 which brought them down. He was a steadfast opponent of the Grey ministry’s reform bills, on which his voting record was almost identical to that of Thomas. He voted against the government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July, but with them against Hunt’s motion for information on military punishments, 16 Feb. 1832. He is not known to have uttered a syllable in debate and his parliamentary career was ended by the disfranchisement of Amersham.

Soon afterwards Tyrwhitt Drake married, two months short of his 48th birthday. He lived for a short time at Paulswalden, near Hitchin, Hertfordshire. He died ‘suddenly of diseased heart ... in Piccadilly’ in December 1848, ‘having just met his son, who was on his way home for the Christmas holidays’.2 He had made provision for the establishment of a trust fund to support his wife and children.3

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Black Bk. (1823), 199; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 461.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1849), i. 319.
  • 3. PROB 11/2086/20.