WINNINGTON, Sir Thomas Edward, 3rd bt. (1779-1839), of Stanford Court, Worcs.
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Family and Educationbap. 14 Apr. 1779,1 1st s. of Sir Edward Winnington†, 2nd bt., of Stanford Court and Hon. Anne Foley, da. of Thomas Foley†, 1st Bar. Foley. educ. Eton 1793; Christ Church, Oxf. 1798. m. 11 Nov. 1810, Joanna, da. of John Taylor of Moseley Hall, Worcs., 3s. 4da. (2 d.v.p.). suc. fa. as 3rd bt. 9 Jan. 1805. d. 24 Sept. 1839.
Sheriff, Worcs. 1806-7.
The Winnington family’s traditional seat at Droitwich, which had been lost to the Foleys, had been regained by Winnington’s father with the support of his brother-in-law, the 2nd Baron Foley, in 1777. Two years after his father’s death Winnington was returned on the same interest, headed since 1793 by his first cousin, the 3rd Baron. Winnington retired from Droitwich in 1816 and at the 1820 general election came forward as Foley’s nominee for Worcestershire, where he was returned unopposed.2 A regular attender, who like his father is not known to have spoken in debate, he voted with the Whig opposition to the Liverpool ministry on most major issues, including economy, retrenchment and reduced taxation.3 He presented Kidderminster petitions complaining of the ‘atrocious conspiracy’ against Queen Caroline, 31 Jan. 1821, and for criminal law reform, 29 Apr. 1822.4 He was absent from the division on Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, but voted for it, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He was also absent from the division on parliamentary reform, 9 May 1821, for which he divided, 20 Feb., 24 Apr. 1823. He rejoined Brooks’s, his earlier membership having apparently lapsed, sponsored by Lords Foley and Fitzwilliam, 12 May 1821. On 8 Feb. 1822 he attended a Worcestershire county meeting called to petition for agricultural relief and parliamentary reform.5 Writing to Sir Thomas Phillipps, 15 Feb., he described a bill for improving the road between the Worcester and Stratford-Upon-Avon turnpikes as ‘a great misery to Broadway and its neighbours’ and promised to ‘do all I can to oppose it’.6 (The bill received royal assent, 12 Apr. 1824.) He voted for inquiry into an alleged affray by soldiers of the Knightsbridge barracks, under the command of his Tory colleague for Worcestershire, Colonel Lygon, 28 Feb. 1822. He presented a constituency petition against the hop duties, 12 June 1822.7 He presented constituency petitions for the abolition of slavery, 18 Apr. 1826.8
At the 1826 general election Winnington offered again, promising to perform ‘his duty as hitherto’. Rumours of a third candidate came to nothing and he was returned unopposed.9 He voted in the minority of 24 for Hume’s amendment to the address, 21 Nov. 1826, and against the grant to the duke of Clarence, 16 Feb. 1827. He divided for Catholic claims, 6 Mar. 1827, but was absent from the division of 12 May 1828. On 8 Mar. 1827 he was granted a month’s leave on account of the death of his daughter Caroline. He presented constituency petitions for repeal of the Test Acts from Worcestershire, 1, 9 June 1827, but did not vote on the issue, 26 Feb. 1828. He divided for the Wellington ministry’s concession of Catholic emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. 1829. In October of that year he was listed by Sir Richard Vyvyan*, leader of the Ultras, as one of the pro-Catholic Members whose sentiments regarding a putative coalition ministry were ‘unknown’. He voted for the transfer of East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5, 15 Mar. 1830. He presented petitions against the truck system from the ironworkers of Cradley, 10 Mar., and the tradesmen and shopkeepers of Dudley, 15 Mar. In his only other known votes of 1830, he paired against the appointment of a navy treasurer, 12 Mar., and voted for naval reductions, 22 Mar. That day he presented a petition from the parishes of Claines and St. Peter against the Worcester suburbs improvement bill. He brought up a Worcestershire petition complaining of distress and calling for currency and parliamentary reform, 25 Mar. On 11 May 1830 he was granted a fortnight’s leave on account of illness in his family.
At the 1830 general election Winnington made way for his cousin’s heir Thomas Foley, who had recently come of age, citing his ‘health and other circumstances’ that ‘imperiously call upon me to retire into private life’. Thoughts of standing elsewhere were, according to the Dowager Lady Gresley, also tempered by the fact that within the last ‘few years’ it had become ‘quite impossible for the baronet to stand a contest, as I know he is not too rich, and it requires many thousands to do this, for any place’.10 In March 1831 he assisted Lord Foley in getting up a Worcestershire petition in favour of the Grey ministry’s reform bill. At the 1831 general election his replacement on the Foley interest at Droitwich, Lord Sefton, made way for him and he was returned unopposed. He presided at the dinner held to celebrate the return of two reformers for the county, 16 May 1831.11
Winnington voted for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, against the adjournment, 12 July 1831, and gave general support to the bill’s details. He was in the minority for the disfranchisement of Saltash, 26 July, when the government offered no clear lead. He divided for the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct., and the second reading of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831. He voted to go into committee on it, 20 Feb., again supported its details, and divided for the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He voted for the address calling on the king to appoint only ministers who would carry the measure unimpaired, 10 May, and paired for the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May. No other votes by him have been found for 1832. At that year’s general election he retired from Droitwich, which lost one Member by the Reform Act, and came in unopposed for Bewdley, where the enfranchisement of £10 householders had opened the representation. He sat undisturbed as a reformer until 1837, when he made way for his eldest son and namesake (1811-72), Liberal Member, 1837-47, 1852-68. Winnington died in September 1839. By his will, dated 18 Mar. 1838 and proved under £12,000, all his property passed to his son and successor in the baronetcy.12
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Philip Salmon
- 1. IGI.
- 2. W.R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Worcs. 136; Bodl. MS Phillipps-Robinson c. 408, f. 262, Winnington to Sir T. Phillipps, 21 Feb.; Berrow’s Worcester Jnl. 24 Feb., 2 Mar. 1820.
- 3. Black Bk. (1823), 203; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 491.
- 4. The Times, 1 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822.
- 5. Ibid. 11 Feb. 1822.
- 6. MS Phillipps-Robinson b.113, f. 201.
- 7. The Times, 13 June 1822.
- 8. Ibid. 19 Apr. 1826.
- 9. Ibid. 5, 20 June; Worcester Herald, 10, 17 June 1826.
- 10. Worcester Herald, 10 July; Worcs. RO, Lechmere mss, Lady Gresley to Sir A. Lechmere, 11 July 1830.
- 11. Worcs. RO BA 3762 b.899:31, Foley Scrapbk. vol. 4, pp. 172-8; Worcester Herald, 21 May 1831.
- 12. Gent. Mag. (1839), ii. 649; PROB 11/1925/219; IR26/1565/153.