1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bath, Thomas Thynne

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15776801911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 3 — Bath, Thomas Thynne

BATH, THOMAS THYNNE, 1st Marquess of (1734–1796), English politician, was the elder son of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth (1710–1751), and the great-grandnephew of Thomas Thynne (c. 1640–1714), the friend of Bishop Ken, who was created Baron Thynne and Viscount Weymouth in 1682. His mother was Louisa (d. 1736), daughter of John Carteret, 1st Earl Granville, and a descendant of the family of Granville who held the earldom of Bath from 1661 to 1711. The Thynnes are descended from Sir John Thynne, the builder of Longleat, the splendid seat of the family in Wiltshire. Sir John, owed his wealth and position to the favour of his master, the protector Somerset; he was comptroller of the household of the princess Elizabeth, and was a person of some importance after the princess became queen. He died in April 1580. Another famous member of this family was Thomas Thynne (1648–1682), called on account of his wealth “Tom of Ten Thousand.” He is celebrated by Dryden as Issachar in Absalom and Achitophel, and was murdered in London by some Swedes in February 1682.

Born on the 13th of September 1734, Thomas Thynne succeeded, his father as 3rd Viscount Weymouth in January 1751, and was lord-lieutenant of Ireland for a short time during 1765, although he never visited that country. Having, however, become prominent in English politics he was appointed secretary of state for the northern department in January 1768; he acted with great promptitude during the unrest caused by John Wilkes and the Middlesex election of 1768. He was then attacked and libelled by Wilkes, who was consequently expelled from the House of Commons. Before the close of 1768 he was transferred, from the northern to the southern department, but he resigned in December 1770 in the midst of the dispute with Spain over the possession of the Falkland Islands. In November 1775 Weymouth returned to his former office of secretary for the southern department, undertaking in addition the duties attached to the northern department for a few months in 1779, but he resigned both positions in the autumn of this year. In 1789 he was created marquess of Bath, and he died on the 19th of November 1796. Weymouth was a man of considerable ability especially as a speaker, but according to more modern standards his habits were very coarse, resembling those of his friend and frequent companion, Charles James Fox. Horace Walpole refers frequently to his idleness and his drunkenness, and in early life at least “his great fortune he had damaged by such profuse play, that his house was often full of bailiffs.” He married Elizabeth (d. 1825), daughter of William Bentinck, 2nd duke of Portland, by whom he had three sons and ten daughters. His eldest son Thomas (1765–1837) succeeded to his titles, while the two younger ones, George (1770–1838) and John (1772–1849), succeeded in turn to the barony of Carteret of Hawnes, which came to them from their uncle, Henry Frederick Thynne (1735–1826). Weymouth’s great-grandson, John Alexander, 4th marquess of Bath (1831–1896), the author of Observations on Bulgarian affairs (1880), was succeeded as 5th marquess by his son Thomas Henry (b. 1862).

See B. Botfield, Stemmata Botevilliana (1858).