Thomas Sclater

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Thomas Sclater FRS (c. 1664 – 23 August 1736), later Thomas Bacon, was an English lawyer and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1713 and 1736.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the UK Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.

House of Commons of Great Britain historic British lower house of Parliament

The House of Commons of Great Britain was the lower house of the Parliament of Great Britain between 1707 and 1801. In 1707, as a result of the Acts of Union of that year, it replaced the House of Commons of England and the third estate of the Parliament of Scotland, as one of the most significant changes brought about by the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Contents

Early life

Sclater was the son of Edward Sclater of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire and his wife Frances Thompson, daughter of Leonard Thompson, Lord Mayor of York. His father died when he was young and after 1673 he was brought up by his stepfather Edward Thompson. He was educated at St Paul's School and was admitted at Trinity College, Cambridge on 13 June 1682, aged 17. [1] In 1684 he succeeded to the estates of his great-uncle Sir Thomas Sclater, 1st Baronet of Catley House, Cambridgeshire, where he amassed a valuable library. He entered Grey's Inn in 1694 and was called to the bar in 1703. [2]

St Pauls School, London boys independent school in Richmond upon Thames, England

St Paul's School is a selective independent school for boys aged 13–18, founded in 1509 by John Colet and located on a 43-acre (180,000m2) site by the River Thames, in Barnes, London.

Trinity College, Cambridge constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.

Sir Thomas Sclater, 1st Baronet was an English academic, landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1659.

Career

At the 1713 general election, Sclater was returned unopposed as Member of Parliament for Bodmin. He was made a freeman of Cambridge in 1714. At the 1715 general election, he was elected MP for Cambridge but was unseated on petition on 27 May 1715. [3]

1713 British general election

The 1713 British general election produced further gains for the governing Tory party. Since 1710 Robert Harley had led a government appointed after the downfall of the Whig Junto, attempting to pursue a moderate and non-controversial policy, but had increasingly struggled to deal with the extreme Tory backbenchers who were frustrated by the lack of support for anti-dissenter legislation. The government remained popular with the electorate, however, having helped to end the War of the Spanish Succession and agreeing on the Treaty of Utrecht. The Tories consequently made further gains against the Whigs, making Harley's job even more difficult. Contests were held in 94 constituencies in England and Wales, some 35 per cent of the total, reflecting a decline in partisan tension and the Whigs' belief that they were unlikely to win anyway.

Bodmin (UK Parliament constituency) former UK Parliament constituency

Bodmin was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Cornwall from 1295 until 1983. Initially, it was a parliamentary borough, which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of England and later the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until the 1868 general election, when its representation was reduced to one member.

1715 British general election

The 1715 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 5th Parliament of Great Britain to be held, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. In October 1714, soon after George I had arrived in London after ascending to the throne, he dismissed the Tory cabinet and replaced it with one almost entirely composed of Whigs, as they were responsible for securing his succession. The election of 1715 saw the Whigs win an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons, and afterwards virtually all Tories in central or local government were purged, leading to a period of Whig ascendancy lasting almost fifty years during which Tories were almost entirely excluded from office.

Slater married heiress Elizabeth Bacon on 22 May 1716. She had been a ward "under his charge", and was the heir of John Bacon, a rich London merchant who had purchased land at Little Paxton, Huntingdonshire. On the marriage, he assumed the additional surname of Bacon. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1721. [3]

At the 1722 general election as Bacon, he was returned unopposed as MP for Cambridge. He became a bencher of his Inn in 1724. He was elected MP for Cambridge in contests in 1727 and 1734. [3]

1722 British general election

The 1722 British general election elected members to serve in the House of Commons of the 6th Parliament of Great Britain. This was the fifth such election since the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. Thanks to the Septennial Act of 1715, which swept away the maximum three-year life of a parliament created by the Meeting of Parliament Act 1694, it followed some seven years after the previous election, that of 1715.

1727 British general election

The 1727 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 7th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. The election was triggered by the death of King George I; at the time, it was the convention to hold new elections following the succession of a new monarch. The Tories, led in the House of Commons by William Wyndham, and under the direction of Bolingbroke, who had returned to the country in 1723 after being pardoned for his role in the Jacobite rising of 1715, lost further ground to the Whigs, rendering them ineffectual and largely irrelevant to practical politics. A group known as the Patriot Whigs, led by William Pulteney, who were disenchanted with Walpole's government and believed he was betraying Whig principles, had been formed prior to the election. Bolingbroke and Pulteney had not expected the next election to occur until 1729, and were consequently caught unprepared and failed to make any gains against the government party.

1734 British general election

The 1734 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 8th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. Robert Walpole's increasingly unpopular Whig government lost ground to the Tories and the opposition Whigs, but still had a secure majority in the House of Commons. The Patriot Whigs were joined in opposition by a group of Whig members led by Lord Cobham known as the Cobhamites, or 'Cobham's Cubs'

Death and legacy

Sclater/Bacon died childless worth £200,000 on 22 August 1736 at the age of about 71. [2] His wife had died in 1726, which was after Sclater had made a will in 1724 leaving his estate for life to Sarah, the wife of his coachman whom he described as a ‘kinswoman’ with remainder to her two sons. [2] Elizabeth’s will of 1724 left her personal fortune to her step-brothers after Thomas Sclater-Bacon’s death. [4]

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References

  1. "Sclater, Thomas (SCLR682T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. 1 2 3 "SCLATER (afterwards BACON), Thomas (c.1664-1736), of Catley, Cambs. and Gray's Inn". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 "SCLATER, Thomas (?1664-1736), of Catley, Cambs". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  4. "THE SCLATER BACON MEMORIAL IN LINTON CHURCH". Linton and District Historical Society. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Francis Robartes
Russell Robartes
Member of Parliament for Bodmin
17131715
With: Francis Robartes
Succeeded by
Francis Robartes
John Legh
Preceded by
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt
Samuel Shepheard
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
1715
With: Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt
Samuel Shepheard
Preceded by
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt
Samuel Shepheard
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
1722–1736
With: Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt 1722
Gilbert Affleck1722-1277
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt 1727-1736
Succeeded by
Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bt
Gilbert Affleck