Thomas Turgis

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Thomas Turgis (baptised 7 October 1623 – 11 June 1704) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1704, eventually in 1701 becoming the Father of the House, as the member with the longest unbroken service.

House of Commons of England parliament of England up to 1707

The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain. In 1801, with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, that house was in turn replaced by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Father of the House is a term that has been traditionally bestowed, unofficially, on certain members of some legislatures, most notably the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. In some legislatures the term refers to the longest continuously-serving member, while in others it refers to the oldest member. Recently, the term Mother of the House or Mother of Parliament has also been used, although the usage varies between countries; it is simply the female alternative to Father of the House, being applied when the relevant member is a woman.

Turgis was the eldest surviving son of Thomas Turgis, grocer of London and his first wife Ebbot Urry, daughter of Thomas Urry of Gatcombe, Isle of Wight. He was baptised on 7 October 1623. In 1648 he was made freeman of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and was assistant to the Company to 1687. He succeeded to the property of his wealthy father in 1651 and purchased Lower Gatton in Surrey in 1654. He acquired a number of other manors in Surrey, and was considered one of the wealthiest commoners in England. [1]

Worshipful Company of Grocers

The Worshipful Company of Grocers is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London and ranks second in order of precedence.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

In 1659, Turgis was elected Member of Parliament for Gatton in the Third Protectorate Parliament. He was commissioner for militia for Surrey in March 1660. In April 1660, Turgis was re-elected MP for Gatton, when he was opposed for the only time in his career. He was commissioner for sewers in August 1660 and commissioner for assessment for Surrey from August 1660 to 1680. [1] He became an alderman for Farringdon Without ward in the City of London from 1 to 23 July 1661. [2] In 1661 he was re-elected MP for Gatton in the Cavalier Parliament. He was commissioner for recusants for Surrey in 1675 and commissioner for rebuilding of Southwark in 1677. He was returned for Gatton in both elections in 1679 and in 1681 and 1685. In 1687 he was removed as assistant of the Grocers’ Company. He was commissioner for assessment for London and Surrey from 1689 to 1690, He was re-elected MP for Gatton in 1689, 1690, 1695, 1698 and both elections in 1701. [1]

Gatton was a parliamentary borough in Surrey, one of the most notorious of all the rotten boroughs. It elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1450 until 1832, when the constituency was abolished by the Great Reform Act. Around the time of that Act it was often held up by reformers as the epitome of what was wrong with the unreformed system.

Third Protectorate Parliament

The Third Protectorate Parliament sat for one session, from 27 January 1659 until 22 April 1659, with Chaloner Chute and Thomas Bampfylde as the Speakers of the House of Commons. It was a bicameral Parliament, with an Upper House having a power of veto over the Commons.

Farringdon Without ward in the City of London

Farringdon Without is a Ward in the City of London, the historic and financial centre of London. It covers the western area of the City, including the Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Chancery Lane, Smithfield and St Bartholomew's Hospital, as well as the area east of Chancery Lane.

Turgis died at the age of 80 and was buried at St. Dionis Backchurch, leaving ‘an estate of above £100,000’. Gatton was inherited by William Newland, who was elected for Gatton at the age of 21 and sat for the rest of his life. [1]

Turgis married Mary Beake, daughter of William Beake, Merchant Taylor of London by 1655. They had three sons and a daughter. [1]

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References

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Not represented in Second Protectorate Parliament
Member of Parliament for Gatton
1659
With: Edward Bishe
Succeeded by
Not represented in Restored Rump
Preceded by
Sir John Fagg, 1st Baronet
Father of the House
1701–1704
Succeeded by
Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Baronet