Thomas Wharton, 1st Marquess of Wharton

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The Marquess of Wharton

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Lord Privy Seal
In office
1714–1715
Preceded by The Earl of Dartmouth
Succeeded by The Earl of Sunderland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
1708–1710
Preceded by The Earl of Pembroke
Succeeded by The Duke of Ormonde
Personal details
BornAugust 1648
Died12 April 1715 (aged 66)

Thomas Wharton, 1st Marquess of Wharton PC (August 1648 12 April 1715) was an English nobleman and politician. A man of great charm and political ability[ according to whom? ], he was also notorious for his debauched lifestyle.

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Contents

Background

He was the son of Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton and his second wife, Jane Goodwin, only daughter of Colonel Arthur Goodwin of Upper Winchendon, Buckinghamshire, and heiress to the extensive Goodwin estates in Buckinghamshire, including Winchendon, Wooburn, Waddeston, Weston, and other properties. [1]

Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton English Baron

Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton was an English soldier, politician and diplomat. He was a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War.

Arthur Goodwin of Upper Winchendon, Buckinghamshire was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1643. He supported the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War.

Upper Winchendon village in the United Kingdom

Upper Winchendon or Over Winchendon is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale District of Buckinghamshire, England. It is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Waddesdon and 4.5 miles (7 km) west of Aylesbury. A mid-air collision between a plane and a helicopter just outside the village led to the Waddesdon Manor air incident on 17 November 2017.

Career

In his long political career he was a Member of Parliament for seventeen years [2] and spearheaded the Whig opposition to King James II's government, which later developed the two party political system under Queen Anne. Before the Glorious Revolution he was in close contact with a group of army officers conspiring against King James, including his brother Captain Henry Wharton.

James II of England 17th-century King of England and Ireland, and of Scotland (as James VII)

James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland, his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.

Anne, Queen of Great Britain Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1702–07); queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1707–14)

Anne was the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland between 8 March 1702 and 1 May 1707. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1714.

Glorious Revolution 17th Century British revolution

The Glorious Revolution, or Revolution of 1688 refers to the November 1688 deposition and subsequent replacement of James II and VII as ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland by his daughter Mary II and her Dutch husband William III of Orange. The outcome of events in all three kingdoms and Europe, the Revolution was quick and relatively bloodless, though establishing the new regime took much longer and led to significant casualties. The term was first used by John Hampden in late 1689.

In 1689 he was sworn of the Privy Council and made Comptroller of the Household by King William III, establishing the link between the royal position and government for the first time, although William is said to have distrusted him.

The Comptroller of the Household is an ancient position in the British royal household, nominally the second-ranking member of the Lord Steward's department after the Treasurer of the Household. The Comptroller was an ex officio member of the Board of Green Cloth, until that body was abolished in the reform of the local government licensing in 2004. In recent times, a senior government whip has invariably occupied the office. On state occasions the Comptroller carries a white staff of office, as often seen in portraits.

William III of England 17th-century Stadtholder, Prince of Orange and King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by Unionists and Ulster loyalists.

A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.

He went out of office in 1702, after the accession of Anne, who disliked him intensely, and took great pleasure in personally taking his staff of office from him, [3] but in 1706, he was created Earl of Wharton and Viscount Winchendon in the Peerage of England. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 17081710. [4]

The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Scotland were replaced by one Peerage of Great Britain.

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland title of the chief governor of Ireland from the Williamite Wars of 1690 till the Partition of Ireland in 1922

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the title of the chief governor of Ireland from the Williamite Wars of 1690 until the Partition of Ireland in 1922. This spanned the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922). The office, under its various names, was often more generally known as the viceroy, and his wife was known as the vicereine. The government of Ireland in practice was usually in the hands of the Lord Deputy up to the 17th century, and later of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Although in the Middle Ages some Lords Deputy were Irish noblemen, only men from Great Britain, usually peers, were appointed to the office of Lord Lieutenant.

Character and scandals

Anne's dislike of him was partly the product of her dislike for the Whig Junto, the "five tyrannising lords", which William III had shared to some extent, [5] but owed far more to his debauched and irreligious character. Even by the standards of Restoration rakes, Wharton was considered a man "void of moral or religious principles". [6] The most striking charge was that in 1682, when drunk, he had broken into the church in Great Barrington, Gloucestershire, and urinated against the communion table and defecated in the pulpit. [7] The story is probably true: certainly in 1705 during a debate on Church matters in the House of Lords Wharton was left speechless when Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds reminded him of it. [8]

The Whig Junto is the name given to a group of leading Whigs who were seen to direct the management of the Whig Party and often the government, during the reigns of William III and Anne. The Whig Junto proper consisted of John Somers, later Baron Somers; Charles Montagu, later Earl of Halifax; Thomas Wharton, later Marquess of Wharton, and Edward Russell, later Earl of Orford. They came to prominence due to the favour of Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland and during the reign of Queen Anne, Sunderland's son, the 3rd Earl succeeded his father. Opponents gave them the nickname "the five tyrannising lords". Other figures prominent around the edges of the Junto include Sir John Trenchard and Thomas Tollemache.

House of Lords upper house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is granted by appointment or else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds 17th and 18th-century English statesman

Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, KG, was an English politician who was part of the Immortal Seven group that invited William III, Prince of Orange to depose James II of England as monarch during the Glorious Revolution. He was commonly known as Lord Danby and Marquess of Carmarthen when he was a prominent political figure, served in a variety of offices under Kings Charles II and William III of England. He was a prominent politician who had fallen out of favour due to corruption and other scandals but was restored to prominence under William.

Despite his faults he has been described as a man of immense charm, a fine public speaker and a "political organiser of genius". [9] As the dominant politician in Aylesbury, he was partly responsible for the landmark constitutional case of Ashby v White , which established the principle that for every wrong there is a remedy.

It is rumored that Wharton had taken Dorothy Townshend, née Walpole, as a lover prior to her marriage. It is possible there is some truth to this as further rumors suggest that her later husband, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend may have either killed her or faked her funeral and hid her away at Raynham Hall. This rumor is based on the alleged infidelity of Dorothy during their marriage. [10] She is also rumored to haunt Raynham, known as the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall.

Macaulay's History of England describes Wharton in prose: [11]

His mendacity and his effrontery passed into proverbs. Of all the liars of his time he was the most deliberate, the most inventive and the most circumstantial. What shame meant he did not seem to understand. No reproaches, even when pointed and barbed with the sharpest wit, appeared to give him pain. Great satirists, animated by a deadly personal aversion, exhausted all their strength in attacks upon him. They assailed him with keen invective; they assailed him with still keener irony; but they found that neither invective nor irony could move him to any thing but an unforced smile and a goodhumoured curse; and they at length threw down the lash, acknowledging that it was impossible to make him feel. That, with such vices, he should have played a great part in life, should have carried numerous elections against the most formidable opposition by his personal popularity, should have had a large following in Parliament, should have risen to the highest offices of the State, seems extraordinary. But he lived in times when faction was almost a madness; and he possessed in an eminent degree the qualities of the leader of a faction.

Last years

Under George I of England, he returned to favour. In January 1715, he was created Marquess of Catherlough, Earl of Rathfarnham, and Baron Trim in the Peerage of Ireland, and in February 1715 Marquess of Wharton and Marquess of Malmesbury in the Peerage of Great Britain.

When he died in April 1715 he was buried in Upper Winchendon, Buckinghamshire. He is generally credited as author of the original lyrics of Lillibullero , which "rhymed King James out of England".

Family

Wharton married firstly on 16 September 1673 Anne, or Nan, Lee (d 29 October 1685 aged 26), younger daughter of Sir Henry Lee, 3rd Bt. (d. 1659), an elder half-brother of the famous libertine poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester; she had some reputation as a poet and dramatist. They had no issue together. Her sister Eleanora Lee married James Bertie, Lord Norreys; their cousin was Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield. Although her husband may have infected her with syphilis, Anne Wharton left him her fortune. Her grandmother Anne St. John, Countess of Rochester tried to regain her fortune from the Whartons with little effect. [12]

He married secondly Lucy Loftus, only daughter and heiress of Adam Loftus, 1st Viscount Lisburne and Lucy Brydges. [13] They had one son Philip Wharton, 1st Duke of Wharton, and two daughters, Lucy Morice and Jane Holt. [14] On his son's death without heirs, all his titles became extinct, except the Barony which passed to Jane Holt.

See also

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References

  1. Clark, J. Kent (2004).Whig's Progress: Tom Wharton between Revolutions, p.13. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison, N.J. ISBN   0-8386-3997-6.
  2. History of Parliament Online - Wharton, Hon, Thomas
  3. Kenyon, J.P. The Stuarts Fontana Edition 1966 p.188
  4. Rachel Wilson, ‘The Vicereines of Ireland and the Transformation of the Dublin Court, c. 1703-1737’ in The Court Historian, xix, no. 1 (2014).
  5. Kenyon p.188
  6. Somerset, Anne Queen Anne Harper Press 2012 p.197
  7. Somerset p.197
  8. Somerset p.294
  9. Kenyon, J.P. Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland 1641-1702 Longmans Green and Co. 1958 p. 270
  10. http://historiesofthingstocome.blogspot.com/2011_10_16_archive.html
  11. Macaulay, ed. The History of England from the Accession of James the Second Vol.4 p.511
  12. James William Johnson. "My dearest sonne": Letters from the Countess of Rochester to the Earl of Lichfield University of Rochester Library Bulletin Volume XXVIII · Number 1 · Summer 1974
  13. Mosley, ed. Burke's Peerage 107th Edition 2003 Vol.1 p.899
  14. Mosley p.899
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Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Marquess of Wharton and Malmesbury
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