He was the son of Horatio Townshend, 1st Viscount Townshend and his second wife Mary Ashe, daughter of Sir Joseph Ashe, 1st Baronet, and was educated at Eton College. He was Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth from 1715 to 1722, in which year he became a director of the Bank of England. He was then Member of Parliament for Heytesbury from 1727 to 1734.
- "Townsend, Hon. Horatio (c.1683–1751), of New Ormond St., London, History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Governors of the Bank of England. Bank of England, London, 2013. Archived here. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
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