Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton

For other people named Thomas Egerton, see Thomas Egerton (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
The Earl of Wilton
Lord Steward of the Household
In office
2 January 1835  8 April 1835
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by The Duke of Argyll
Succeeded by The Duke of Argyll
Personal details
Born 30 December 1799 (1799-12-30)
Died 7 March 1882 (1882-03-08)
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Mary Stanley
(d. 1858)
(2) Isabella Smith
(d. 1916)

Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton GCH, PC (30 December 1799 7 March 1882), known as Thomas Grosvenor until 1814, was a British nobleman and Tory politician. He served as Lord Steward of the Household in 1835 in Sir Robert Peel's first administration.


Wilton was the second son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster and his wife Lady Eleanor Egerton, daughter of Thomas Egerton, 1st Earl of Wilton. Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster was his elder brother and Robert Grosvenor, 1st Baron Ebury, his younger brother. In 1814, at the age of 14, he succeeded to the earldom of Wilton according to a special remainder on the death of his maternal grandfather.[1] He assumed by sign manual the surname of Egerton in lieu of Grosvenor in 1821.[2] He also inherited Heaton Park through his maternal grandfather.[3]

Political career

Lord Wilton took his seat in the House of Lords on his twenty-first birthday in 1820. In January 1835 he was appointed Lord Steward of the Household in the Tory administration of Sir Robert Peel[4] and the following February he was admitted to the Privy Council.[5] However, the government fell already in April 1835 and Lord Wilton was never to return to office.[6]

Horse racing

Lord Wilton was also a leading sportsman. Considered an expert horseman, he established the Heaton Park Races in 1827.[3]


He was also interested in yachting, and was a founding member of the Royal Mersey Yacht Club in 1844.[7] He was Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron from 1849 to 1881.[8]

Lord Wilton's yacht "The Xarifa, RYS" with behind it the Circassian, Ariel, Fairy, and Flirt, circa 1845. Lithograph T G Dutton after a sketch by Nicholas Matthews Condy

[9] In this capacity, he was most notable for inviting members of the New York Yacht Club to race in the Royal Yacht Squadron regatta open to all nations around the Isle of Wight on 22 August 1851. The N. Y. Y. C. yacht America won the event and its silver trophy was subsequently renamed the America's Cup.[10]

Lord Wilton was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2001 in a ceremony at the Royal Yacht Squadron during the America's Cup Jubilee.[11]


Lord Wilton was also a composer. He composed the anthem "O Praise the Lord, all ye heathen", a hymn titled "Hymn to Eros", as well as several other vocal compositions.[12]


Lord Wilton married firstly Lady Mary Stanley, daughter of the Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, in 1821.[1] They had eleven children, of whom only five reached adulthood:

After his first wife's death in December 1858 Lord Wilton married secondly Isabella Smith in September 1863. They had no children. Lord Wilton died in March 1883, aged 82, and was succeeded in the earldom by his third but eldest surviving son Arthur. The Countess of Wilton died in January 1916.[1]

See also


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Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Lord Steward of the Household
January 1835 April 1835
Succeeded by
The Duke of Argyll
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Egerton
Earl of Wilton
Succeeded by
Arthur Egerton
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