Thomas Pelham, 1st Baron Pelham

Thomas Pelham, 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton Bt (1653 23 February 1712) was a moderate English Whig politician and Member of Parliament for several constituencies. He is best remembered as father of two British prime ministers (Henry Pelham and the Duke of Newcastle) who, between them, served for 18 years as first minister. Pelham was born in Laughton, Sussex, the son of Sir John Pelham, 3rd Baronet and his wife Lucy Sidney (daughter of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester). Pelham was educated at Tonbridge School and Christ Church, Oxford. He sat for East Grinstead from October 1678 until August 1679. In October 1679 he was returned for Lewes, serving until 1702 (when he was returned for both Lewes and Sussex); he subsequently chose to sit for Sussex, a seat he held until 1705.

Personal life

On 26 November 1679 Pelham married Elizabeth Jones, with whom he had two daughters:

Pelham's wife Elizabeth died in October 1681. In 1686, he married Lady Grace Holles (daughter of Gilbert Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare), with whom he had two sons and five daughters:

Both of Pelham's sons went on to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He served as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury for three separate periods (March 1690–March 1692; May 1697–June 1699 and March 1701–May 1702); in 1706, he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Pelham of Laughton (having previously succeeded to his father's baronetage in 1703).[1]



Parliament of England
Preceded by
George Courthope
Edward Sackville
Member of Parliament for East Grinstead
with George Courthope 16781679
Edward Sackville 1679
Henry Powle 1679
Sir Thomas Littleton 1679

Succeeded by
Goodwin Wharton
William Jephson
Preceded by
William Morley
Richard Bridger
Member of Parliament for Lewes
with Richard Bridger 16791695
Henry Pelham 16951701, 17011702
Thomas Trevor 17011702
Richard Payne 1702

Succeeded by
Richard Payne
Sir Nicholas Pelham
Preceded by
Sir William Thomas
Sir Henry Peachey
Member of Parliament for Sussex
with Henry Lumley

Succeeded by
John Morley Trevor
Sir George Parker
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Charles Goring
Vice-Admiral of Sussex
Succeeded by
The Lord Ashburnham
Peerage of England
New creation Baron Pelham of Laughton
Succeeded by
Thomas Pelham-Holles
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
John Pelham
(of Laughton)
Succeeded by
Thomas Pelham-Holles
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