THORNHAUGH, John (1648-1723), of Fenton, Notts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701
20 Aug. - 28 Nov. 1702
29 Mar. 1704

Family and Education

b. 27 Jan. 1648, o.s. of Francis Thornhaugh of Fenton by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John St. Andrew of Gotham. educ. Jesus, Camb. 1664. m. 15 Sept. 1670, Elizabeth (d.1712), da. of Sir Richard Earle, 1st Bt., of Stragglethorpe, Lincs. and h. to her nephew Sir Richard, 2nd Bt., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 1648.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Notts. 1673-80, 1690, j.p. Feb. 1688-d., sheriff Nov. 1688-Mar. 1689, dep. lt. 1689-?d.


Thornhaugh’s family had been seated at Fenton, six miles from East Retford, since the reign of Henry VI, first representing the borough in 1604. His father, an ardent Parliamentarian, was elected for the borough as a recruiter to the Long Parliament, but was killed at the head of his regiment at the battle of Preston. Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile) recommended Thornhaugh as j.p. in 1675, but the appointment seems to have been blocked at a high level. During the exclusion crisis he was implicated with John White and Robert Pierrepont in the Nottinghamshire arms plot. He began to develop an interest in East Retford in 1682, and by the time of the next general election he had laid out enough money to threaten John Millington, but he did not go to the poll. He was added to the commission of the peace in 1688, recommended as a court candidate, and returned at the general election in the following year, although he had meanwhile been pricked as sheriff. He was moderately active in the Convention; his 21 committees included those for the attainder and mutiny bills, and an inquiry into discoveries of treason. But he took no part in purely vindictive Whig moves, and did not support the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations.2

Thornhaugh remained a Whig for the rest of his political life, though he was too high-principled invariably to follow the party line. He was buried in his parish church on 17 May 1723. His grandson sat for the county from 1747 to 1774.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: E. R. Edwards


  • 1. Vis. Notts. (Thoroton Soc. Rec. Ser. xiii), 67; The Reliquary, xvi. 203-4; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. liii), 971.
  • 2. Spencer mss. Henry Thynne to Halifax, 24 June 1675, Millington to Halifax, 10 May 1682, 16 Mar. 1685; CSP Dom. Jan.-June 1683, pp. 265, 268, 327-8, 373; 1687-9, p. 273; The Reliquary, xvi. 42; Trans. Thoroton Soc. xxviii. 82.
  • 3. G. Holmes, British Pols. in the Age of Anne, 43; The Reliquary, xvii. 235.