THORNTON, William (?1712-69), of Cattal, nr. York.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1747 - 1754
1 Dec. 1758 - 1761

Family and Education

b. ?1712, s. of Sir William Thornton of York by his w. Elizabeth. educ. Mr. Jackson’s sch., York; St. John’s, Camb. 27 Mar. 1731, aged 18. m. (1) Isabella (d. 25 Feb. 1748), o. da. of William Norton of Sawley, Yorks.;1 (2) 11 July 1749, Mary, da. of John Myster of Epsom, Surr., 1s. 1da.

Offices Held


Thornton, whose father had been knighted for presenting an address from Yorkshire on the Union in 1707, raised at his own expense a company of foot in the Forty-five, taking part in the battle of Falkirk. Returned as a government supporter for York in 1747, he went into opposition in 1751, speaking against the Administration on the navy estimates, 23 Nov., the army, 28 Nov., and the land tax, 5 Dec.2 In 1752 he published a pamphlet entitled The Counterpoise: being thoughts on a militia and a standing army, following this by a bill for improving the militia, which did not get beyond the report stage.3 He did not stand in 1754 and died 10 July 1769.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. M.I. at Kirk Deighton, ex inf. K. Workman.
  • 2. Walpole, Mems. Geo. II, i. 213, 218.
  • 3. C. Collyer, ‘The Rockinghams and Yorkshire Politics, 1742-61’, Thoresby Misc. xii (1954), 371-2.