|8th Governor of Restored Proprietary Government|
|Preceded by||Samuel Ogle|
|Succeeded by||Samuel Ogle|
|Profession||politician and colonial governor|
Early life and marriage
Bladen was born in Maryland in 1698, the eldest son of William Bladen (1672–1718), who came to Maryland in 1690, and Anne Van Swearingen. Thomas was the grandson of Nathaniel Bladen and Isabella Fairfax (daughter of Sir William Fairfax of Steeton). He was the nephew of Colonel Martin Bladen, Commissioner of the Board of Trade and Plantations.
He travelled early to England in 1712, where he was educated and where in 1731 he married Barbara Janssen (daughter of Sir Theodore Janssen, 1st Baronet, and Williamza Henley), who was also the sister-in-law of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore and Proprietor of the Province. and aunt to Caroline Calvert Eden wife of Governor Sir Robert Eden, 1st Baronet, of Maryland
Life in Maryland
In 1742, he returned to Maryland as provincial Governor, the first governor to be born in the Province. He also served as surveyor general, Western Shore, 1742–1746, and chancellor, 1742–1746/47. While governor, he concluded a peace with the Six Nations. He negotiated with Pennsylvania authorities for the settlement of the Maryland–Pennsylvania boundary.
Upon his arrival in Maryland, the Legislature awarded him £4,000 to build himself a residence, which was £1,000 more than his predecessor. In 1744, he bought 4 acres (16,000 m2) of land in Annapolis from Stephen Bordley and commenced construction of a building, now McDowell Hall, St. John's College, as a governor's residence. He quickly disagreed with the Legislature about its architecture and became involved in a lawsuit with Bordley, the previous owner, and construction halted.
He quickly became an unpopular Governor and was dismissed from office by October 1746 because he was "tactless and quarrelsome". He returned to England in 1746, when he was succeeded by Samuel Ogle - husband of his niece Anne Tasker. Ogle had been Governor prior to Bladen's arrival in Maryland.
Bladen died in England in 1780.
The town of Bladensburg, Maryland, which was incorporated in the first year of his governorship as Garrison's Landing, was renamed after him.
He had two daughters:
- Barbara Bladen (1733-1821) m. The Hon. Henry St John (1738–1818), a brother of Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, 3rd Viscount St John
- Harriet Bladen (1735-1821), m. William Capell, 4th Earl of Essex (1732–1799), ancestress of the 6th and subsequent earls.
- Life of Robert Fairfax of Steeton by Clements R Markham
- Mereness, Newton Dennison (1901). Maryland as a Proprietary Province (Thesis). London: The MacMillan Company. p. 350. OCLC 11223445.
- "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". 2007.
- Early Yorkshire Bladens: Nathaniel Bladen - a Biography by Karen Proudler ISBN 978-0-9566831-4-4
- Warfield, Joshua Dorsey (July 1905). The Founders of Anne Arundel And Howard Counties, Maryland. Baltimore, Maryland: Kohn & Pollock. p. 208. ISBN 0-8063-7971-5.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 5)[self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
- A history of Anne Arundel County in Maryland: adapted for use in the schools of the county, by Elihu Samuel Riley, C.G. Feldmeyer, 1905.
|Parliament of Great Britain|
|Member of Parliament for Steyning
1727 – 1734
With: The Viscount Vane
Marquess of Carnarvon
Sir Robert Fagg, Bt
Sir William Yonge
|Member of Parliament for Ashburton
1735 – 1741
With: Roger Tuckfield to 1739
Joseph Taylor 1739–1741
|Governor of Maryland