Thomas Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth

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Thomas Henry Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth (8 February 1775 – 7 March 1855), known as Sir Thomas Liddell, 6th Baronet, from 1791 to 1821, was a British peer and Tory politician.

Life account[edit]

Liddell was the son of Sir Henry Liddell, 5th Baronet and his wife Elizabeth Steele. His younger brother Henry Liddell, Rector of Easington (1787–1872), was father of a younger Henry Liddell, co-author (with Robert Scott) of the monumental work A Greek-English Lexicon, and father of the Alice who inspired Alice in Wonderland.

He succeeded his father in the baronetcy and to the family estates at Ravensworth Castle and Eslington Park and to extensive coal mining interests in 1791. He was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1804 and served as Tory Member of Parliament for County Durham between 1806 and 1807. On 17 July 1821 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ravensworth, of Ravensworth Castle in the County Palatine of Durham and of Eslington Park in the County of Northumberland.

At Ravensworth he demolished the old 1724 house in 1808 and replaced it with a substantial mansion in the Gothic style designed by architect John Nash. He also employed George Stephenson from 1804 at his Killingworth colliery and encouraged and financed him in the development of steam power which was vital for the improvement of the efficiency of the wagonways which transported coal from the pit to the River Tyne.

He died in March 1855, aged 80, and was succeeded in his titles by his son Henry, who was created Earl of Ravensworth in 1874.

Marriage and children[edit]

On 26 March 1796, Thomas married Maria Susannah Simpson (1773–1845). She was a daughter of John Simpson, of Bradley Hall, Co. Durham, and Lady Anne Lyon. Her maternal grandparents were Thomas Lyon, 8th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and Jean Nicholsen.

They had twelve children:

In popular media[edit]

Liddell was portrayed as the character of Lord Ravensworth by actor Terence Alexander in the 1985 Doctor Who serial The Mark of the Rani.[1]


  1. ^ "The Mark of the Rani". BBC. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Rowland Burdon
Sir Ralph Milbanke, Bt
Member of Parliament for County Durham
With: Sir Ralph Milbanke, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir Ralph Milbanke, Bt
Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, Bt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New title Baron Ravensworth
Succeeded by
Henry Liddell
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Henry Liddell
(of Ravensworth Castle)
Succeeded by
Henry Liddell