Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham

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Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham, KB, PC (I) (13 November 1693 – 14 December 1750) was a British peer and Whig politician.

Life and career[edit]

He was the only son and heir of the Hon. Thomas Watson (later Watson-Wentworth, the third son of Edward Watson, 2nd Baron Rockingham) and his wife, Alice, a daughter of Sir Thomas Proby, 1st Baronet. He was educated at St John’s College, Cambridge (1707).[1] In 1708, he bought Hallfield House, near Sheffield, and succeeded his father in 1723.

From 1715 to 1727, he was Member of Parliament for Malton, and for Yorkshire from 1727 to 1728. He was appointed a Knight of the Bath in 1725, admitted to the Privy Council of Ireland in 1733, and was Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1733 to 1750.

In 1728, he was created Baron Malton.[1] At this time, he deliberately burned most of the manuscripts left by the 17th-century antiquary Richard Gascoigne; this act has been attributed to legal advice from his attorney.[2] In 1734, he was created Earl of Malton, and in 1746, Marquess of Rockingham. He had inherited the barony of Rockingham from his cousin, Thomas Watson, 3rd Earl of Rockingham, earlier in 1746.


The Watson-Wentworth and Finch families (Charles Philips, c. 1732)

On 22 September 1716, he married Lady Mary Finch, a daughter of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, and his second wife, Ann Hatton. They had five children:


  1. ^ a b "WATSON WENTWORTH, Thomas (1693-1750), of Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorks.". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  2. ^ Pearson, R. E. O. "Gascoigne, Richard". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/10423.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Palmes
Hon. Thomas Watson-Wentworth
Member of Parliament for Malton
With: Hon. Thomas Watson-Wentworth 1715–22
Sir William Strickland, Bt. 1722–24
Hon. Henry Finch 1724–27
Succeeded by
Hon. Henry Finch
Wardell Westby
Preceded by
The Viscount Downe
Cholmley Turner
Member of Parliament for Yorkshire
With: Cholmley Turner
Succeeded by
Cholmley Turner
Sir George Savile, Bt
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Burlington
Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Rockingham
Custos Rotulorum of the North Riding of Yorkshire
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Marquess of Rockingham
Succeeded by
Charles Watson-Wentworth
Earl of Malton
Baron Malton
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Watson
Baron Rockingham
Succeeded by
Charles Watson-Wentworth