Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Colonel Thomas Thoroton (1753-1813)


Thomas was the eldest son of Thomas Thoroton of Screveton, and grandson of the 3rd Duke of Rutland by his illegitimate daughter Roosilia. Born at the Duke's house, Belvoir Castle, he was a page of honour to King George III in 1764. He joined the 2nd Foot Guards as an ensign in 1772, and served in the Coldstream Guards in the American War of Independence. In 1782 his father purchased a commission for him, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, from Colonel William Schutz. The price of 5,000 guineas was settled by the payment of an annuity to Colonel Schutz until his death in 1808. Colonel Thomas retired from the army in 1791. In 1784 Colonel Thomas married Anne Bowes (d 1827), eldest daughter and co-heir of George Wanley Bowes of Thornton Hall, county Durham. 

In 1789 he was a party to his father's purchase of Flintham House and land at Flintham, Nottinghamshire. Between 1798 and 1800 Colonel Thomas largely demolished the old house, built a new Georgian mansion, and landscaped the park. Flintham succeeded Screveton as the main family residence at this time, since Roosilia Thoroton was given Screveton Hall in her husband's will. Colonel Thomas Thoroton served as M.P. for Grantham, in the Duke of Rutland's interest, from 1802 to 1812. He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Newark Volunteers in 1803, and commanded the militia between 1808 and 1812.


Thomas Thoroton married Anne Bowes (-1827) in 1784, and had:

  • Anne Roosilia Elizabeth Thoroton (1784-1860), married Kingsmill Evans of the Hill Court near Ross, Herefordshire 
  • Elizabeth Thoroton (1787-). Unmarried 
  • Levett Edward Thoroton (1789-1852), rector of Ingoldmells 1815-1817, West Bridgford 1818-1831, Colwick 1818-1834, and Rowley, Yorkshire 1831-1852, married Caroline Grant, daughter of Sir Alexander Cray Grant, 7th Baronet, and had:
    • Thomas (1822-1911), army officer 
    • Charles (1825-1901), rector of Rauceby, Lincolnshire 
    • Edward (1826-1856), barrister 
    • Elizabeth (1828-), m James Kaye 
    • Levett (1829-1914), army officer 
    • Robert Grant (1832-1914) 
    • 4 other daughters 
  • Colonel Robert Thoroton (1791-1838), army officer, of Winestead, Yorkshire, married Sophia Burton, and had:
    • Anne (1822-) 
    • Sophia (1828-), m Rev. Henry Power 
  • Mary Isabella (1793-), m Charles Underwood 
  • John Peter (1797-1805)  

Archive Collections

  • Title deeds, estate papers, family wills and settlements, and legal papers, in the Thoroton Hildyard Collection (THF)  held by Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham

Published Sources

  • ‘Thoroton, Thomas’, in R.G. Thorne (ed), History of Parliament, The Commons 1790-1820 (London: History of Parliament Trust, 1986) [King's Meadow Campus Ref JN673.H6]
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. The Thorotons (privately printed, 1991) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Special Collection Oversize Not 150.V30 THO] 

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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