The Earl of Chichester
Home Secretary
In office
30 July 1801 – 17 August 1803
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterHenry Addington
Preceded byThe Duke of Portland
Succeeded byCharles Philip Yorke
Personal details
Born(1756-04-28)28 April 1756
London, England
Died4 July 1826(1826-07-04) (aged 70)
London, England
Political partyWhig, later Tory
Spouse(s)Lady Mary Osborne
Alma materClare Hall, Cambridge

Thomas Pelham, 2nd Earl of Chichester PC, PC (Ire), FRS (28 April 1756 – 4 July 1826), styled The Honourable Thomas Pelham from 1768 until 1783, The Right Honourable Thomas Pelham from 1783 to 1801, and then known as Lord Pelham until 1805, was a British Whig politician. He notably held office as Home Secretary under Henry Addington from 1801 to 1803.

Background and education

Chichester was the eldest son of Thomas Pelham, 1st Earl of Chichester, and his wife Anne, daughter of Frederick Meinhardt Frankland. The Right Reverend George Pelham was his younger brother. He was educated at Westminster and Clare College, Cambridge.[1]

Political career

Pelham was commissioned as a captain in the Sussex Militia when it was raised by the Duke of Richmond in June 1778, and was subsequently promoted to major and lieutenant-colonel, frequently deputising in command for Richmond. During the summer of 1780 the regiment was at Ranmore Camp near Dorking in Surrey, close enough to Sussex for Pelham to stand as a candidate for the county in the general election and to be elected.[2] [3]

Chichester was appointed Surveyor-General of the Ordnance under the Duke of Richmond as Master-General of the Ordnance in Lord Rockingham's second ministry (1782), and Chief Secretary for Ireland in the coalition ministry of 1783 (when he was also appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland). He represented Carrick in the Irish House of Commons from 1783 to 1790 and Clogher from 1795 to 1797. In 1795 he was sworn of the Privy Council and became Irish chief secretary under Pitt's government, retiring in 1798.[3]

In the latter year he sat briefly for Naas before transferring to Armagh Borough, a seat he held only until the next year. He was Home Secretary from July 1801 to August 1803 under Addington, who made him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1803. Pelham went out of office in 1804, and in the next year succeeded to the earldom. He was joint-Postmaster General from 1807 to 1823, and for the remaining three years of his life Postmaster General.[3]


Mary Henrietta Juliana Pelham née Osborne (Richard Cosway)
Mary Henrietta Juliana Pelham née Osborne (Richard Cosway)

Lord Chichester married Lady Mary Henrietta Juliana, daughter of Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds, in 1801. They had four sons and six daughters. Their second son, the Hon. Frederick Thomas Pelham, was a naval commander, while their third son, the Right Reverend John Thomas Pelham, was Bishop of Norwich. Lord Chichester died in July 1826, aged 70, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, Henry. His daughter Lady Amelia Rose married Major General Sir Joshua Jebb, the Surveyor General of Prisons and designer of Pentonville Prison, the 'Model Prison', on 5 September 1854. The Countess of Chichester died in October 1862, aged 86. His daughter, Lady Lucy Anne Pelham, married Sir David Dundas.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Pelham, the Hon. Thomas (PLHN773T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ J.R. Western, The English Militia in the Eighteenth Century: The Story of a Political Issue 1660–1802, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965.
  3. ^ a b c Pelham at History of Parliament.
Parliament of Great Britain Preceded byLord George Henry Lennox Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson Member of Parliament for Sussex 17801801 With: Lord George Henry Lennox 1780–1790Charles Lennox 1790–1801 Succeeded byParliament of the United Kingdom Parliament of Ireland Preceded byRobert Tighe Edward King Member of Parliament for Carrick 1783–1790 With: George Sandford 1783Edward King 1783–1790 Succeeded byEdward King Hon. Nathaniel Clements Preceded bySackville Hamilton Richard Townsend Herbert Member of Parliament for Clogher 1795–1798 With: Richard Townsend Herbert Succeeded bySir John Tydd, 1st Bt Thomas Burgh Preceded byRobert Hobart Sackville Hamilton Member of Parliament for Armagh Borough 1798–1799 With: Patrick Duigenan Succeeded byPatrick Duigenan Gerard Lake Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byParliament of Great Britain Member of Parliament for Sussex 1801 With: Charles Lennox Succeeded byCharles Lennox John 'Mad Jack' Fuller Military offices Preceded byCharles Frederick Surveyor-General of the Ordnance 1782–1783 Succeeded byJohn Courtenay Political offices Preceded byWilliam Windham Chief Secretary for Ireland 1783–1784 Succeeded byThomas Orde Preceded byViscount Milton Chief Secretary for Ireland 1795–1798 Succeeded byViscount Castlereagh Preceded byThe Lord Glentworth Secretary of State, Ireland 1796–1797 Succeeded byViscount Castlereagh Preceded byThe Duke of Portland Home Secretary 1801–1803 Succeeded byCharles Philip Yorke Preceded byThe Lord Hobart Leader of the House of Lords 1801–1803 Succeeded byThe Lord Hawkesbury Preceded byThe Earl of Liverpool Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1803–1804 Succeeded byThe Lord Mulgrave Preceded byThe Earl of Aylesford Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard 1804 Succeeded byThe Earl of Macclesfield Preceded byThe Earl of CarysfortThe Earl of Buckinghamshire Postmaster General 1807–1826 With: The Earl of Sandwich 1807–1814The Earl of Clancarty 1814–1816The Marquess of Salisbury 1816–1823 Succeeded byThe Lord Frederick Montagu Peerage of the United Kingdom Preceded byThomas Pelham Earl of Chichester 1805–1826 Succeeded byHenry Pelham Peerage of Great Britain Preceded byThomas Pelham Baron Pelham of Stanmer(writ in acceleration) 1801–1826 Succeeded byHenry Pelham