The Lord Truro
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
15 July 1850 – 21 February 1852
Prime MinisterLord John Russell
Preceded byIn Commission
Succeeded byLord St Leonards
Personal details
Born7 July 1782 (1782-07-07)
Castle Street, London, England
Died11 November 1855(1855-11-11) (aged 73)
Eaton Square, London, England
Political partyWhig
Mary Wileman
(m. 1813; died 1840)
(m. 1845)

Thomas Wilde, 1st Baron Truro, PC, QS (7 July 1782 – 11 November 1855) was a British lawyer, judge and politician. He was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain between 1850 and 1852.

Background and education

Born in London, Truro was the second son of Thomas Wilde, an attorney and founder of Wilde Sapte, by his wife Mary Anne (née Knight). He was educated at St Paul's School and was admitted an attorney in 1805.[1] He was the younger brother of Sir John Wylde. James Wilde, 1st Baron Penzance, was his nephew.

Legal and political career

Wilde subsequently entered the Inner Temple and was called to the bar in 1817, having practised for two years before as a special pleader. Retained for the defence of Queen Caroline in 1820 he distinguished himself by his cross-examination and laid the foundation of an extensive common law practice.[1] In 1824 he was made Serjeant-at-Law, and in 1827 King's Serjeant.

He first entered parliament in the Whig interest as member for Newark (1831–1832 and 1835–1841), afterwards representing Worcester (1841–1846). He was appointed Solicitor General in 1839, being knighted in 1840,[2] and became Attorney General in succession to Sir John Campbell in 1841. In 1846 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, an office he held until 1850, when he became Lord Chancellor, and was created Baron Truro, of Bowes in the County of Middlesex.[3] He held this latter office until the fall of the Russell ministry in 1852.[1]


Thomas Wilde's tomb in St Laurence's parish churchyard, Ramsgate, Kent
Thomas Wilde's tomb in St Laurence's parish churchyard, Ramsgate, Kent

Lord Truro married firstly Mary Devaynes in 1813, she was the widow of William Devaynes (1730–1809) and daughter of William Wileman. They had three surviving children. After Mary's death in 1840 he married secondly Augusta Emma d'Este, daughter of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex and a first cousin of Queen Victoria, on 13 August 1845. There were no children from this marriage. Lord Truro died in London in November 1855, aged 76, and was succeeded in the barony by his second but eldest surviving son, Charles. Lady Truro died in May 1866, aged 64.

Thomas Wilde is commemorated by a Blue plaque erected on the front of 2 Kelvin Avenue Bowes Park London N13 which reads: "Site of Bowes Manor THOMAS WILDE 1st BARON TRURO 1782 – 1855 LORD CHANCELLOR 1850 – 1852 LIVED HERE"

Wilde also lived at Truro House, Broomfield Park, Palmers Green London N13, a Grade II listed building which dates back to 1673.


Coat of arms of Thomas Wilde, 1st Baron Truro
A hart lodged with a rose in its mouth Proper.
Ermine on a cross Sable a plate on a chief of the second three martlets Argent.
Two ermines Proper.
Equabiliter Et Diligenter (Steadily And Diligently) [4]


  1. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ "No. 19828". The London Gazette. 21 February 1840. p. 361.
  3. ^ "No. 21117". The London Gazette. 16 July 1850. p. 1995.
  4. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 1865.


Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byMichael Thomas SadlerWilliam Handley Member of Parliament for Newark 1831–1832 With: William Handley Succeeded byWilliam Ewart GladstoneWilliam Handley Preceded byThomas DaviesJoseph Bailey Member of Parliament for Worcester 1841–1846 With: Joseph Bailey Succeeded bySir Denis Le MarchantJoseph Bailey Legal offices Preceded bySir Robert Rolfe Solicitor General 1839–1841 Succeeded bySir William Webb Follett Preceded bySir John Campbell Attorney General 1841 Succeeded bySir Frederick Pollock Preceded bySir Frederic Thesiger Attorney General 1846 Succeeded bySir John Jervis Preceded bySir Nicholas Conyngham Tindal Chief Justice of the Common Pleas 1846–1850 Succeeded bySir John Jervis Political offices Preceded byThe Lord Cottenham Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain 1850–1852 Succeeded byThe Lord St Leonards Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Baron Truro 1850–1855 Succeeded byCharles Wilde