Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney

Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, PC (24 February 1733 – 30 June 1800) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1754 to 1783 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Sydney. He held several important Cabinet posts in the second half of the 18th century. The cities of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Sydney in New South Wales, Australia were named in his honour, in 1785 and 1788, respectively.


The Viscount Sydney

Portrait attributed to the American painter Gilbert Stuart, c. 1785
Home Secretary
In office
23 December 1783  5 June 1789
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterWilliam Pitt the Younger
Preceded byThe Earl Temple
Succeeded byThe Lord Grenville
In office
10 July 1782  2 April 1783
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Shelburne
Preceded byThe Earl of Shelburne
Succeeded byLord North
Justice in Eyre south of the Trent
In office
19 June 1789  30 June 1800
Preceded byFletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley
Succeeded byThomas Grenville
President of the Board of Control
In office
4 September 1784  6 March 1790
Prime MinisterWilliam Pitt the Younger
Preceded byNew Office
Succeeded byWilliam Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
December 1783  June 1789
Prime MinisterWilliam Pitt the Younger
Preceded byGeorge Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham
Succeeded byFrancis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds
President of the Committee on Trade and Foreign Plantations
In office
5 March 1784  23 August 1786
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterWilliam Pitt the Younger
Preceded byThe Lord Grantham (First Lord of Trade)
Succeeded byThe Earl of Liverpool (President of the Board of Trade)
Leader of the House of Commons
In office
10 July 1782  6 March 1783
Prime MinisterWilliam Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
Preceded byCharles James Fox
Succeeded byCharles James Fox
Secretary at War
In office
1782–1782
Prime MinisterCharles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded byCharles Jenkinson
Succeeded byGeorge Yonge
Paymaster of the Forces
In office
9 December 1767  17 June 1768
MonarchGeorge III of the United Kingdom
Preceded byFrederick North, Lord North
George Cooke (died 1768)
Succeeded byRichard Rigby
Member of Parliament for Whitchurch
In office
1754–1783
Preceded byCharles Wallop
Lord Robert Bertie
Succeeded byGeorge Brodrick, 4th Viscount Midleton
William Selwyn (MP for Whitchurch)
Personal details
Born(1733-02-24)24 February 1733
Raynham, Norfolk, England
Died30 June 1800(1800-06-30) (aged 67)
Sidcup, Kent, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Powys (1736–1826)
Alma materClare College, Cambridge