Wharton, Thomas Wharton, 1st marquess of

Wharton, Thomas Wharton, 1st marquess of, 1648–1715, English politician. Before his entry into Parliament (1673) he had acquired the reputation as a rake and gambler that he retained for life. After 1679 he became active in Whig politics, supporting the attempt to exclude the duke of York (later James II) from the succession. He composed the words of the popular satirical ballad Lilliburlero (set to music by Henry Purcell), with which, he boasted, he sang James II out of his kingdom in 1688. William III made Wharton a privy councilor and comptroller of the household (1689). Queen Anne removed him because of her personal dislike and distrust of him on religious grounds, but he remained one of the powerful Whig politicians. He was a commissioner for the union with Scotland, was created (1706) earl, and served as lord lieutenant of Ireland (1708–10). George I made him lord privy seal (1714) and a marquess (1715).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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