Frederick Thesiger, 1st Baron Chelmsford
Frederick Thesiger was the most distinguished of Abingdon’s nineteenth century MPs, rising to the position of Lord Chancellor. However his commitment to the borough was slight and his local support uncertain and after eight years he moved to a safer seat. This article focuses on his time as Abingdon’s MP using information from press reports on his election campaigns.
Thesiger’s paternal grandfather was originally from Saxony but settled in England. His father had lands and a position in St Vincent in the West Indies. In his early teens Thesiger joined the navy as a midshipman but left after one or two years when, on his brother’s death, he became heir to his father’s estates and moved back to St Vincent. But not long afterwards his plans had to change again – the family’s estates were destroyed by a volcanic eruption, causing a considerable financial loss. Thesiger went to London to train as a barrister and began a very successful legal career.
He entered parliament for Woodstock in 1840 as a Conservative under the patronage of the Duke of Marlborough. This was not an unusual move as successful barristers often sought a parliamentary seat as a way of furthering their careers. In 1844 he was appointed Solicitor General, causing a by-election because, at this time, an MP had to seek re-election if he accepted a government position. But the duke no longer supported him and he did not contest the election.
Shortly afterwards the sitting MP for Abingdon, Thomas Duffield, unexpectedly resigned and Thesiger was returned unopposed in the resulting by-election. Reaction in the press was varied and why Duffield retired remains a mystery.
In 1845 Thesiger was promoted to Attorney General, the government’s leading legal officer, which triggered another by-election and this time there was a contest in Abingdon which was given extensive coverage in the local press. His opponent was General Caulfield, recently retired from the Indian Army. Caulfield emphasised his independence of party ties and his willingness to follow the wishes of his constituents. He also emphasised the importance of voting, and that voters should consider other interests besides their own. At this time the population of Abingdon was about 5500 and the electorate 323. Thesiger declared he was proud to be part of Sir Robert Peel’s government and defended his and the government’s record. The opposition’s main issues during the election were Thesiger’s support of Peel’s proposal to increase the annual grant to the Catholic Maynooth College in Ireland and his lack of freedom as a member of the government to support local causes. The Maynooth grant was a national issue − there were strong objections to using taxpayers’ money to support a Catholic institution and the degree of opposition to this both nationally and locally indicates the strength of anti-Catholic feeling at the time. Thesiger won by 156 votes to 126.
Thesiger lost his position as Attorney General when Peel’s government fell in1846 after the repeal of the Corn Laws and the subsequent split in the Conservative party. In the general election the following year Thesiger was once more challenged by Caulfield . Thesiger again defended the government’s record while Caulfield again emphasised his independence, but this time the result was very close. It was only saved from being a dead heat by one elector who voted unintentionally for Thesiger but was not permitted to correct his vote, and Thesinger was declared elected by 153 votes to 151. There were accusations of bribery and intimidation from both sides.
Early in 1852 Lord Derby became prime minister of a Conservative government and appointed Thesiger as Attorney General again. This led to another by-election in Abingdon but this time Caulfield issued a statement saying he would not stand against Thesiger. Thesiger was elected unopposed and it soon became clear that he and Caulfield had reached an agreement – he concluded his address to the electors by stating he would not oppose Caulfield at the following parliamentary election.
This probably came sooner than expected, in July the same year, and Caulfield was elected unopposed in Abingdon while Thesiger was elected unopposed in Stamford under the patronage of the Marquis of Exeter. However Caulfield was never able to take his seat – he died before the start of the next session of Parliament. His death led to another by-election which was held in December and was won by Lord Norreys (son of the Earl of Abingdon), a Liberal. Thus Abingdon had three elections in 1852 and three MPs of different parties: a Conservative (Thesiger), an Independent (Caulfield) and a Liberal (Lord Norreys).
Thesiger continued as MP for Stamford until 1858 when he moved to the Lords after being appointed Lord Chancellor and took the title Baron Chelmsford after a series of successful trials there earlier in his career. He had been an MP for eighteen years and stood in eight elections but had been opposed in only two, those in Abingdon in 1845 and 1847. Hansard records that he contributed to debates in parliament in most years. Changing political fortunes after he was appointed Lord Chancellor meant it was a position he held for only two short periods, 1858-9 and 1866-8, although he remained active as a judge.
Thesiger died at his London home in 1878. He was particularly remembered as a very effective and successful advocate in court. His political career was a means to advance his prospects as a lawyer and his eight years as Abingdon’s MP were just a step along that path.
© AAAHS and contributors 2018
Frederick Thesiger was the most distinguished of Abingdon’s nineteenth century MPs, rising to the position of Lord Chancellor. However his commitment to the borough was slight and his local support uncertain and after eight years he moved to a safer seat. This article focuses on his Abingdon connections using information from press reports of the elections he fought for the seat.
Thesiger’s paternal grandfather, John Andrew, was from Saxony but settled in England in the mid-eighteenth century. His father Charles was Collector of Customs and a landowner in St Vincent in the West Indies. Changing circumstances led to several alterations in his career plan. Originally destined for the navy, following in the footsteps of his uncle and namesake Sir Frederick Thesiger, he was present as a midshipman at the naval engagement at Copenhagen in 1807. However, his plans changed on the death of his elder brother shortly afterwards which made him the heir to his father’s West Indian estates. He left the navy to join his father at St Vincent and help in managing the family estates. But there was soon another change of plan: a volcanic eruption in 1812 destroyed the estates and caused considerably financial loss to the family. He planned to follow a legal career in the West Indies and was sent to London to train as a barrister but, on the advice of the head of the chambers where he was a pupil, he decided to stay in England when he qualified. Thesiger was called to the bar in 1818 and began what became a very successful legal career. Notable cases in1824 and 1832 brought him public recognition, and when he was created a peer in 1858 he chose Chelmsford as his title after a successful series of trials there.
In 1840 Thesiger decided to stand for Parliament – his obituary in The Times pointed out that this was a normal step for successful barristers to take “with a view to professional advancement”. After an unsuccessful attempt at Newark, he was returned unopposed as the conservative member for Woodstock. The seat had become vacant when the Marquis of Blandford, who had been the MP, succeeded his father and became sixth Duke of Marlborough. Thesiger was returned again unopposed in the general election of 1841 which brought in a Conservative Government with Sir Robert Peel as Prime Minister. On 15 April 1844 he was knighted and appointed Solicitor General. The government appointment meant that he had to seek re-election and so led to a by-election – at that time this was a requirement if an MP accepted a government position. Unfortunately Thesiger no longer had the support of the Duke of Marlborough. The duke wanted the seat for his son who was now of age and he also disapproved of Thesiger’s views on the grant to Maynooth College. This was a Catholic training college in Ireland, founded in 1795, and Thesiger supported Peel’s proposal to increase the annual grant from £9000 to £26000. Whether the state, which had an established church, should use taxpayers’ money to subsidise a non-established religion had become a major political issue and opposition to this, both nationally and locally, indicates the depth of anti‑Catholic feeling at that time. There was also a suggestion that Thesiger had initially agreed to be a ‘warming pan’ for the duke’s son but did not stand down when the son came of age in 1843. Thesiger did not contest the ensuing by-election and, on 23 April, the Marquis of Blandford was returned unopposed. Thesiger was thus in the difficult position of having a government post but no seat in parliament.
However, on 2 May the MP for Abingdon, Thomas Duffield, unexpectedly resigned. The news reached Abingdon on Saturday 4 May, the same day as Thesiger announced himself as a candidate for the seat and arrived in Abingdon to start his canvas. His headquarters were at the Crown and Thistle, Duffield’s agent was acting for him and, according to one report, he was “surrounded by a body of retainers and followers sufficient to hunt down a constituency of much greater magnitude”. The mayor called the poll for the following Saturday, leaving very little time for the opposition to field a candidate, and Thesiger was duly elected unopposed. The election resulted in considerable comment and discussion in the local press. Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported that Thesiger’s canvassing in the town met with a “cordial and flattering reception” and that he was received with the “utmost courtesy and respect”. They would “have the pleasure and honour of returning this talented and highly gifted gentleman as a fit successor to our late valuable representative in Parliament.” But, in contrast, the Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette was not at all happy about the proceedings, referring to them as ”the Abingdon Affair” or ”the Duffield arrangement”, and was concerned at the trickery involved. It reported that there were cries of “where is he, why did he sell the borough?” when Duffield’s name was mentioned at the nomination meeting. The election even merited a mention in the magazine Punch which said it was Hobson’s choice and published a spoof version of Thesiger’s acceptance speech which included the phrase “Gentlemen, I am a stranger to Abingdon, I was never here before and I don’t suppose I shall ever be this way again”. The Reading Mercury devoted considerable space to comment and speculated that perhaps Thesiger was to act as a “warming pan” for Duffield’s son, as he had done in Woodstock. The real reason for Duffield’s retirement will never be known. Was he paid £7500 as had been suggested or was he in any case thinking of retiring? He had remarried in 1838 and was perhaps tired of his parliamentary duties.
Immediately following the election, Thesiger was carried in a chair decorated with flowers and ribbons, the usual custom in Abingdon as elsewhere, and he continued the tradition of throwing ‘scramble money’ into the crowd. John Maberly, Duffield’s predecessor, had dispensed about £100 and Duffield about £70; Thesiger distributed about £50. Thesiger then hurried to the House to vote against shortening the hours of labour for women and children in factories.
The next year, 1845, there had to be another by-election in Abingdon when Thesiger was promoted to be Attorney General, the chief legal officer in the government. By-elections were generally given good coverage in the press and this one was fully reported, occupying four and a half columns on the front page of Jackson’s Oxford Journal. The Times reported that the opposition saw an opportunity to restore the reputation of a town where the last four parliamentary elections had been uncontested. When the election was called, it seemed to Thesiger’s opponents that he was trying to repeat the tactics he had used so successfully the previous year. Thesiger was appointed Attorney General on Monday 30 June and travelled to Abingdon the same day to start canvassing. Again, his headquarters were at the Crown and Thistle. The following Monday was to be the nomination day and people were questioning whether there would be an opposition candidate. But this time they didn’t have to question for long. Thesiger’s opponent, Major General James Caulfield, arrived in Abingdon the next day to start his own canvass. Caulfield had recently retired from service in India with the Bengal Army of the East India Company and would later become a director of the company. Having left the army he wished to undertake some public service in the remaining years of his life. But the arrangement for Caulfield to stand as an independent in Abingdon was probably not as last-minute as it seems: Thesiger’s predecessor as Attorney General had been ill for some time and Thesiger was the obvious person to succeed him.
Caulfield issued a declaration on his arrival in Abingdon. He stated his belief in civil and religious liberty and would promote the education of all classes but was opposed to payments from taxation to the Catholic church. He was in favour of free trade and opposed to the “protection of the powerful and wealthy” while “the interests of the operative and labouring classes are forgotten”. A public meeting of the opposition was held the following evening and set out the arguments against Thesiger. A candidate who was a member of the government would have to vote with the government and they already had “reason to complain of the disregard shewn to their local interests”. Particular instances were Thesiger’s support for the increase in the Maynooth grant and his handling of a petition the town had sent to parliament on a railway bill which Thesiger had presented but not supported. There was a fear that the same would happen over proposed legislation to allow the enclosure of common land without requiring a separate act of parliament. And the way Thesiger had moved seamlessly into the seat the previous year still rankled – Abingdon had become known as a “pocket nomination”.
But there was an alternative view. One reporter found no signs of excitement in the town at the prospect of an election and suggested that there had been no great desire for a contest as many of the tradesmen had customers in both camps and preferred to remain neutral. This was before the introduction of the secret ballot − voting was in public and was recorded in poll books that showed how everyone had voted. These were public documents and were often printed and published.
Nomination day was 7 July and a great crowd assembled to hear the candidates and their proposers and seconders. Both candidates were supported by prominent men in the town. Thesiger was proposed by George Bowes Morland JP who was pleased to welcome a member of his own profession. Gabriel Davis, a maltster and church warden at St Helen’s church, proposed General Caulfield. He stressed Caulfield’s independence from party ties, which meant he could devote himself entirely to the interests of Abingdon.
Thesiger gave a long address in which he defended his own and the government’s record. He was proud to be a member of Sir Robert Peel’s government and described how things had improved over the last 3 years: trade and manufacturing were reviving and revenue exceeded expenditure rather than the reverse. Turning to his own record, he had supported the increase in the Maynooth grant as it would help educate the Irish and benefit the community. The proposed legislation on commons applied to the whole country and nothing could be done to Abingdon Common without their consent. He had presented the petition on the railway bill but voted in favour of a unanimous House of Commons committee recommendation because the interests of the borough were not involved. On other occasions he had supported the more common Stephenson’s narrow gauge for railways rather than Brunel’s broad gauge. The 1840s are sometimes described as a period of railway mania and a variety of possibilities for Abingdon were suggested but none came to anything; Thesiger was not pro-active. Abingdon eventually achieved a branch line in 1856 through the efforts of Major Hawthorne Read who fought and won the 1854 election on this issue.
As to his opponent’s views, Thesiger dismissed them as generalities which few could object to. Caulfield spoke more briefly, stressing the responsibilities of the electors and his own independence : “The elective franchise is given to you for the protection of those who have none and in giving your vote you must not think of your own individual interests alone, but others for whom you are acting.…. I have neither knowledge or care for Sir Robert Peel or Lord John Russell [Whig leader] and I belong to no club or party to bias my mind but shall be happy to follow your advice if it does not compromise the interests of any class”. There were many non-electors at the meeting who were the noisiest and most troublesome. At this time the population of Abingdon was about 5500 and the electorate 323. The mayor asked for a show of hands which favoured Caulfield so Thesiger demanded a poll. Voting took place the next day, Tuesday 8 July, between 8.00am and 4.00pm. Voters were cheered by the crowd as they arrived to vote and the totals were announced every hour. At the end of the first hour Caulfield was in the lead but the final result was a victory for Thesiger by 156 to 126. The chairing ceremony took place the next day when bands and flags led a procession round the town with Thesiger again seated in an elegant chair.
Peel’s government fell in July 1846 soon after his repeal of the Corn Laws. These had kept the price of corn high in the interest of the landowners but as a result had kept the price of bread high as well. This had not been a key issue in the 1845 election in Abingdon; Peel had been forced to act a year later because of the famine in Ireland. With the fall of the government Thesiger lost his position as Attorney General. He also lost the chance to become Chief Justice of the Common Pleas when the holder of that office died a few days later. The post went instead to the Attorney General in the new government, and Thesiger, while remaining Abingdon’s MP, returned to his private legal work. The Corn Laws issue split the Conservative party and for the next twenty years there were shifting party allegiances.
There was a general election in 1847 and, in Abingdon, Thesiger and Caulfield both stood again. Parliament was dissolved on 23 July. Abingdon nomination day was only five days later, on 28 July, but despite the short interval between them there was no sense this time of Thesiger trying to catch out the opposition. A summer election had been expected for some months. Thesiger had visited the town in April to talk to his supporters and it was known in May that Caulfield would challenge Thesiger again. It was a more acrimonious campaign, perhaps because of its length − Thesiger described it as “a contest of most unusual severity”. A report appeared in June that many people thought Caulfield would win because he would soon become a director of the East India Company which would give him “very valuable patronage”. Thesiger was accused of bribery at the hustings, and there were accusations of intimidation from both sides.
A “Poster to the Electors” from “one of yourselves” made some interesting points, stating that General Caulfield supported the present government of Lord John Russell (Whig/Liberal) when he believed it to be right, and opposed it when they were in the wrong. Sir Frederick Thesiger, on the contrary, being “merely one of Sir Robert Peel’s satellites (in or out of power) must move with him at a like pace”, notably on such issues as Maynooth and free trade. The poster then dwelt on the importance of the franchise stating that those who held it did so for the public good. “Reflect seriously upon this; it is a subject too little dwelt upon I fear, by those who have the task of choosing one branch of the legislature. And now a few words to those who remain neuter. I believe no less than 48 stayed away at the last election, about one seventh of the constituency. Had these persons been specially disenfranchised by Act of Parliament there would be complaints. Yet they voluntarily disenfranchised themselves and shirked the duty they owe their country.”
The nomination meeting was held on Wednesday 28 July. George Bowes Morland again proposed Thesiger and Gabriel Davis, Caulfield. Thesiger again spoke at great length defending his record and that of Peel as prime minister. He was frequently interrupted by “shouts, groans and interrogation” but remained calm and good tempered, saying he was “too accustomed to such scenes to be affected by rudeness and violence”. He was not clear what Caulfield’s political views were. How was it he was supported by both dissenters and Catholics and would he support further endowments to the Catholic Church? And what were his views on the Corn Laws and free trade? Caulfield, in response, reminded the meeting that the reason he had first come to Abingdon as a candidate was to give the electorate the chance to vote. Religious opinions should “not be brought to bear or to interfere” with civil rights. As to his own views, he was “a friend to civil and religious liberty” and to “the freedom of all commercial, all agricultural and all manufacturing interests”. He would support “all such measures that were calculated to advance the general welfare” without regard for which government was in power. The Reading Mercury reported that Caulfield’s speech was received with “an exhibition of enthusiasm and applause seldom witnessed in the usually quiet town of Abingdon”.
Voting took place the next day from 8.00am until 4.00pm “with great spirit especially during the last hour when every voter was vehemently cheered by his party and up to the last minute the contest was a doubtful one” − the final result was Thesiger 153 votes and Caulfield 151. Only one dramatic incident almost at the end of polling had prevented it being dead heat: one elector voted unintentionally for Thesiger after Thesiger had challenged his right to vote. When the mayor accepted that he could vote and asked him who he voted for “being confused by the objection just taken by Sir Frederick and with the learned gentleman’s name at his tongue’s end [he] replied ‘Sir F Thesiger’. He immediately corrected himself however and said ‘General Caulfield’ there being no doubt whatever that the voter had intended to vote for the General”. However, the correction was not accepted by either Thesiger or the mayor. The Jackson’s Oxford Journal reporter was pleased to report “that the proceedings were conducted without any more than the usual excitement of feeling and the town was in a state of comparative quietude shortly after polling had finished.” The Reading Mercury reported that the chairing the following day “passed off tolerably well with the exception of a few stones being thrown”. In the event, this was the last Abingdon chairing ceremony.
The next day Thesiger sent a communication of thanks to the borough. He felt it was his duty to come and thank his supporters in person but felt it best to postpone his visit. He thought there had been so much excitement that his appearance in different parts of the town might lead to fresh disturbance. “Permit me therefore, in this manner to take leave of you for the present”. He expressed his gratitude for their generous exertions on his behalf.
In the spring of 1852 there was a change of government and Lord Derby became the Prime Minister of a Conservative government. In 1847 Thesiger had declared that he was still an admirer and follower of Sir Robert Peel even though Conservatives were now in opposition and the party was split. This new government was made up of the former protectionists who seven years earlier had rejected Peel’s repeal of the Corn Laws but had now changed their views. Thesiger was again appointed Attorney General. Accepting office necessitated another by-election in Abingdon which took place on 5 March. The press reported that Caulfield had issued a statement saying he would not oppose Thesiger and, in the event, Thesiger was returned unopposed. He argued in his address to the electors that the new government should be given an impartial trial. But it soon became clear that he and Caufield had reached an agreement − he concluded his address by stating that it was not his intention to oppose Caulfield at the next parliamentary election.
This perhaps came sooner than expected when, in July, the government was defeated over the budget. This time it was Caulfield who was elected unopposed in Abingdon, while Thesiger was elected unopposed for Stamford under the patronage of Lord Exeter. In Abingdon, a Mr Beresford Hope put in a brief appearance as a conservative candidate but soon withdrew. Following Caulfield’s election, there was a procession round the town headed by “a tremendous large loaf” on a pole accompanied by a diminutive loaf covered in black crepe and labelled “Mr Beresford Hope’s loaf”, an illustration that bread was more affordable after the demise of protectionism. Derby’s government continued in office until December, shortly after the start of the new parliamentary session, and so Thesiger continued as Attorney General until then. Caulfield died on 4 November, the first day of the new Commons session after the election, so never took his seat. The resulting Abingdon by-election took place in December 1852 and saw the election of Lord Norreys (son of the Earl of Abingdon), a Liberal, who defeated his Conservative rival by 153 votes to 129. Thus the three contests in Abingdon in 1852 led to the election of three MPs of different parties: a Conservative (Thesiger) an Independent (Caulfield) and a Liberal (Lord Norreys). Thesiger continued as MP for Stamford until 1858 when he moved to the Lords.
Thesiger was an MP for eighteen years, representing Woodstock for four years, Abingdon for eight and Stamford for six. During that time he stood in eight elections but only two of them, those in Abingdon in 1845 and 1847, were contested. The closeness of these two contests probably led him to find an alternative seat. In both Woodstock and Stamford he had aristocratic patrons, the Duke of Marlborough and then the Marquis of Exeter. Hansard records that Thesiger was fairly active in parliament, speaking in debates in most years. This was in contrast to his predecessor as MP for Abingdon, Thomas Duffield, who never spoke. Thesiger had two main concerns, opposition to allowing Jews to sit in parliament and to the establishment of a Roman Catholic hierarchy in England. The only reference to him in Bromley Challenor’s Selections from the Municipal Records of the Borough of Abingdon is an entry in May 1850. This instructs the town clerk to write to Sir Frederick Thesiger MP, requesting him to oppose the bill before Parliament for altering the mode of revising the burgess lists. That year Hansard records him speaking on the Marriages Bill (concerned with degrees of affinity) and in debates about the oath for Jewish members, and he also presented a petition from several people living near Hyde Park who were concerned at preparations for the planned Great Exhibition, particularly the large building and the installation in it of a “steam engine of great size”, as well as the cutting down of trees.’ There are no references to him speaking on the burgess lists bill.
Thesiger moved to the Lords in February 1858 when he was appointed Lord Chancellor in Lord Derby’s second government and took the title Baron Chelmsford. He also became a privy councillor. The government did not last long and he was out of office by June 1859 but continued to be active in judicial work in the Lords and on the Privy Council. He became Lord Chancellor again in Derby’s next government from 1866 -1868. When Disraeli took over as Prime Minister in 1868 Thesiger was disappointed to be dismissed, though it was said a compact had been made before he took office that he would stand down. He died at his home in London, No. 7 Eaton Square, on 5 October1878 and was buried in Brompton Cemetery.
He had married in1822, Anna Maria Tinling and they had four sons and three daughters. She is mentioned as being present in Abingdon in 1844 when he was first elected there. His eldest son, Frederick Augustus Thesiger (1827-1905) who succeeded to the title as 2nd Baron Chelmsford became a distinguished soldier. The third son, Henry Thesiger (1838-1880) became a lord justice of appeal and a privy councillor in 1877 when he was only 39 but died three years later.
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography sums up Thesiger as a “ready and painstaking” lawyer, good at cross examining but not a great intellect. “He will be remembered as a sound and fair judge”. He was best known and very successful as a highly effective advocate in court. His political career was a means to advance his prospects as a lawyer. Serving as MP for Abingdon was just one step along that path.
© AAAHS and contributors 2018
 J A Hamilton revised by Sinéad Agnew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/27176 (accessed 24 April 2018); Encyclopaedia Britannica 6, 11th edition, pp. 23‑4, under Chelmsford, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Chelmsford (accessed 24 June 2018)
 The Times, Obituary of Lord Chelmsford, 7 October 1878 p. 6.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette 27 April 1844, p. 2.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette 18 May 1844, pp. 2 & 4.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 11 May 1844, p. 4; Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 18 May 1844 p. 3.
 Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 11 May 1844, p.3.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 18 May 1844 pp. 2 & 4; Anon, Abingdon Buildings and People, https://www.abingdon.gov.uk/history/people/thomas-duffield
 Reading Mercury, 18 May 1844, p. 1
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 18 May 1844, p. 4.
 Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 12 July 1845, p. 1.
The Times, 4 July 1845 p. 6.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 12 July 1845 p. 3.
 Oxford University and City Herald, 13 November 1852, p. 14; Reading Mercury, 5 July 1845, p.3.
 Reading Mercury, 5 July 1945, p. 3.
 Reading Mercury, 5 July 1945, p. 3.
 The Times, 5 July 1845, p. 5.
 Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 12 July 1845, p. 1
 ODNB under Frederick Thesiger
 The Times, 17 May 1847, p. 3; Reading Mercury, 15 May 1847, p.1; Oxford Chronicle and Berks and Bucks Gazette, 24 April 1847, p. 3.
 Reading Mercury, 31 July 1847, p. 2.
 Oxford Chronicle and Berks and Bucks Gazette, 12 June 1847, p. 3.
 Reading Mercury, 31 July 1847, p. 2.
 Berkshire Record Office D/EP4/O2/2/6/1-4.
 Reading Mercury, 31 July 1847, p. 2.
 Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 31 July 1847, p. 3; Reading Mercury, 31 July 1847, p. 2.
 Reading Mercury, 31 July 1847, p. 2.
 Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 31 July 1847, p. 3.
 Reading Mercury, 31 July 1847, p. 2.
 Berkshire Record Office D/EP4/O2/2/6/1-4.
 The Times, Obituary of Lord Derby, 25 October 1869 pp.7&8.
 Berkshire Record Office D/EP4/O2/2/9/1-6; Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 28 February 1852, p. 8 & 6 March 1856, p. 8; Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 6 March 1852, p. 3.
 Lincolnshire Chronicle, 16 July 1852, p. 2.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 10 July 1852, p. 8.
 Oxford University and City Herald, 13 November 1852, p. 14, Historic Hansard, https://api.parliament.uk/ https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1852/index.html (accessed 19 June 2018);
 Reading Mercury, 4 December 1852, pp. 1 & 3.
 Historic Hansard under Frederick Thesiger; ODNB under Frederick Thesiger.
 Bromley Challenor (ed.), Selections from the Municipal Records of the Borough of Abingdon, (Abingdon, 1898), p. 267.
Historic Hansard, https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1850/jul/26/exhibition-in-1851-hyde-park#S3V0113P0_18500726_HOC_76
ODNB under Frederick Thesiger; Encyclopaedia Britannica under Chelmsford.
 Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 18 May 1844, p. 2.
 Encyclopaedia Britannica under Chelmsford
 ODNB under Frederick Thesiger; The Times, Obituary of Lord Chelmsford, 7 October 1878 p. 6.