Thomas Budgen MP

???? - 1772


MP for Surrey and an absentee slave-owner in Nevis.

  1. '5th s. but eventually h. of Edward Budgen of West Newdigate by Elizabeth, da. of James Ede of Cudworth, Surr. m. bef. 1741, Penelope, da. of Daniel Smith, gov. of Nevis, 1s. 1da. suc. bro. March 1731. Budgen, a country gentleman, whose family had been seated at West Newdigate since 1636, was returned unopposed for Surrey at a by-election in 1751. Classed as a government supporter in 1754, he died 3 Mar. 1772.'

  2. In August 1741 Budgen co-leased an estate on Nevis with his brother-in-law Daniel Smith and three others.

  3. Will of Thomas Budgen of Dorking Surrey [made in 1755] proved 01/06/1772. He instructed the sale of his estates and 'negroes' on Nevis for the benefit of his son and residuary heir John Smith Budgen. Based on the compensation records, this would appear to have been The Whim, on which his grandson Thomas Budgen and grand-daughters Cornelia Penelope Budgen and Lucretia Budgen claimed as mortgagees for £7000: presumably his trustees had sold the estate and enslaved people and taken back a mortgage for at least part of the proceeds.

  4. A portrait of Thomas Budgen painted in 1735 by Joseph Highmore (1692–1780) is held as the Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand, as is a portrait of his wife Penelope Smith attributed to Maria Verelst, c. 1727.


For a detailed and fully sourced life of Thomas Budgen see Ken Hall, 'Success to Excess', [accessed 06/05/2020].

  1. [accessed 06/05/2020.

  2. Ken Hall, 'Success to Excess'.

  3. PROB 11/978/132.

  4. Ken Hall, 'Success to Excess'.

For the portrait opposite:

Joseph Highmore

Thomas Budgen, MP for Surrey 1751-1761

Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū; purchased, 1977

We are grateful to Ken Hall for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Penelope Smith
John Smith Budgen, Penelope

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

election →
Surrey Surrey
1751 - 1761

Relationships (4)

Grandfather → Grandson
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Father → Son

Addresses (1)

Dorking, Surrey, South-east England, England