Inigo Freeman Thomas

25th Jan 1767 - 21st Dec 1847

Claimant or beneficiary


MP and absentee slave-owner, awarded compensation with his brother-in-law for the Lower Freeman's estate in Antigua and claimed as tenant-for-life of two other estates in Antigua (Winthropes and Galley Bay), the compensation for which was paid to his son Freeman Thomas (q.v.). Born Inigo Freeman, adopted the name Thomas in 1789.

  1. Inigo Freeman was the son of Margaret (née Thomas) and Arthur Freeman of Antigua. Margaret Thomas was the daughter of Sir George Thomas, 1st Bt. of Yapton and Ratton and Governor of the Leeward Islands. In 1789, after inheriting the Thomas family estates both at Ratton in Willingdon and at Yapton in West Sussex, Inigo Freeman accordingly assumed the surname Thomas. (The direct heir, Sir George Thomas 3rd Baronet and MP for Arundel, had been disinherited, keeping the title only, without the land.) The estates at Yapton and Willingdon were divided between the two daughters of the first baronet, Lydia White and Margaret Freeman, but at the death of George White in 1789 without male heir they all came to Inigo Freeman. The Thomas family had had connections with the Eastbourne/Seaford area since the 17th century. Ratton had been purchased by Sir George Thomas c. 1762. After its transmission to Inigo Freeman Thomas the estate was lived in by his mother and his three sisters. In the early 1800s he extended and improved it and made it home for his rapidly-explanding young family. Henry John Thomas (b.1817) whom Mary Elizabeth D'Oyly married, was a child of his second marriage. Inigo Freeman Thomas's daughter Georgiana married in 1821 the landowner William Battie Wrightson, who left £180,000 in 1879. Inigo Thomas was in the Earl of Chichester's circle. Indeed, by his second marriage he had wedded into it. In 1828 he acted as trustee for the marriage settlement of Henry Thomas Pelham, the 3rd Earl.

  2. Inigo Thomas married Charlotte Peirse in Marylebone in 1797. They had two daughters baptised in Marylebone: Charlotte (1798) and Georgiana (1799). Charlotte was the eldest daughter of Henry Peirse of Bedale, Yorkshire, and died in 1800. She is buried in the British Cemetery in Lisbon, Portugal. Inigo remarried, to Frances Ann Brodrick in Peper Harow, Surrey, in 1803. The baptisms of twelve children have been located for his second marriage. The first two were baptised in Peper Harow: Frances (1804) and Emily (1805). Mary (1806), Harriet (1807) and Freeman (1808) were baptised in Willingdon, Sussex; Albinia (1810) in St George's Westminster; and William Brodrick (1811) in Marylebone. A further five children were baptised in Willingdon: Louisa (1813), George Pelham (1814), Arthur (1816), Henry John (1817) and Charles Edward (1823). Frances Ann died 19/02/1858 and was buried in Peper Harow.

  3. Inigo Freeman Thomas sat as a member of Parliament for Weobley in Herefordshire from 1796 to 1800 but played a role in Sussex affairs by captaining the Eastbourne Yeomanry Cavalry from 1798. In 1807-8, now Major Inigo Thomas, he acted as a senior officer for Pevensey Rape, in charge of Volunteers.

  4. The Papers of the Brodrick Family, Viscounts Midleton, later Earls Midleton at the Surrey History Centre include the marriage settlement of Inigo Thomas and Frances Ann Brodrick and accounts for estates in Antigua.


T71/877 Antigua claim nos. 336 (Lower Freeman's), 358 (Winthrope's) and 1042 (Galley Bay, St John).

  1. Family papers are in the East Sussex Record Office, Correspondence and papers of the D'Oyly and the Thomas families, AMS6185: The above notes are mainly taken from the introductory notes on the collection at the above site; Rubinstein 1879/115 [MS] for William Battie Wrightson.

  2., London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812;, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database online];, England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database online]; and [both accessed 23/03/2021].

  3. R. G. Thorne (ed.), The House of Commons, 1790-1820 (5 vols., London, Secker & Warburg for the History of Parliament Trust, 1986), vol. 5, pp. 365-6.

  4. Email from Brian Bouchard sourced to Surrey History Centre G145/Box 8/4/9, G145/Box41, G145/M/71 and G145/M/86.

We are grateful to Brian Bouchard for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

[1] Charlotte Peirse [2] Frances Ann Brodrick
With [1] two children. With [2] twelve children including Freeman (1808-1859)

Associated Claims (3)

£2,535 8s 9d
Unsuccessful claimant (consensual)
£2,019 4s 3d
Unsuccessful claimant (consensual) (Owner-in-fee)
£1,937 19s 8d
Unsuccessful claimant (consensual)

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1827 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Tenant-for-life
1827 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1827 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Tenant-for-life

Inherited a life interest after the death of his brother George Thomas Thomas ne Freeman in 1827

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Inigo Freeman Thomas by Thomas Goff Lupton after Henry Perronet Briggs, Mezzotint (c. 1840) now in the National Portrait Gallery, NPG... 
notes →

Physical (1)

description →
Country estate in Sussex, inherited by Inigo Freeman Thomas and then extended and improved by him in the early...

Political (1)

Pittite / West India interest 
election →
Weobley Herefordshire
1796 - 1800

Relationships (3)

Son → Father
Father → Son

Addresses (2)

Yapton, Sussex, South-east England, England
Ratton Park, Willingdon, Sussex, South-east England, England