Thicknesse, Philip

Biography: Travel writer. Borm Farthingoe, Northamptonshire 1719. Educated Aynhoe School 1725, then Westminster School but removed due to truancy. Apprenticed to a London apothecary but left rapidly. Decided he wanted to sail to America 1735, arrived Savannah Feb 1736. Sailed back to England 1737 after seeing a vision of his mother. Employed in the offices of the Georgia colonists in London but dismissed for being too frank about settler life. Obtained commission as a captain in an independent company in Jamaica. Returned to London 1740. Appointed captain-lieutenant in a marine foot regiment with headquarters at Southampton. Eloped and married his first wife after abducting her from a protective cohort of soldiers. Appointed to the Ipswich, returned after a year. Moved to Bath where his wife and two of his children died of diphtheria, 1749. A distant relative took him and his surviving daughter in. Became addicted to laudanum. Married his second wife November 1749. Bought the lieutenant-governorship of Landguard Fort, Suffolk 1753. Tried for libel 1763 after a long-standing feud with Lord Orwell, spent three months in prison. His second wife died March 1762 after a long illness, after which he married a close friend of his second wife September 1762. Took his family to France 1766. Published two works on the basis of this journey. Returned to Britain, living in Monmouthshire til 1768, Bath til 1774, then Bathampton. Returned to the continent 1776. Attracted much attention because of their pet monkey Jacko who rode postillion in a red jacket and boots. Produced an account of their travels 1777. Returned to Bathampton and improved the cottage there, which became a tourist attraction. Published works on Bath 1778, 1780, and a travel account of the Netherlands and Austria 1784. Fell out with two of his sons from his second marriage by this time, over money, an unwise marriage by one and a scandal caused by the other (Lord Audley). Inserted a clause in his will leaving his right hand to Lord Audley. Moved to Sandgate 1789. Left for Italy 1792. Died of a seizure outside Boulogne, 1792.

Biography Date: 1719-92

Biography References: LOC; CERL; DNB;

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