Search the Collection

Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt (circa 1762-1839), Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod

Sitter in 1 portrait
Thomas Tyrwhitt entered Parliament as MP for Okehampton, on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, in 1796. He spent the next twenty years working to cultivate and populate the wasteland of Dartmoor. Tyrwhitt built several roads across the moor and created a hamlet which he named Prince's Town, in honour of the Prince of Wales. He persuaded the government to erect a prison at Prince's Town to house prisoners-of-war captured during the Napoleonic Wars. Dartmoor Prison was completed in 1809. He was also responsible for the railway line that opened in 1823, running from Prince's Town to Plymouth. In 1812 Tyrwhitt was appointed Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and received a knighthood.

List Thumbnail


The Trial of Queen Caroline 1820

by Sir George Hayter
oil on canvas, 1820-1823
On display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 999