Biddulph, Thomas Myddleton (DNB00)

BIDDULPH, Sir THOMAS MYDDLETON (1809–1878), general, born 29 July 1809, was the second son of Robert Biddulph, Esq., of Ledbury; his mother was Charlotte, the daughter of Richard Myddleton, Esq., M.P., of Chirk Castle, of the old Welsh family of Myddleton of Gwaynenog. He became a comet in the 1st life guards 7 Oct. 1826, lieutenant 23 Feb. 1829, captain 16 May 1834, and brevet-major 9 Nov. 1846. On 31 Oct. 1851 he was major in the 7th light dragoons, and lieutenant-colonel unattached. He had been gazetted 16 July 1851 as master of her majesty's household, for which office he had been selected by Baron Stockmar (Martin, Life of the Prince Consort, ii. 382-3). On 16 July 1854 he was appointed an extra equerry to her majesty, and became colonel 28 Nov. 1854. Colonel Biddulph married, 16 Feb. 1857, Mary Frederica, only daughter of Mr. Frederick Charles W. Seymour, who was at one time maid of honour, and afterwards honorary bedchamber woman to the queen. He was created, 27 March 1863, a knight commander of the order of the Bath for his civil services, and was appointed, 3 March 1866, one of the joint keepers of her majesty's privy purse, in succession to the Hon. Sir G. B. Phipps, and in conjunction with General the Hon. Charles Grey. On Grey's appointment to be private secretary to her majesty, 30 April 1867, Sir Thomas Biddulph became sole keeper of the privy purse. He became major-general 31 May 1866. and lieutenant-general 29 Dec. 1873, and he was gazetted, 1 Oct. 1877, to the brevet rank of general, as one of a large number of officers who obtained promotion under the provisions of article 137 of the royal warrant of 13 Aug. 1877. Later in the same year he was sworn a member of the privy council. The official duties of Sir Thomas Biddulph involved a very close attendance upon the queen. He died at Abergeldie Mains, near Balmoral, after a short illness, during which he was daily visited by her majesty, 28 Sept. 1878, and was buried at Clewer. Sir Theodore Martin says of Sir Thomas Biddulph that 'he was the last survivor of the three very able men — Sir Charles Phipps and General Grey being the other two — who had been intimately associated with the prince from their position as leading members of her majesty's Household,' and who always served the queen with generous devotion (Life of the Prince Consort, iv. 12).

[Aberdeen Free Press, 30 Sept. 1878; Times, 30 Sept. and 3 and 8 Oct. 1878; Army List; London Gazette; Illustrated London News, 5 Oct. 1878; Martin's Life of the Prince Consort, 1875-80; Queen Victoria's More Leaves from the Journal of a Life in the Highlands, 1884.]

A. H. G.