Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thynne, John Alexander

THYNNE, JOHN ALEXANDER, fourth Marquis of Bath (1831–1896), born in Westminster on 1 March 1831, was the eldest son of Henry Frederick, third marquis, by Harriet, daughter of Alexander Baring. Thomas Thynne, first marquis of Bath [q. v.], was his great-grandfather. John was educated at Eton and matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford on 31 May 1849. He soon began to take an active part in county business, being appointed a deputy-lieutenant of Somerset in 1853, and of Wiltshire in 1860. He was gazetted colonel of the 1st Wiltshire volunteers in April 1866, lieutenant-colonel of the Wiltshire yeomanry in April 1876, and colonel in July 1881. In 1889 he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Wiltshire and chairman of the county council. He was much interested in political questions, though he never associated himself with any party.

In May 1858 he was sent to Lisbon as ambassador-extraordinary and plenipotentiary, when he received from Pedro V the order of the Tower and Sword. Nine years later, in July 1867, when ambassador-extraordinary at Vienna, he received from the Emperor Francis Joseph the grand cross of the order of Leopold of Austria. He shared the distrust felt by Lord Carnarvon and Lord Derby of the Earl of Beaconsfield's eastern policy, and as the result of a tour in Bulgaria, undertaken after the war, published 'Observations on Bulgarian Affairs,' 1880. Bath was appointed trustee of the National Portrait Gallery in 1874, and of the British Museum in 1883. He was a member of the academy of Belgrade in 1884. He also served on the historical manuscripts commission. He died at Venice on 20 April 1896.

He married, in August 1861, Frances Isabella, eldest daughter of Thomas, third viscount de Vesci. His eldest son, Thomas Henry Thynne (b. 1862), succeeded as fifth marquis.

[Doyle's Official Baronage; Eurke's Peerage, 1896; Times, 21 April 1896; Bourke's Hist. of White's Club, 1892, vol. ii.]

G. Le G. N.