Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 11th Baronet, FRS (25 May 1809 – 29 May 1898) was a British educational reformer and a politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1837 and 1886 initially as a Tory and later, after an eighteen-year gap, as a Liberal.
Acland was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 10th Baronet, and his wife Lydia Elizabeth Hoare, daughter of Henry Hoare, a partner in the banking firm of C. Hoare & Co. Sir Henry Wentworth Acland was his younger brother. He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was friends with William Ewart Gladstone and Lord Elgin among others. He was a major in the Royal 1st Devonshire Yeomanry Cavalry. In 1839 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1837, Acland entered Parliament for Somerset West as a Tory.:453 During the tensions within the Tory party in the 1840s over the Corn Laws, Acland supported Sir Robert Peel's free trade policy. He did not stand for Parliament in the 1847 general election and was to remain out of the House of Commons for nearly twenty years.
Acland showed a strong interest in and commitment to educational reform. He initially promoted the maintenance and defence of church schools and the establishment of diocesan theological colleges. However, he later became a supporter of educational projects of a more Liberal character and played a leading role in the establishment of the Oxford local examinations system in 1858. He was also involved in agricultural issues and was a Trustee of the Royal Agricultural Society. Acland was influential in the recruitment of Augustus Voelcker as consultant agricultural chemist to the Royal Bath and West of England Society around 1849. Acland was also Honorary Colonel 3rd Volunteer Bn Devonshire Regiment and a J.P. for Devon and Somerset. He contested Birmingham as a moderate Liberal in 1859, but was defeated by John Bright.:47
In 1865, Acland returned to the House of Commons as a Liberal when he was elected as one of two representatives for Devonshire North.:376 Between 1869 and 1874, he served as a Church Estates Commissioner. He never held ministerial office but was sworn of the Privy Council in 1883. The Devonshire North constituency was abolished by the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 and Acland was instead returned to Parliament for Wellington.:382 He voted for the First Home Rule Bill in June 1885 and this led to him being defeated at the 1886 general election.
Acland married firstly Mary Mordaunt, daughter of Sir Charles Mordaunt, 8th Baronet, in 1841. They had three sons and two daughters. After her death in 1851 he married secondly Mary Erskine, only surviving child of John Erskine, in 1856. This marriage was childless. Lady Acland died in May 1892. Acland survived her by six years and died in May 1898, aged 89. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son Thomas, who was also a politician. Acland's second son Arthur, who succeeded to the baronetcy in 1919, also had a successful political career.
- Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 6.
- Debretts Guide to the House of Commons, 1886. Archive.org.
- List of Fellows of the Royal Society, A–J, Royal Society.
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- Hudson, Kenneth. "The Bath & West: A short History". The Royal Bath & West of England Society. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
- Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1901. .
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
- Lundy, Darryl. "FAQ". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 11th Baronet
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Thomas Acland
- "Archival material relating to Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 11th Baronet". UK National Archives.
- "Historic People". Plymouth Athenaeum. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Edward Ayshford Sanford
| Member of Parliament for Somerset West
With: Edward Ayshford Sanford 1837–1841
Francis Dickinson 1841–1847
James Wentworth Buller
| Member of Parliament for Devonshire North
With: Charles Trefusis 1865–1866
Sir Stafford Northcote 1866–1885
John Moore-Stevens 1885
|New title|| Member of Parliament for Wellington
|Baronetage of England|
Thomas Dyke Acland
(of St Columb John)
Thomas Dyke Acland