Born William Amhurst Daniel-Tyssen, he was the eldest son of William George Daniel-Tyssen, son of William George Daniel and his wife Amelia Amherst, daughter of John Amherst and Mary Tyssen. His mother was Mary, daughter of Andrew Fountaine. In 1852, he and his father assumed by Royal license the surname of Tyssen-Amhurst. However, in 1877 he again changed it, to Tyssen-Amherst, also by Royal license.
Tyssen-Amherst was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1880, he was elected to Parliament for West Norfolk, a seat he held until 1885, and then represented South West Norfolk until 1892. The latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Amherst of Hackney, in the County of London, with remainder, in default of male issue, to his eldest daughter Mary and her issue male. Apart from his parliamentary career Tyssen-Amherst also served as High Sheriff of Norfolk and as Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex and was a Justice of the Peace for Norfolk, Middlesex and Westminster. However, he is chiefly remembered as a collector of books, manuscripts, antique furniture and other works of art. In 1906, he was forced to sell a large portion of his collection due to financial troubles.
Lord Amherst of Hackney married Margaret Susan, only child of Admiral Robert Mitford, in 1856. They had seven daughters. He died in London in January 1909, aged 73, and was succeeded in the barony according to the special remainder by his daughter Mary.
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