AYSCOUGH, Sir Edward (1596-by 1654), of South Kelsey, Lincs.
Available from Cambridge University Press
Family and Education
bap. 24 Aug. 1596, 2nd but o. surv. s. of William Ayscough of South Kelsey and his 2nd w. Katherine, da. of William Heneage of Hainton, Lincs.2 educ. Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1612.3 m. bef. 1618, Frances (d. 3 Nov. 1658), da. and h. of Sir Nicholas Clifford† of Bobbing Ct., Kent, 7s. (4 d.v.p.) 6da. (4 d.v.p.).4 suc. fa. 1611, grandfa. 1612;5 kntd. c.Jan. 1613.6 d. by 1 July 1654.7
J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1618-27, 1628-at least 1640;8 freeman, Lincoln, Lincs. 1621;9 commr. recusants, Lincs. 1624,10 swans, Lincs., Northants., Rutland, Notts. 1625, Lincs. 1635;11 sheriff, Lincs. 1631-2;12 commr. sewers, Lincs. 1631-46,13 repair of St. Paul’s cathedral, Lincs. 1633,14 charitable uses, 1634-42;15 capt. militia, Lincs. by 1642;16 commr. assessment, Lincs. 1643-9, sequestration 1643, levying money 1643, defence of Eastern Association 1643, New Model Ordinance 1645, oyer and terminer 1645, militia 1648.17
Ayscough’s ancestors originated in Yorkshire, but moved to Lincolnshire in the mid-fifteenth century and provided a Member for Grimsby in the Reformation Parliament. The family achieved notoriety in 1546, when Anne Askew became an early Protestant martyr.20 After his father’s death Ayscough’s wardship was bought by Sir Thomas Grantham*, whose puritan outlook he shared, and he was returned for Lincoln to the third Jacobean Parliament with Grantham’s support.21 His only committee appointment was for the Sabbath bill (15 Feb. 1621).22 He did not stand again at the next general election, but probably supported the return of his brother-in-law, Thomas Hatcher*, for Lincoln.
As one of the puritan ‘honest sons of Lincolnshire’ later commended by Sir John Eliot*, Ayscough resisted the Forced Loan in 1627, and was dismissed from the county bench. He was imprisoned in the Gatehouse, then sentenced to internal exile in Suffolk, whence he corresponded with Sir Robert Cotton*.23 He was finally released in January 1628, and on returning home was re-elected for Lincoln.24 He was subsequently appointed to the privileges committee (20 Mar. 1628), and to attend a conference with the Lords on 21 Mar. to petition for a general fast.25 He was among those ordered to consider the presentment of recusants by knights of the shires (24 Apr.), to consider a bill concerning preaching curates (12 May), to examine the anti-Calvinist vicar of Witney (19 May), and to hear William Nowell’s* accusations of corruption against (Sir) Edward Mosley* (18 June).26 In the second session Ayscough was named to attend the king on 27 Jan. 1629 with a petition for another fast, and was appointed to consider a bill to confirm the endowment of the Charterhouse hospital (20 February).27
During the 1630s Ayscough was one of the undertakers for the drainage of the Ancholme level, contributing £100 in return for 400 acres.28 Having lost a contest for a Lincolnshire seat in the Short Parliament, in which he was defeated by Sir Edward Hussey, Ayscough was elected to the Long Parliament in 1640, and became an active supporter of Parliament in the Civil War.29 After Pride’s Purge he withdrew from public life, having drafted his will on 9 Nov. 1648. Although his exact date of death is unknown, the will was proved on 1 July 1654.30 His grandson represented Great Grimsby between 1685 and 1699.