YELVERTON, Sir Christopher (1602-1654), of Easton Maudit, Northants. and Aldersgate Street, London
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Family and Education
b. 27 Mar. 1602,2 1st s. of Henry Yelverton* and Mary, da. of Robert Beale† of Barnes, Surr.3 educ. G. Inn 1607; Queens’, Camb. 1619; travelled abroad (Low Countries, France, Italy) 1624-6, 1628.4 m. 20 Apr. 1630,5 Anne (d. 3 Dec. 1670),6 da. of Sir William Twysden*, 1st bt., of Roydon Hall, East Peckham, Kent, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.7 kntd. 6 May 1623;8 suc. fa. 1630;9 cr. bt. 30 June 1641.10 d. 4 Dec. 1654.11
Freeman Newport I.o.W. 1626;12 j.p. Northants. 1634-d.;13 commr. oyer and terminer, Midlands circ. 1634-42,14 inquiry, Grafton, Northants. 1635;15 sheriff, Northants. 1639-40;16 commr. perambulation, Salcey Forest, Northants. 1641,17 defence, Midland Assoc. 1642, sequestration, Northants. 1643, levying money, Warws. 1643, assessment, Northants. 1644-5, 1647-8, New Model Ordinance 1645, Northern Assoc. Yorks. (N. Riding) 1645, appeals, Oxf. Univ. 1647, militia, Northants. and Warws. 1648.18
Servant to Queen Henrietta Maria 1628.19
Yelverton was admitted to Gray’s Inn as an infant during his father’s readership, but never studied the law, and his will suggests that he may have led a somewhat wild youth.20 Knighted shortly after attaining his majority, he was given a pass overseas the following year, returning early in 1626 with a letter from Elizabeth of Bohemia to Sir Oliver Cromwell*.21 His cousin Francis Beale* persuaded Newport corporation to return him to the second Caroline Parliament in defiance of the 1st Viscount Conway (Sir Edward Conway I*), captain of the Isle of Wight.22 Yelverton’s only appointment was to attend the king on 5 Apr. 1626 with a vindication of the proceedings of the Commons.23 At the following election Newport ignored Conway’s nomination of his heir and again returned Yelverton as senior Member. However, according to Sir John Oglander* he was in Italy at the time, and probably never took his seat.24 Conway, perhaps confident that a further election would ensue, bore Yelverton no grudge, and on 12 Apr. 1628, at his father’s request, procured him a post in the queen’s service.25 On 19 May the House was informed that Yelverton had not taken the communion and was currently in France, but a motion for a fresh writ of election to be issued was rejected.26
Back in London by the time of his father’s death in 1630, Yelverton shortly afterwards made a very happy marriage. As sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1639-40, he was threatened with punishment for his arrears of Ship Money.27 His baronetcy, conferred in 1641 in reward for maintaining 30 foot soldiers in Ireland for three years, was insufficient to dissuade him from supporting Parliament in the Civil War.28 Yelverton nevertheless did much to help his royalist brother-in-law Sir Roger Twysden*, and gave refuge to Thomas Morton, the deprived bishop of Durham.29 He did not sit after Pride’s Purge, and died after some years in retirement and ill health on 4 Dec. 1654, deeply conscious of his youthful sins and apparently without assurance of salvation.30 His son Sir Henry was returned for Northamptonshire as a royalist in 1660, and sat for Northampton in the Cavalier Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
- 2. Cat. Ashmolean Mss, 122.
- 3. Bridges, Northants. ii. 166.
- 4. GI Admiss.; Al. Cant.; APC, 1623-5, p. 416, 1629-30, p. 183; CSP Dom. 1623-5, p. 138; CJ, i. 900a.
- 5. GL, ms 6419/2, unfol.
- 6. J. Twisden, Fam. of Twysden and Twisden, 254.
- 7. Add. 46185, f. 27.
- 8. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 181.
- 9. C142/467/68.
- 10. CB, ii. 95.
- 11. Bridges, Northants. ii. 167.
- 12. I.o.W. RO, NBC 45/2, f. 197.
- 13. C231/5, p. 122; CUL, ms Dd. viii. 1, f. 76.