ASHE, William (1647-1713), of the Inner Temple and Heytesbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

8 Oct. 1668
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
Jan. 1701
Dec. 1701

Family and Education

b. 17 Nov. 1647, 1st surv. s. of Edward Ashe, Draper, of Fenchurch Street, London, being 1st s. by 2nd w. Elizabeth; bro. of Edward Ashe. educ. I. Temple, entered 1652; St. Edmund Hall, Oxf. matric. 11 Nov. 1664, aged 17. m. (1) lic. 27 June 1670, Anne, da. of Alexander Popham of Littlecote, Wilts., 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) Mary, da. of John Rivett, Skinner, of London, wid. of Sir Henry Appleton, 4th Bt., of South Benfleet, Essex, s.p. suc. fa. 1656.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1673-80, Kent 1677-80, Kent and Wilts. 1689-90, recusants, Wilts. 1675, j.p. 689-d., dep. lt. by 1701-?d.

Capt. of ft. regt. of Mq. of Worcester (Henry Somerset) 1673-4.

Biography

Ashe’s father, a brother of John Ashe, Sir Joseph Ashe and Samuel Ashe, bought the manor of Heytesbury in 1640, just in time to sit in the Long Parliament, though over £3,000 of the purchase money was still outstanding 16 years later. An Independent in religion, it was nevertheless only after some hesitation that he sat in the Rump. Ashe was returned for the family borough just under age when living in chambers at the Inner Temple, and held the seat in ten successive Parliaments. An inactive Member, he was appointed to 15 committees in the Cavalier Parliament, and acted as teller in three divisions. The first was on 27 Mar. 1673 for the rebuilding of a City church. A more important division was on appropriating the customs for the use of the navy on 11 Nov. 1675, and four days later he was appointed to the committee for the liberty of the subject. He was marked ‘thrice worthy’ by Shaftesbury in 1677, and in the same year acted as teller with William Sacheverell in the division on the Bewdley election. On 21 Nov. 1678, Ashe was involved in a scuffle in the House with Jonathan Trelawny I, who accused him of ‘tolerating presbytery’. Ashe replied, ‘I am no more a Presbyterian than you are a Papist’, whereupon Trelawny ‘upbraided him of coming from a rebellious family’, and they soon passed from words to blows. It was clear that Trelawny was the aggressor in both respects, and Ashe received only the mildest of reprimands for striking back, to which he replied: ‘I acknowledge that I have committed a great fault, but there was a great provocation to it’.2

Ashe was again marked ‘worthy’ in 1679. Either he or his brother was appointed to the committees to search for precedents for punishing false electoral returns and to secure the better attendance of Members. A