BETHELL, Henry (c.1606-68), of Falthorp, Yorks.
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Family and Education
Commr. for northern assoc. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1645; j.p. (N. Riding) 1649-53, 1656-9, July 1660-d.; commr. for militia, Yorks. Mar. 1660, assessment (N. Riding) Aug. 1660-1, 1664-d.; capt. of militia ft. (N. Riding) by 1665-d.2
Bethell’s great-grandfather, of Herefordshire origin, acquired estates in Yorkshire in Elizabethan times. Bethell’s mother was a puritan who attended a conventicle in the deanery at York. Neither Bethell himself nor his elder brother were politically active. His youngest brother Walter, however, held a commission in the New Model Army, and the third brother was the well-known London republican, Slingsby Bethell, who purchased the forfeited estates of his uncle Sir Henry Slingsby, 1st Bt. in 1658 and represented Knaresborough in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament. This was clearly an amicable family arrangement, and with republicanism declining but open royalism still proscribed, Bethell, who had signed the Yorkshire declaration for a free Parliament, took the seat in 1660. He was classed as a friend by Lord Wharton, but was named only to the committee of elections and privileges in the Convention, and made no recorded speeches. On 2 Aug. he was given leave to go into the country and never stood again, though he remained an active member of the North Riding bench until his death. He was buried at Alne on 27 Feb. 1668. The next member of this branch to sit was his great-nephew Hugh, who was returned for Pontefract as a Whig in 1716.3