BULKELEY, Robert, 2nd Visct. Bulkeley of Cashel [I] (c.1630-88), of Baron Hill, Anglesey.
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Family and Education
b. c.1630, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Thomas, 1st Visct. Bulkeley of Cashel [I], and bro. of Henry Bulkeley and Thomas Bulkeley. m. by 1655, Sarah, da. of Daniel Harvey, merchant, of Lawrence Pountney Hill, London, 3s. 6da. suc. fa. 17 Apr. 1659.1
Sheriff, Anglesey 1657-8; commr. for assessment Anglesey 1657-80, Caern. 1657, Aug. 1660-80, militia, N. Wales Mar. 1660; j.p. Anglesey and Caern. Mar. 1660-d.; chancellor and chamberlain of Anglesey, Caern. and Merion. July 1660-d.; custos rot. Anglesey Sept. 1660-Feb. 1688; constable, Beaumaris Castle Sept. 1660-d.; dep. lt. N. Wales 1661-Feb. 1688; commr. for oyer and terminer, Wales 1661; col. of militia ft. Anglesey by 1661-?Feb. 1688, v.-adm. N. Wales 1679-d.2
Bulkeley’s ancestors, of Cheshire origin, established themselves in Anglesey about the middle of the 15th century, and first sat for the county in 1545. His father received an Irish peerage in 1644 for his services as commissioner of array, and was in arms again for the King in the second Civil War. Bulkeley inherited an estate of £4,000 p.a., by far the largest in the island, and was returned to the Convention as knight of the shire. He was marked on Lord Wharton’s list as a friend to be managed by John Glynne, but he had married into a strongly royalist family and probably voted with the Court. He was appointed to only five committees, of which the most important were to prepare a bill to abolish the court of wards and to consider the indemnity bill. He was granted the offices of constable of Beaumaris, chamberlain of North Wales, and custos rotulorum of the county. Although he secured the removal of the garrison under (Sir) John Carter from Holyhead, which might have had ‘an evil influence’ on parliamentary elections, he did not stand in 1661, giving his interest at Beaumaris to Heneage Finch, who had married his wife’s sister. He remained in good standing with the restored monarchy, and was thanked by the Treasury in 1671 for his assistance in the collection of hearth-tax.3
Bulkeley was returned for Caernarvonshire at an uncontested by-election in 1675. He was again inactive, serving on only four committees, of which the most important were to prevent illegal exactions and abuses in the hearth-tax. He was included as a court supporter on the working lists by Sir Richard Wiseman. Shaftesbury marked him ‘vile’, and according to A Seasonable Argument it was owing to Finch, now lord chancellor, that he was given the guardianship of his nephew, Sir William Williams, worth £1,000 p.a. (Sir) Joseph Williamson included him among the Members ‘wanting’ during a debate in the spring of 1678, but he was still reckoned a government supporter by the Court.4
Although Bulkeley was not included in the ‘unanimous club’ of court supporters, he was again marked ‘vile’ by Shaftesbury in 1679 as MP for Anglesey, a mistake for his brother Henry. In fact he probably did oppose exclusion, as he was made vice-admiral of North Wales at this time. He sat again for Anglesey in James II’s Parliament, but was appointed only to the committee on the bill for preventing clandestine marriages. It was reported that he was ‘sick and not able to come’ to give his answers to the lord president on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and he was removed from the lieutenancy and the commission of the peace. He died on 18 Oct. 1688 and was buried at Beaumaris.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / A. M. Mimardière
- 1. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. Trans. (1948), 74, 82; J. E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 42.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 140, 280; 1665-6, p. 515; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1633, 2109; HMC 7th Rep. 348.
- 3. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. Trans. (1961), 4; (1965), 7, 17; A. H. Dodd, Studies in Stuart Wales, 179; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 414, 579; Cal. Treas. Bks. ii. 904.
- 4. Dodd, 178.
- 5. Griffith, 42.