CHOLMONDELEY, Francis (1636-1713), of Vale Royal, Cheshire.

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




Family and Education

bap. 10 Jan. 1636, 6th but 3rd surv. s. of Thomas Cholmondeley of Vale Royal by Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Minshull of Minshull; bro. of Thomas Cholmondeley. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. MA 1669.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Liverpool 1686; j.p. Lancs. 1689-Mar. 1690, Aug. 1690-1.2


Cholmondeley joined the exiled Court in 1655, but as a devout student of divinity is unlikely to have remained there long. He was taken prisoner after the rising of Sir George Booth in 1659. When James II expressed his determination to retain the Roman Catholic officers in November 1685, he wrote to Richard Legh to express his anxiety about the security of the Church,

which must certainly fail in great measure if the Test be violated. ... If this fence be broke, I know not where it will end. ... Pray God avert the feared consequence ... that our confidence in the King’s word may not be shaken, which has been so much extolled.

He was returned on the Legh interest for Newton in 1689, entering Parliament at the age of 53. He took no part in the Convention except to vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and shortly afterwards fell ‘dangerously ill of a pleurisy’. On 22 May (Sir) Henry Capel told the Commons that he wished to resign his seat, since he could not take the oaths to the new regime; but his request was ignored, and he was given three weeks to attend. On 7 Jan. 1690 the House was informed that he was in town, looking after his dying cousin William Banks II, though he had not attended Parliament all that session. He resolutely refused the oaths, and was sent to the Tower, but the Convention was adjourned before further action could be taken against him. His ‘scruple of conscience’ met with scant sympathy, even from his own family, who told him that he was suffering from ‘the disease of a Quaker’. Although a friend of Joseph Addison he remained a non-juror all his life. He was buried at Minshull on 3 July 1713.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Ormerod, Cheshire, ii. 157.
  • 2. Wahlstrand thesis, 58; Lancs. RO, QSC 106.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1655, p. 599; 1689-90, pp. 208, 241; Ormerod, i. p. lxvi; ii. 157; Evelyn Legh, Lady Newton, Lyme Letters, 137, 181; HMC Kenyon, 264; Add. 36707, ff. 59, 68; CJ, x. 143, 325, 328; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 301.