CLAPHAM, Christopher (c.1608-86), of Uffington, Lincs.

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

b. c.1608, 1st s. of George Clapham of Beamsley, Skipton, Yorks. by Martha, da. of Reginald Heber of Marton, Yorks. m. (1) by 1627, Mary (d. 1 Aug. 1637), da. of John Lowden of Wrenthorpe, Yorks., 2s. d.v.p. 1da.; (2) 14 May 1639, Margaret (d.1674), da. of Anthony Oldfield, attorney, of Spalding, Lincs., wid. of Robert Moyle, protonotary of c.p., of Twyford, Mdx., 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 4da.; (3) lic. 26 Apr. 1678, Mary (d. 28 Nov. 1702), da. of Robert Needham, 2nd Visct. Kilmorey [I], of Shavington, Salop, s.p. suc. fa. 1629. Kntd. 8 June 1660.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Stamford 1658; j.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) July 1660-70, 1672-bef. 1680, 1685-d. , Lincs. (Kesteven) 1663-d., commr. for assessment, Westmld. and Kesteven Aug. 1660-1, (W. Riding) Aug. 1660-80, Lincs. 1661-3, 1665-80, oyer and terminer, Lincoln 1661; capt. vol. horse, Lincs. ?1663; commr. for recusants (W. Riding) 1675; dep. lt. Lincs. 1681-d., sheriff 1682-3.2


Clapham’s ancestors derived themselves from ‘Pharamond, king of France’ and claimed to have been lords of Clapham for several generations before the Norman Conquest. Their pedigree can be traced more confidently to the early 15th century, when they acquired Beamsley by marriage and became retainers of the Cliffords. Three of Clapham’s brothers fought for the King in the Civil War, but he avoided commitment himself, though his sympathies were obviously royalist. As steward of the Clifford manors in Westmorland, he assisted the dowager countess of Pembroke in her dispute with her tenants in 1650. But after his second marriage he seems to have made over Beamsley to his son. He leased Uffington, two miles from Stamford, from the Duke of Buckingham, and sat for the borough in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament.3

At the general election of 1660 Clapham was returned for Appleby on Lady Pembroke’s interest. A court supporter, he was moderately active in the Convention, in which he was named to 13 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges, and acted as teller in three divisions. He was among those appointed to consider the King’s letter and the draft assessment ordinance. On 2 June he told the House of regicide sentiments alleged to have been uttered by William White; but his informant was found to be ‘distempered’. He was teller against putting the question on excluding Bulstrode Whitelocke from the indemnity, and against setting up a committee, to which he was none the less appointed, to examine the petition from the intruded dons at Oxford. He was among those ordered on 30 June to inquire into unauthorized Anglican publications, and three days later he appeared as teller, in the unexpected company of Denzil Holles, against the abatement clause in the poll bill. Perhaps it was through Holles that he made the acquaintance of the veteran Dorset radical