CLOBERRY, John (c.1625-88), of Upper Eldon, King's Somborne and Parchment Street, Winchester, Hants.

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

Constituency

Dates

3 Apr. - 29 June 1660
29 June 1660
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1625, 2nd s. of John Cloberry (d.1657) of Bradstone, Devon, being 1st s. by 2nd w. Catharine, da. and h. of George Drake of Spratshayes, Littleham, Devon, wid. of Henry Ford of Bagtor, Ilsington, Devon; half-bro. of Henry Ford. educ. M. Temple 1647. m. (1) by 1649, Margery, da. and coh. of Robert Riggs of Fareham, Hants, wid. of John Erlisman of Calbourne, I.o.W., s.p.; (2) lic. 7 Apr. 1662, Anne (d. 25 Jan. 1667), da. of William Cranmer, Merchant Adventurer, of Rotterdam, Holland, wid. of Nathaniel Wyche, merchant, of Surat, India, 1s. d.v.p. 6da. Kntd. 7 June 1660.1

Offices Held

Maj. of ft. by 1651, lt-col. by 1659; col. of horse 1659-Oct. 1660; capt. Prince Rupert’s Horse 1667; lt.-col. Queen Dowager’s Horse (later 6 Dgn. Gds.) 1685-6.2

Commr. for assessment, Devon 1657, Aug. 1660-1, Clackmannan and Stirling 1657, Jan. 1660, Hants 1667-80, Winchester 1679-80, militia, Cornw. Mar. 1660, sewers, Westminster Aug. 1660; freeman, Winchester 1669; j.p. Hants 1679-d., dep. lt. 1680-d.3

Biography

Cloberry was descended from an undistinguished gentry family which had held Bradstone since the 15th century, and claimed kinship with George Monck. He entered the Commonwealth army after the execution of Charles I and, serving under Monck in Scotland, achieved rapid promotion. He was brought over to the Stuart cause by his brother-in-law, John Otway, in the summer of 1659. He assisted in the purge of republican officers, and was sent with Ralph Knight to negotiate with the committee of safety in London in November. On the second return of the Rump Monck sent him to demand the readmission of the secluded Members. His popularity in the army, due to his support of the soldiers’ demands for an indemnity and the confirmation of land purchases, was particularly useful to Monck at this juncture.4

At the general election of 1660 Cloberry was elected at Hedon, presumably on the interest of Hugh Bethell, and was involved in double returns at Launceston and St. Mawes. Marked as a friend on Lord Wharton’s list to be managed by Sir Wilfred Lawson, he was not active in the Convention, though recognized as one of Monck’s mouthpieces in the House. He was named to only 12 committees, but these included the important drafting committee to prepare bills in accordance with the delaration of Breda and the committee to consider the land purchases bill. Doubtless a court supporter, he was given a pension of £600 p.a. and knighted at the Restoration. On 22 June he seconded the motion of (Sir) Thomas Clarges for putting into effect the grant of £20,000 already voted for Monck, and was appointed to the committee to recommend ‘the surest and speediest way’. A week later the Launceston election was resolved in his favour, whereupon he gave up his seat at Hedon. He continued to concern himself with his men, serving on the committees to state the debts of the army and navy and to consider the bill enabling soldiers to exercise trades in corporate towns. After the recess his committees included those on the bills for the suppression of profanity, the prevention of marital separation, and the taking of public accounts. On 15 Dec. he acted as teller against a proviso to the bill abolishing the court of wards intended to safeguard a claim of William Powell.5

Cloberry is unlikely to have stood in 1661. His first wife came from a minor Hampshire gentry family, and by 1667 he had acquired manorial property in the county and a house in Winchester. He may have considered standing for the city as early as 1669, when he took out his freedom, and he was eventually returned unopposed to all three Exclusion Parliaments. Shaftesbury marked him ‘base’ in 1679 and on 10 Mar. he questioned the validity of the House’s claim to choose their own Speaker without a right of veto by the crown:

I will not say that we have no power in this matter, but that we have right is not yet proved. I had rather give my eyes, hands and head than part with this power if it be your right; but if it be a flower of the crown, I would rather die than take it away. ... Therefore, I move that the thing may be thoroughly debated, and see our own title to it, and not carry a dough-baked representation to the King that we cannot maintain.

When the King remained obdurate against Edward Seymour Cloberry urged the House to choose another Speaker. An active Member of the first Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to committees, including the committee of elections and privileges, and those to review expiring laws, to bring in a bill for regulating elections, to consider the bill summoning Danby to give himself up, and to inspect the Journals daily. On 12 Apr. he was given leave to go into the country, but he seems to have returned by the end of the month, for he was appointed to committees for examining the disbandment accounts, preventing illegal exactions and inquiring into the shipping of artillery to Portsmouth. Presumably, therefore, he either paired or deliberately abstained from the division on the first exclusion bill. He was moderately active in the second Exclusion Parliament, with no speeches and only seven committees, including those to draft the address undertaking to defend the Protestant religion at home and abroad, and to bring in a bill for uniting Protestants. In the Oxford Parliament he was named only to the elections committee.6

Cloberry stood for re-election in 1685 with the support of the lord lieutenant of Hampshire (Edward Noel), but was persuaded to desist on the eve of the poll in favour of the official court candidate, Roger L’Estrange. He served as a volunteer against the Duke of Monmouth’s forces at Sedgemoor, and Lord Lumley chose him as second-in-command of a new cavalry regiment. Ill health obliged him to resign his commission in the following year. He died of fever and dropsy at the age of 63, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral on 31 Jan. 1688 beneath a grotesquely ugly memorial. The claims to a great share in the Restoration made in his epitaph have also been derided, perhaps with less justice. His two eldest daughters were already married to the Tory politicians Sir Charles Holte and William Bromley, the future Speaker, and the others also made good matches with the aid of £4,000 portions. A nephew was returned for Truro in 1695.