DRAKE, Sir William, 1st Bt. (1606-69), of Shardeloes, nr. Amersham, Bucks.

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



Apr. 1640
Nov. 1640
1661 - 28 Aug. 1669

Family and Education

bap. 28 Sept. 1606, 1st s. of Francis Drake, gent. of the privy chamber, of Esher, Surr. by Joan, da. and coh. of William Tothill, a six clerk in Chancery, of Shardeloes. educ. Amersham (Dr Charles Croke); Christ Church, Oxf. 1624; M. Temple 1626; G. Inn 1629, travelled abroad 1630-?37; Leyden 1634. unm. suc. fa. 1634; kntd. 14 July 1641; cr. Bt. 17 July 1641.2

Offices Held

Commr. for defence, midland assoc. 1642, j.p. Bucks. by 1647-53, 1661-d., commr. for militia 1648, Mar. 1660, dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-1, commr. for assessment 1661-d., corporations 1662-3.3

Chirographer of common pleas 1652-9.4


Drake’s grandfather, a younger son of the Ashe family, became in 1572 its first Member of Parliament. Of puritan stock on both sides of the family, Drake inherited Shardeloes from his maternal grandfather, a wealthy chancery official, and added to it the manor of Amersham in 1637, thereby acquiring an impregnable interest in the borough, which he represented in the Short and Long Parliaments. A bibliophile and a classical scholar, he took no active part in politics during the Civil War and Interregnum. He spent many years abroad, even after he was appointed by the Rump to the valuable office of chirographer, or custos brevium, in the common pleas, which he doubtless exercised by deputy.