FANSHAWE, Charles, 4th Visct. Fanshawe of Dromore [I] (1643-1710), of Suffolk Street, Westminster.

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



22 Jan. - 13 May 1689

Family and Education

b. 6 Feb. 1643, 5th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir Thomas Fanshawe I by 2nd w.; bro. of Henry Fanshawe and Thomas Fanshawe. educ. Christ’s, Camb. 1663; I. Temple 1664. unm. suc. nephew 10 Oct. 1687.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. Coldstream Gds. 1669-70, regt. of William Alington, 3rd Baron Alington 1678-9.

Commr. for revenue [I] 1670-6, excise appeals 1676-89; envoy extraordinary to Portugal 1681-5.2


Fanshawe began his career in 1667 by attending the peace negotiations at Breda. After two applications from the King on his behalf for a fellowship of his college, the master wrote to Joseph Williamson:

besides the unfitness of the person, the consequence of his coming in will so disturb the happiness and comfort of all our lives, that, if you will endeavour to satisfy Lord Arlington and take him off from urging Mr Fanshawe upon us, I shall feel bound to serve you while I live.

It was probably he of whom Samuel Pepys wrote at this time as ‘a witty but rascally fellow, without a penny in his purse, that was asking ... what places there were in the Navy for him’. Rejected both by Cambridge and the Admiralty, he was commissioned in the guards, and given a seat on the Irish revenue board. When the Irish revenue farm was terminated, he was compensated with a pension of £250 p.a. on the Irish establishment, and appointed to a sinecure office in England. In 1678 he served in Flanders in the regiment of his kinsman, Lord Alington.