GARWAY (GARRAWAY), William (1617-1701), of Ford, Suss.

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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 10 Apr. 1617, 1st s. of Sir Henry Garway, Draper, of Broad Street, London, ld. mayor 1639-40, by Margaret, da. of Henry Clitherow, merchant, of London. educ. Pembroke, Camb. 1632; travelled abroad 1635. unm. suc. fa. 1646.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. (royalist) 1642-4.2

Gent. of privy chamber c.1642-4; commr. for trade 1668-72, customs 1671-5.3

J.p. Suss. July 1660-?70, May 1688-?d.; commr. for assessment, Suss. Aug. 1660-74, 1689-90, Chichester 1663-4, sewers, W. Suss. Oct. 1660, loyal and indigent officers, London, Westminster and Suss. 1662, recusants, Suss. 1675, dep. lt. May-Oct. 1688.4


Garway’s family, of Herefordshire origin, had been London merchants for three generations. His father, one of the leading City Royalists, was imprisoned for resisting parliamentary exactions during the Civil War. Garway himself was in arms for the King; he was taken prisoner and released on parole in November 1644. After succeeding to part of his father’s Sussex estates he compounded at one-tenth for his delinquency with a fine of £290. Until his mother’s death in 1657 brought him five farms in Sussex, he lived in London, where he apparently owned some rather questionable property, since after the apprentices’ attack on the brothels in 1674 he told the House that his losses had been as great as any other Member’s. A bachelor of abstemious tastes, who ‘abstains from all food at least one day every week, and at other times ordinarily abstains from wine and strong liquors’ he was of ‘excellent natural endowments and great reading’, becoming, in the eyes of a Sussex neighbour, ‘a walking library’.5

Garway was returned for Chichester at the general election of 1661. He was an active committeeman in the Cavalier Parliament, though he never assumed the chair in any of his 283 committees, and he was even more prominent in debate, with 325 recorded speeches. In the first session he was named to the committee for the corporations bill, and in 1663 to those inquiring into a Sussex commission to discover lands gained from the sea, and to consider the bill to prevent abuses in the sale of offices. By now he was associated with the opposition group led by John Vaughan. He was named to the committee of inquiry into the conduct of Sir Richard Temple, who had offered to ‘manage’ the Commons, and sent with Vaughan to the Earl of Bristol, who had acted as intermediary with the Court. But in the supply debate of 23 Nov. 1664 Vaughan, Garway and Temple all ‘chanted to the same tune’, and one which the government spokesman found decidedly unmelodious.6

By 1666 Clarendon had come to regard Garway as a follower of Buckingham, and his parliamentary activity increased. On 21 Sept. he was sent to desire the concurrence of the Lords in an address of thanks to the King ‘for his great care in management’ of the second Dutch war. He was teller for the second reading of the bill to preserve naval stores, after which he was appointed to the committee. Samuel Pepys, who as a witness before the parliamentary accounts committee was meeting Garway for the first time, found him good company, and wrote that he had

not been well used by the Court, though stout to death, and hath suffered all that is possible for the King from the beginning. But discontented as he is, yet he never knew a session of Parliament but he hath done some good thing for the King before it rose. ... Sir William Coventry told me it is much to be pitied that the King should lose the service of a man so able and faithful.

He helped to prepare reasons for a conference on prohibiting French commodities, and served on the Commons delegation to ask for a proclamation, later acting as teller for hearing a petition from the merchants affected by the ban. On 8 Nov. he produced a complete financial programme for raising £1,800,000, and acted as teller for an 11 months’ assessment on land at the rate of £12,000 a month. The House preferred a poll bill, however, to which he moved his ‘great proviso’ for a public accounts commission. This was accepted, despite great efforts by the Court to flush every possible government supporter out of the theatres and bawdy-houses to vote against it; but later it was agreed that a separate bill was constitutionally necessary. The Lords objected to the proposal as an infringement on the prerogative, and repeated conferences in which Garway participated failed to bring the Houses to an agreement. He acted as teller for another proviso to the supply bill to deny the usual fees to Exchequer officials on money paid out by anticipation. He also helped to prepare reasons for a conference on imports of cattle from Ireland and to manage a conference on Lord Mordaunt’s impeachment. Although the accounts bill, in which Garway was named as a commissioner, was lost at the prorogation, he and Sir Thomas Littleton, 2nd Bt. were among the 12 Members appointed by the King for the same purpose at the Lords’ request. They reluctantly agreed to serve, fortified by the judges’ opinion in favour of the legality of the commission, but it accomplished nothing. He came up to Westminster for the abortive session in July, and seconded the motion of Thomas Tomkyns for disbanding the newly raised forces, though he admitted that it might not be ‘convenient’ to address the King to this purpose until peace had been concluded.7

When Parliament met again in October after the fall of Clarendon, Garway was among those appointed to bring in a public accounts bill. He was not particularly prominent in the attack on the fallen minister, however, being more concerned ‘to bring the House to mind the public state of the nation, and to put off these particular piques between man and man’. On 15 Nov. he criticized the refusal of the Lords to imprison Clarendon without a specific charge as a breach of the Commons’ privilege. He was among those appointed to prepare reasons for this view and to consider the bill of banishment. Apparently he was absent for the remainder of the session, for he was appointed to no committees and no speeches were recorded. During the summer of 1668, as a member of the Buckingham faction, he was nominated to the Irish accounts commission; but Ormonde, at whom the inquiry was principally aimed, had many friends among the Sussex Cavaliers, and Garway stood down in favour of Sir Thomas Osborne. He was no loser by his forbearance, however, for in October he was appointed to the reconstituted council of trade.8

During the short 1669 session Garway was among those appointed to receive information about seditious conventicles. When the accounts commission reported he was sharply critical of the activities of Sir George Carteret as treasurer of the navy, and urged that no fresh supply should be considered until the charges had been answered. When Sir John Marlay described £300,000 as ‘a pitiful sum to give the King’ Garway retorted:

Indeed it is a pitiful sum to them that are like to pay none of it. Hopes that we shall not be in the condition of France, when all the money is in one pocket. This sum will set you out a good fleet, and hopes we may have something left in our pockets to get on horseback with, to defend ourselves upon any emergency. Would leave the customs appropriated to the use of the navy.

He moved successfully that supply should not exceed £400,000, and that it should be raised neither by a land tax nor a house excise. Always jealous of the Commons’ privilege vis à vis the Upper House, on 27 Nov. 1669, during the renewed debate on Skinner’s case, he desired that the King should stay the execution of the Lords’ order against the East India Company, but ‘the motion was laid aside because it would put the King upon too much difficulty between the two Houses’. At this time he was regarded as a possible recruit for the court party, ‘to be engaged by the Duke of Buckingham and his friends’. When the House met again after Christmas ‘the Garway party appeared with the usual vigour’, according to Andrew Marvell, though they were not well supported by the country gentlemen. He was the first Member named to the inquiry into the wine duties, and was also among those appointed to consider a bill to prevent transportation, and the second conventicles bill; but of the last measure ‘he was not fond’, and he may have resigned from the county bench at this time.9

In the next session Garway was the first to be appointed to the committee to inspect the naval debt (31 Oct. 1670). Five days later he joined in the attack on the bankers, ‘the commonwealth men that destroy the nobility and gentry’. On 18 Nov. he ‘spoke sharply’ against the proposal to collect the duty on imported spices by licensing the retailers, ‘calling it arbitrary and tyrannical’. On 3 Dec. during the debate on the financial programme of Sir Robert Howard, he introduced a red herring by moving that any clergyman holding two livings should pay £10, but admitted at the end of the debate that he did not expect it to pass, ‘but only to set a mark upon it’. Now strongly opposed to a land tax as ‘a mark of our chains’, he succeeded in postponing any discussion until the yield of other taxes could be estimated. Five days later he supported the tax on offices.10

After the attack on Sir John Coventry Garway was one of those who insisted on laying aside all other business until a bill to banish the culprits should pass both Houses. He was named to the small committee to bring it in, and later to prepare reasons for a conference. He retained sufficient City connexions to be given special responsibility for a bill to secure the creditors of the Grocers’ Company, one of his rare private bill committees. He acted as teller for agreeing with the committee that the country candidate had been duly elected at Seaford on the broad franchise. He unsuccessfully urged the House to look for an alternative to the subsidy bill, and when (Sir) John Cotton I proposed to mention in the preamble that supply had been given to maintain the Triple Alliance, Garway objected that

we should not meddle with those matters of state which were not submitted to us nor of which we were not [sic] all informed; and besides we should be wary of interesting ourselves in those leagues, lest we should be called upon to maintain them.

He reminded the House of their former votes to stand by the King in the Dutch war which had resulted in an obligation to furnish ‘very great sums of money’. A week later his request to be given leave ’to further his occasions’ was denied.11

To the horror of the Opposition, Garway ‘the Hector of the House’ accepted an offer from his friend Thomas Clifford in September 1671, and became a customs commissioner with a salary of £2,000 p.a. On the eve of the next session during the third Dutch war he and Thomas Lee I, the ‘bell-wethers of the country party’ attended a meeting in which they agreed to propose a supply of £600,000, calculated to be ‘enough to procure a peace, but not to continue a war’. But when the House met they proceeded to justify the satirists by carrying a grant for almost double that sum. In other respects, as Burnet noted, they continued to act on the opposite side, and they claimed that their action was necessary to prolong the session. Garway helped to prepare both addresses against the suspending power, and another on the dangerous condition of the Protestants in Ireland. He was among those instructed to bring in bills to naturalize foreign Protestants, and to give ease to dissenters. In debate he seemed to lean in the direction of comprehension, urging relief for ‘the better sort’ who would subscribe to the 39 Articles, ‘or as many of them as relate to the doctrine of the Church of England’. He also favoured eliminating the renunciation of the Covenant, though he admitted that this concerned only ‘a few old gentlemen’. He was prepared to grant Papists no more than freedom of worship: ‘if you might see them in all their frippery, [he] believes you would not have so many of them’. On 6 Mar. 1673 he was appointed to the committees that produced the test bill and the address against the growth of Popery, and acted as teller for insisting that pensions to Roman Catholics should be withdrawn. In the debate on the Lords amendments he proposed, unsuccessfully, that the test for both navy and army officers should consist only of a denial of transubstantiation, which would, of course, have permitted the retention of nonconformist officers who were particularly valuable in the senior service. When it was argued that the King’s necessities required a prompt supply Garway replied sharply that:

if there were any necessities they were not of our making; that we might have been called together sooner; that if the necessities were such, it was fit to inquire who were the authors of those counsels which had now brought the King to these extremities.

He complained that the House had been ‘strangely represented’ in the Lords over the test, and acted as teller for the unsuccessful motion to consider the general naturalization bill in grand committee. Together with the Anglican diehard Giles Strangways he opposed the Lords’ proviso to the bill of ease in favour of the suspending power, and helped to draw up reasons for disagreeing.12

In the autumn session Garway refused to join in the attack on the new Speaker, Edward Seymour, but was included by Sir William Temple in the most extreme opposition grouping. He opposed an immediate vote of thanks for the speech from the throne and was among those named to draw up the address against the Duke of York’s second marriage. On the same day he proposed a religious test for Members of both Houses, and was appointed to the committee to bring in a bill. With (Sir) William Coventry, he was considered the only Member capable of inducing the House to attack the French alliance, and fear of losing his post did not, as the King hoped, act as a deterrent. In January 1674 he joined in the attack on the surviving ministers of the Cabal, but defended ‘his dead friend’ Clifford. More surprisingly, unless he already had his eye on the Arundel constituency, he gave qualified support to the petition of Bernard Howard for relief from the recusancy laws, though not so as to qualify him for employment in the state or militia. When Charles asked for the ‘advice and assistance’ of the House on the terms of peace proferred by the Dutch, Garway asserted that they were solely the King’s concern, since the Commons ‘had no hand in advising the war’, and he complained of the ‘darkness’ in which they had been kept. Despite his evident willingness to obstruct business he was on the committee ordered to prepare reasons for the peace and helped to manage the conference with the Lords. He again displayed his aversion to standing armies, saying that ‘in all his reading [he] has found that these established guards have been the ruin of most princes’, and he moved for an address against them. He supported the bills to prevent transportation and illegal exactions, and was also appointed to the committee on the bill for judges’ patents to be irrevocable except for misbehaviour. He appears to have sympathized with Pepys, who had been involved in a disputed return at Castle Rising on the Howard interest, moving to receive the report of the elections committee, demanding that the grounds for the charge of Popery should be clearly stated, and accompanying Coventry and Meres to receive an explanation from Lord Shaftesbury ( Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper) when he was revealed as the originator of the rumours.13

Garway began the spring session of 1675 by opposing the usual vote of thanks for the King’s speech. On 19 Apr. he denounced the assistance given to French imperialism by British policy. Though his request for ‘a representation ... of the state of this kingdom in reference to France’ was not liked by the House, he continued to press for the recall of all British subjects from the French service. He supported the proposal to register the Papists ‘and no other dissenters’ at quarter sessions. He expressed dissatisfaction at the retention of Lauderdale but defended Osborne, now Lord Treasurer Danby, in the impeachment debate, though bluntly critical of his policies. When the proposal to appropriate the customs revenue to the use of the navy was revived, he was the first Member appointed to bring in a bill. He allowed his hostility to the pretensions of the Upper House to outweigh all other considerations when he supported the commitment of his neighbour John Fagg I to the Tower for complying with the Lords, and no Member entered more vigorously into the dispute. He helped to draw up reasons for, or to manage, several conferences, and spoke on at least a dozen occasions. In the autumn session he opposed the Government’s naval programme, queried Pepys’s figures on the strength of the French and Dutch navies, and supported the motion that any money granted should be entrusted to the City rather than the Exchequer. When the Shirley v. Fagg dispute was again brought up he urged the House to proceed ‘with such care and tenderness ... as not to lose the fruits of this session’, but he was still firmly against the appellate jurisdiction of the Lords, and when the motion denying it failed, he remarked ‘privately’ that

by this vote you may get your privilege for a few of us and lose the judicature upon the whole commons of England, besides the endangering never raising the spirit of the House in it again.

He was named as usual to the principal committees of political importance, including those to examine dangerous books and to ensure the Protestant education of the royal children.14

Soon after Parliament rose Garway met the fate which had been confidently announced for him two years before, and was dismissed from the customs board. His removal, it was subsequently stated, ‘lost the King £100,000 a year’, and he certainly seems to have understood the significance of the incipient trade boom, which by increasing the revenue threatened parliamentary control. But in 1677 Shaftesbury appears to have marked him initially ‘vile’, or perhaps ‘neutral’, because he did not support the contention that the long recess had automatically entailed a dissolution. On 15 Feb. he described himself as ‘one who believes this as good a Parliament as when we first sat’, though he was ‘not very fond of it neither’. He helped to consider another petition from Howard, and cited medical opinion to show that the mad duke of Norfolk could be brought home from Italy without danger. He seconded Sir Harbottle Grimston in demanding that discussion of supply and grievances should ‘go hand in hand, every other day’. He manifested his distrust of the Admiralty, and urged the House to proceed with caution over supply. He voted for a land tax for a year to be the freer to demand the withdrawal of the additional excise, lest it become a perpetuity and ‘there shall be no occasion for your meeting when there is none for money’. He spoke out strongly on the danger of French power, and was one of those charged with drafting an address and managing a conference on the subject. When the King’s answer proved unsatisfactory, Garway reluctantly proposed a further address, promising assistance in a war, but not to the extent ‘of lives and fortunes’, and was on the committee to draft it. He appears to have redeemed himself in Shaftesbury’s eyes, and his rating was by stages adjusted to ‘doubly worthy’.15

Garway entered freely into the heated debates on foreign policy in 1678, and helped to draw up the address for reducing France to her frontiers of 1659. Totally reversing his notorious proposal of March 1673, he now urged Members to vote only half the million pounds demanded by the Government to finance a war. After repeatedly reproaching the ministers for keeping the House in ignorance of the true nature of the alliances, he was appointed to the committee to summarize them. He was also among those ordered to bring in bills to reform the bankruptcy laws and to secure the Protestant religion. By 30 May, ‘seeing there are no hopes of war, which I would willingly have gone on with’, he was urging the immediate disbandment of all forces raised in the preceding eight months. Complaining that he personally was ‘taxed to the utmost’, he declared the further demand in the King’s speech of 18 June to exceed the ability of the country. ‘This looks to me of a strange nature’, he concluded ominously, ‘as if the House of Commons were never to come here more; I know not how to comply with it.’ His last recorded attendance in the Cavalier Parliament was three days later, when he acted as teller against the return of the court candidate at Westbury, and he was apparently absent for the whole of the stormy final session after the Popish Plot.16

The Howard interest which Garway had cultivated was swept away by the Popish Plot; but he was returned for Arundel, two miles from his home, to the Exclusion Parliaments without known opposition, and marked ‘worthy’ on Shaftesbury’s list. Again an active Member, he was appointed to 15 committees and made 50 speeches in 1679. He advised the House to insist on their choice of Seymour for Speaker. ‘I would not give the King offence’, he said, ‘but [I would] not part with one hair of our right. If you will not stand to it here, you will have a great many things put upon you.’ Although he described Danby as his former friend, he helped to draft the summons to him to give himself up and objected to his pardon. He took part in drawing up the address which characterized it as illegal and in managing a conference on the subject. He was also appointed to the committee for the attainder bill and until it should pass the Lords would not even consider supply, complaining that they had reduced the penalty to mere banishment. He was anxious to complete disbandment, and helped to draw up reasons for a conference. While unprepared to lay the blame for the Popish Plot entirely at the Duke of York’s door, he had no doubt that his religion had been a great cause of it. On 14 May he laid down further conditions for supply in a resolution

that this House will not enter upon consideration to charge the subjects till effectual security be taken to preserve the King’s Protestant subjects, the priests executed, and the lords in the Tower tried.

On 20 May he joined in the attack on Pepys, asserting that ‘we have a land plot, this is a sea plot’. But he was absent from the vote on the exclusion bill, and in the last week of the session returned to the attack on Danby’s pardon, being among those ordered to prepare the answer on methods of proceedings over impeachments. During the examination of (Sir) Stephen Fox he had admitted that he was ‘conversant’ with the method of secret service payments, and after the dissolution he was given 300 guineas by the French ambassador, presumably for his vigour in supporting the disbandment of the army and the impeachment of the lord treasurer.17

When the second Exclusion Parliament met, Garway declared that petitioning was ‘the undoubted right of the subject’, though he had himself been neither Petitioner nor Abhorrer. He was appointed to the inquiries into the conduct of Sir Robert Peyton and into abhorring, though determined that a hearing should not be denied to individual offenders. He also took part in drafting the addresses asking for a full pardon for informers and representing the dangerous state of the kingdom, and in managing conferences on the Irish plot and the method of trying Lord Stafford. He came out firmly against exclusion on 2 Nov. 1680.

I hope the prudence of this House may find out some expedient to secure the nation, more likely to be brought to perfection, than this of the exclusion bill. ... For my part, I am more afraid of an army without a general than a general without an army; and therefore I think that if instead of ordering a committee to bring in a bill for disinheriting the Duke, you bring in a bill for banishing all the Papists out of the nation, and other bills for having of frequent Parliaments, and to secure good judges and justices, that so the laws you have already, as well as what more you may make, may be duly executed, it may do as well, and may be more likely to have success.

In the debate on the second reading he exploited the divisions in the country party over the succession by demanding that the bill should contain

some general expression that no Protestant heir be excluded [from] the succession. If we will not do something of that nature, it looks like setting up a commonwealth.

He opposed the attack on Lord Halifax and unsuccessfully moved the recommittal of the address for his removal. After commenting on the King’s speech of 15 Dec. that he ‘would have a real, and not a verbal satisfaction’ for property and the security of the Protestant religion, he helped to draft the reply. He strongly supported the introduction of a bill to banish Papists, but warned the House to ‘take heed you do not forget Protestants’. He urged unity with dissenters, ‘for that disjunction has made you weak’. He again asserted the necessity of disbandment, declaring that ‘as long as we have standing forces in the kingdom, I fear they will cut all our throats’. He had again been an active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, with 12 committees and 25 speeches. But as one of the leading ‘men of expedients’ in the Oxford Parliament, he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges, and spoke only in the debate on the disappearance of the bill to repeal the Elizabethan statute against Protestant dissenters. This was ‘such a breach of the constitution of Parliament’, he considered ‘that it is in vain to pass any bill if this be not searched into’. But his zeal for Protestant unity was not sufficient, in the eyes of the Sussex dissenters, to outweigh his dislike of exclusion, and they did not adopt him as one of their candidates in 1682.18

Garway’s interest at Arundel, however, was unshaken, and there is no evidence of a contest in 1685. He was only moderately active in James II’s Parliament, with three committees. When the Government broke with precedent by moving for supply on the first day of the session, he told the House that it was customary to follow the King’s speech by reading a bill. He was named to the committee of elections and was among those ordered to inspect the accounts of the disbandment commissioners and to bring in the bill for the general naturalization of foreign Protestants. On 22 June, however, he was given leave to go into the country for his health, and there is no evidence that he returned to Westminster after the recess. He was listed among the Opposition as ‘considerable for parts’ but ‘not to be trusted’. Nevertheless he was approved, doubtless on Howard’s recommendation, as deputy lieutenant and j.p. in May 1688, and the royal agents reported that his seat was safe. At the Revolution he attended the meeting of Members of Charles II’s Parliaments, helped to draft the address to William of Orange for a general election, and expressed his willingness to sign the Association.19

Re-elected to the Convention, though relegated to the junior seat, Garway resumed an active rôle, being named to 55 committees and making 95 recorded speeches. When the House first met he opened the debate on William’s letter. ‘All England is sensible of the great deliverance we have had from Popery and slavery’, he said, and moved to desire the Prince ‘to take the administration of the Government upon him’. He was appointed to the committee to draft an address accordingly, and on 29 Jan. 1689 initiated another address for stopping ships from sailing to France. It is clear that he supported the transfer of the crown to William, but on the necessity of constitutional guarantees he was forthright:

We have had such violations of our liberties in the last reigns that the Prince of Orange cannot take it ill if we make conditions to secure ourselves for the future, and in it we shall but do justice to those who sent us hither.

He was among those who prepared the declaration of rights and managed the conference on James II’s ‘abdication’ and the ‘vacancy’ of the throne. In a debate on supply on 11 Mar. he urged the House to distinguish between a standing revenue and a tax imposed for a limited period. He was appointed to the committees for suspending habeas corpus, the first mutiny bill, and the bill of rights. He repeated his arguments against the sacramental test, especially its effects on the navy, and wished to modify the coronation oath:

I would have the church doors made wider. ... In order to that I move that the King ... swear to maintain the Protestant religion as it is, or shall be, established by law.

But attempts to provide for parliamentary alterations in the Establishment were unacceptable to the House, though he was appointed to the committee to bring in a comprehension bill. He helped to draw up the addresses thanking the King for his promise to maintain the Church and undertaking to support a war with France. He helped to prepare reasons for imposing the new oaths on the clergy and rejecting the Lords’ claim to name commissioners for the poll-tax. He was among those ordered to take care of the militia bill, which was designed to set up a counterweight to the professional army, but it failed at the prorogation. When indemnity was debated on 14 May, he followed the Whig line that ‘things’ should be considered rather than ‘persons’, for punishment. He would not dabble in blood, ‘but from pecuniary penalties I would not exempt them’. He enlarged upon this two days later, saying that he ‘would not destroy families, but leave them a livelihood and no more’. After serving on the inquiry into the delay in the relief of Londonderry, however, he came to the conclusion that the main cause of miscarriages was that ‘we are not quicker with our money to supply the present emergencies of the Government’, and he proposed, unsuccessfully, that the House should give supply priority over indemnity, though he was on the committee for the bill. He sought to resolve differences between the Houses by declaring that a bill to reverse the conviction of Oates would suffice. On 1 July, two days after receiving leave to go into the country he was appointed to the committee to ask permission to inspect the Privy Council records about Ireland, and he was certainly at Westminster on the eve of the recess when he reversed his attitude over supply and told Richard Hampden that the House had already given enough for one year.20

When Parliament reconvened in the autumn Garway was highly critical of the conduct of the war. He was appointed to the inquiry into war expenditure and described the account of forces in being, submitted by Lord Ranelagh (Richard Jones), as the worst he had ever seen in his life. He now recognized the need for further supply, not exceeding £2,000,000, because ‘he would not be cozened’, and the House accepted his proposal that two-thirds of the grant should be raised by a land tax. He considered that ‘some exemplary thing’ should be done to George Churchill for requiring money for convoying merchantmen, and, after joining vigorously in the attack on Commissary Shales, he helped to draw up the address inquiring who had recommended this disastrous appointment. But when the King replied by asking the Commons to nominate suitable replacements, Garway with the majority evaded responsibility, recommending only that no Members should be named since there were already too many placemen in the House. He was appointed to the committee on the state of the revenue and listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. On 20 Jan. 1690 he attacked (Sir) Robert Sawyer for his part in the condemnation of Sir Thomas Armstrong, and he was named to the committee for imposing a general oath of allegiance. In his last recorded speech, he reiterated his opinion on the indemnity bill: ‘Find out things; else you will never find out persons, or come at them as long as you live’.21

Garway was defeated by the dissenter James Butler at the general election of 1690 and retired from political life, though remaining ‘very healthful and stout in his body’ and ‘very inquisitive after more knowledge’ into and beyond his eightieth year. A local clergyman described him in 1697 as ‘careful to purchase all books of worth as they come from the press, and very curious and attentive in reading and marking them’. It is all the more striking that his recorded speeches, which he invariably delivered extemporarily, are totally free from pedantry and literary allusion, though Morrice’s informants accused him of ‘constantly clogging all great matters in the Convention’. Throughout his parliamentary career his interest lay almost exclusively in affairs of state. He was named to only 30 committees on private bills, all in the Cavalier Parliament. Except during the supply debate in 1673, and perhaps for the opening months of the Convention, he was consistently in opposition, demanding redress before supply, the abolition of the standing army, and relief for Protestant nonconformists. His tolerance even extended so far as to permit the public exercise of Roman Catholic worship. He cannot be absolved from the charge of venality, despite the apparent simplicity of his lifestyle; and as a moderate in the exclusion crisis he incurred the hostility of his former associates, and his policy of comprehension was distasteful to many dissenters. He died on 4 Aug. 1701 and was buried at Ford, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament. Subject to the life interest of his nephew Sir William Norris, he bequeathed his whole estate to Christ’s Hospital.22

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: B. M. Crook / Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. Guildhall RO, St. Peter le Poer par. reg.; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 52; PC2/45/47.
  • 2. Clarendon, Rebellion, iii. 399.
  • 3. Vis. Suss. 52; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 935; iv. 869.
  • 4. C181/7/58.
  • 5. DNB; V. Pearl, London in the Puritan Revolution, 290-301; Letter Bks. of Sir Samuel Luke (Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. xliii), 404-5; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1481; Grey, ii. 393; W. Turner, Compleat Hist. of Most Remarkable Providences (1697), ch. 71, p. 90.
  • 6. CJ, viii. 511; Add. 32094, f. 26.
  • 7. Clarendon, Life, iii. 132-3; CJ, viii. 630, 644, 659, 661, 669, 670, 675, 683; Pepys Diary, 3, 6 Oct. 1666, 5 June, 25 July 1667; Milward, 38, 56, 83.
  • 8. Pepys Diary, 17 Nov. 1667; Clarendon Impeachment, 51; CJ, ix. 21; Carte; Ormond, iv. 325; Eg. 2539, f. 260; Browning, Danby, i. 64.
  • 9. Grey, i. 159, 176, 188, 189, 195, 230; Marvell ed. Margoliouth, ii. 300.
  • 10. Grey, i. 274, 315, 319; Dering, 3, 21.
  • 11. Dering, 47, 49, 76-77; CJ, ix. 189, 191, 200.
  • 12. Marvell ed. Margoliouth, i. 185; North, Examen, 456; HMC 13th Rep. VI, 6; Poems on Affairs of State, i. 181; Burnet, ii. 15-16; Dering, 112, 126, 139; Grey, ii. 32, 38, 44, 47, 86, 137; CJ, ix. 264, 275, 279.
  • 13. Essex Pprs. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xlviii), 131; Dering, 152, 154, 156; Grey, ii. 185, 196, 205, 241, 257, 282, 327, 338, 359, 392, 404, 407, 420; PRO 31/3, bdle. 129, ff. 40, 62; CJ, ix. 300, 302, 304, 305.
  • 14. Dering Pprs. 59, 65, 67, 82, 85; Eg. 3345, f. 23; Grey, iii. 8, 17, 42-43, 81, 112, 324, 327, 362; iv. 9, 12, 39; CJ, ix. 339, 344.
  • 15. Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. ix), 67; Dering Pprs. 114; HMC Lindsey, 45; Grey, iv. 69, 112, 120-1, 176, 190, 218, 228, 313; CJ, ix. 385, 398.
  • 16. CJ, ix. 428, 472; Grey, v. 37, 76, 78, 100, 106, 167-8, 187; vi. 29, 38, 96.
  • 17. Grey, vi. 407; vii. 45, 67, 85, 92, 149-50, 185, 274, 305, 319; Dalrymple, Mems. i. 382.
  • 18. Grey, vii. 370, 388, 394, 398, 428; viii. 50, 160-1, 192, 301; Exact Coll. Debates, 26-27, 150; CJ, ix. 648, 667; HMC 12th Rep. IX, 99; HMC Ormonde, n.s. vi. 5; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 473.
  • 19. R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 1, p. 462; 2, pp. 395, 398, 409; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 199; CJ, x. 6.
  • 20. Grey, ix. 3, 25, 30, 150, 191, 249, 280, 293; CJ, x. 9, 20, 112, 192; Morrice, 2, p. 507; A. Boyer, Hist. Wm. III, ii. 121.
  • 21. Grey, ix. 389-90, 403, 434, 451, 453, 467, 536, 542; CJ, x. 296.
  • 22. Grey, ii. 392; iii. 110; Morrice 2, p. 517; Turner, ch. 48, p. 29; Dalloway, W. Suss. ii. pt. 1, p. 48; PCC 126 Dyer.