GODOLPHIN, Francis (1605-67), of Godolphin, Breage, Cornw.

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 - 22 Jan. 1644
8 Aug. 1660

Family and Education

b. 25 Dec. 1605, 1st s. of Sir William Godolphin of Godolphin by Thomasine, da. and h. Thomas Sidney of Wrighton, Norf.; bro. of Sidney Godolphin. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1624. m. bef. 1635, Dorothy, da. of Sir Henry Berkeley of Yarlington, Som., 6s. 7da. suc. fa. 1613; KB 23 Apr. 1661.1

Offices Held

Stannator, Penwith and Kerrier 1636, 1663; sheriff, Cornw. 1637-8, commr. of array 1642, j.p. July 1660-?d.; commr. for oyer and terminer, Western circuit July 1660, assessment, Cornw. Aug. 1660-d., dep. lt. 1662-d.; receiver Devon and Cornw. by 1663-d.2

Gov. Scilly Is. 1640-6, June 1660-d.3


Godolphin was descended from John Knava, who assumed the name of Godolphin from his estate in the reign of Henry VII. The family first represented the county in 1539, and from 1570 leased the isles of Scilly from the crown. During the Civil War Godolphin held them for the King, until he escaped to France with the Prince of Wales in 1646. After the surrender of the islands he received a free pardon, but his estates in Norfolk and Cornwall were still under sequestration in 1648, presumably because he had not taken the Covenant. Though less notable for literature than his brother, he was a friend of Hobbes, who dedicated Leviathan to him, and corresponded with the future Archbishop Sancroft.4

Godolphin was ineligible at the general election of 1660; but when the Helston election was declared void after the Restoration he stood at the by-election for the borough, four miles from his home. Though he owned property in the town, he was involved in a double return with Sir Peter Killigrew, and seated on the merits of the return. In the Convention he was appointed only to the committee on the bill to prevent cursing and swearing. His income at this time was estimated at £1,000 p.a. He did not stand again, and his duties as custodian of such important state prisoners as Sir Henry Vane and John Wildman I were mostly performed by deputy. He died suddenly on 22 Mar. 1667, ‘much lamented’ as ‘a person of great integrity’.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. F. G. Marsh, Godolphin Fam. 7-8.
  • 2. Add. 6713, f. 167; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 474.
  • 3. HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, vi. 241; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 231; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 71.
  • 4. Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. i. 133; Keeler, Long Parl. 187-8; M. Coate, Cornw. in Gt. Civil War, 32, 214; CJ, v. 41-42; Cal. Comm. Comp. 115, 117; Boase and Courtney, Bibl. Cornub. i. 177.
  • 5. CJ, viii. 115, 177; Sir Tresham Lever, Godolphin, 7-8; Western Antiq. vii. 39; CSP Dom. 1661-2, pp. 169, 460; 1666-7, p. 584; 1667, p. 17; Add. 28052, f. 4.