GRAHME, Ranald (c.1605-85), of Petty France, Westminster and Nunnington, Wath, Yorks.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1605, 3rd s. of Fergus Grahme alias Plumpe of Plomp, Kirkandrews Nether, Cumb. by Sybil, da. of William Bell of Blackyett House, Kirtlebridge, Dumfries. m. Susanna, da. of Sir William Washington of Packington, Leics., s.p.1

Offices Held

Member, Merchant Taylors’ Co. 1629; commr. for assessment, Westminster Aug. 1660-80, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1661-80, Herefs. 1661-3, 1664-74, sewers, Westminster Aug. 1660, loyal and indigent officers, London and Westminster 1662, highways and sewers 1662; j.p. Yorks. (N. Riding) 1662-d.2

Servant of Charles I; commr. for Duke of Richmond’s estate 1662.3


Grahme, a younger brother of the first baronet, was apprenticed to a London merchant in 1622, and became a woollen draper in Watling Street. He was listed as one of the wealthiest inhabitants of Cordwainer ward in 1640, the year in which he purchased the manor of Lewisham. Though a servant of Charles I, he seems to have avoided involvement in the Civil War. He fined for alderman in 1651, and in the following year was excused from serving as master of his company. He bought Nunnington for £9,500 in 1655, and his income was estimated at £1,000 p.a. As early as 1657 he was trying to persuade Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax, to declare for the King.4

Grahme married the sister of Col. Henry Washington, the royalist governor of Worcester, whose widow married Samuel Sandys I. Together with his nephew George Legge and Sir John Pakington, 2nd Bt., Grahme acted as trustee for Washington’s four daughters. He owed his election at Leominster in 1661 to the Buckingham interest. He was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, being appointed to only 47 committees, none of which was of the first importance. He joined the other Herefordshire Members in petitioning for a post in the excise for Fitzwilliam Coningsby, his defeated opponent in 1661, but he was so little known in the county that in 1670 a by-election campaign got well under way in the belief that he was dead. About this time he was noted by Sir Thomas Osborne as one of those to be engaged for the Court by Buckingham. His name appeared on the Paston list and on the working lists, but his support, doubly useful owing to his ‘command’ over his heir presumptive, Sir Richard Grahme, was considered doubtful; he was ‘to be fixed’ either through George Legge or Osborne himself, now Lord Treasurer Danby. But presumably he remained loyal to Buckingham in opposition, for in 1676 Sir Richard Wiseman wrote:

Mr Ranald Grahme went very ill, contrary to expectations, and I hear he does not repent of it. If I had got but half so much money as he hath done, and many others, by the crown, I would not have done as he and they do, many of them.

About this time he and his fellow-trustees had a grant of Ashdown forest, which they sold for £1,700 to Sir Thomas Williams on behalf of the Washington family. In 1677, Shaftesbury, temporarily estranged from Buckingham owing to the latter’s desertion of him in the Tower, noted Grahme as ‘doubly vile’. Grahme’s name is absent from the Journals in 1678, except when he obtained leave to go out of the House after Oates’s examination on 28 Nov. He probably did not stand again, though he survived into the reign of James II, his name appearing on the commission of the peace for the North Riding. But he died soon after, his will being proved on 2 Dec. 1685. He had already made over Lewisham to Legge, but Nunnington went to Sir Richard Grahme, and there were extensive family and charitable bequests, totalling over £2,300.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Edward Rowlands


  • 1. Nicolson and Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. ii. 467.
  • 2. Merchant Taylors Co. Ct. Bk. 12 Oct. 1629; C181/7/38; N. Riding Recs. vi. 97, 156; Tudor and Stuart Proclamations ed. Steele, i. 405.
  • 3. Add. 21947, f. 7.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 454; H. F. Waters, Gen. Gleanings in Eng., 558; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser 2), ii. 88; L. L. Duncan, Hist. Lewisham, 53; VCH Yorks. N. Riding, i. 546; Thurloe, vi. 706.
  • 5. Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 329-30; BL Loan 29/79, Thomas Harley to Sir Edward Harley, 5 Dec. 1670; CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 261; K. H. D. Haley, Shaftesbury, 431; PCC 150 Cann.