HONEYWOOD, Sir William, 2nd Bt. (c.1654-1748), of Evington Place, Elmsted and Canterbury, Kent.

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.1654, 1st s. of Sir Edward Honeywood, 1st Bt., of Evington Place by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Maynard of Tooting Graveney, Surr. educ. Jesus, Oxf. matric. 29 Mar. 1672, aged 17. m. lic. 12 July 1675, Anna Christiana, da. of Richard Newman of Tothill Street, Westminster, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. Sept. 1670.1

Offices Held

J.p. Kent 1675-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d.; commr. for assessment, Kent 1677-80, Kent and Canterbury 1689-90, dep. lt. Kent 1679-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-at least 1701; freeman, Canterbury 1684, alderman 1684-7, mayor 1685-6, col. of militia ft. Kent by 1697.2

Commr. for excise appeals 1689-1714.3


Honeywood’s ancestors were established in Kent by the reign of Henry III, and first sat for Hythe in 1393. Honeywood’s grandfather served on the county committee till 1648, but his father is said to have sent £3,000 to Charles II in exile, for which he received a baronetcy at the Restoration, and Honeywood himself entered politics as a court supporter. He still held Scene Farm just outside Hythe, and in 1679 he strove to reactivate the family interest there. However, Sir Edward Dering politely declined to assist, and he was defeated at both elections. He then transferred his attention to Canterbury, extending ‘constant hospitality’ for electoral purposes from his town house. He was nominated alderman in the new charter of 1684, and elected to James II’s Parliament in the following year. An active Member, he was named to 12 committees, of which the most important was to recommend expunctions from the Journals. He was also among those appointed to consider the bill for supplying fresh water to Rochester and Chatham. After the recess he went into opposition on supply.

The rebellion is suppressed. The army is urged to be small, but ’tis so thick officered that but filling up the troops, which is easily at any time to be done, increases their numbers one-third part more. I am for providing for them but one year only.

He was removed from the Canterbury corporation by order-in-council in December 1687 and from county office a few months later, after returning negative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws; but the King’s electoral agents reported that his interest in the city was unshaken.4

During the Revolution Honeywood signed the deputy lieutenant’s letter at Faversham, and his services were rewarded with a seat on the excise appeals board. Re-elected to the Convention, he was moderately active with 35 committees, including those on the bills for restoring corporations and regulating the oaths to be taken by army officers. On 8 July 1689, he was one of the Members ordered to hear charges of embezzlement against his wife’s uncle, William Harbord. In the second session he was appointed to the committees to inquire into the miscarriages of the war, to indemnify those who had acted in the Revolution, and to consider a compulsory oath of allegiance, and he was listed as supporting the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. Honeywood remained a court Whig until he lost his seat in 1698, but he retained his place till the Hanoverian succession. He died on 1 June 1748 at the age of 94, and was buried at Elmsted. His great-grandson, Filmer Honeywood, was elected for Steyning in 1784 and for Kent in 1790.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Wotton, Baronetage, iii (1), 108; Elmsted par. reg.
  • 2. Roll of Freemen ed. Cowper, 319; CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 232; PC2/72/555.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 110; xxix. 193.
  • 4. Hasted, Kent, viii. 36, 204-5; A. M. Everitt, Community of Kent and the Great Rebellion, 144, 147, 244; Stowe 746, f. 7; Lowther diary, f. 43.
  • 5. N. and Q. (ser. 3), vi. 23.