JONES, Samuel (c.1610-73), of Petersham, Surr. and Courteenhall, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. c.1610 2nd s. of Isaac Jones, Merchant Taylor, of Austin Friars, London and Petersham by Elizabeth, da. of Richard Prince of Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Salop. educ. Shrewsbury 1622. m. (1) by 1647, Margaret, da. of Timothy Middleton of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, s.p.; (2) lic. 1 June 1669, Mary, da. of Peter Tryon of Bulwick, Northants., s.p. suc. fa. in Shrewsbury property 1652; kntd. 2 Sept. 1660; suc. bro. Sir William Jones of Berwick, Salop 1663.2
Col. of ft. (parliamentary) 1643-5.3
Commr. for defence, Surr. 1643, assessment, Surr. 1644, 1657, Westminster 1652, Salop and Denb. Aug. 1660-1, Northants. Aug. 1660-9, Oxon. 1665-9; j.p. Surr. 1644-52, Northants. 1662-d.; sheriff, Northants. 1652-3, Salop 1663-4, Oxon. 1669-70; commr. for militia, Salop 1659, Salop and Northants. Mar. 1660; col. of militia ft. Northants. 1661-?d.; sec. and auditor to council in the marches of Wales 1663-d.4
Gent. of privy chamber 1667-d.5
Jones’s grandfather, of Denbighshire origin, became a wealthy Shrewsbury merchant, serving four terms as bailiff of the borough. His father moved to London and acquired considerable property in his native county and in Surrey. He was ordered into custody during the Civil War for failure to pay his assessment to the committee for the advance of money, but Jones himself commanded a regiment under the Presbyterian Earl of Manchester. His services were not required by the New Model Army, but he held local office under the Commonwealth. To the property in Shrewsbury and Surrey that he inherited under his father’s will, he added Courteenhall and other purchases, bringing his total income up to £3,000 p.a.6
Jones became the first of his family to enter Parliament when he was returned for Shrewsbury in 1656. He regained his seat at the general election of 1660, probably owing chiefly to the interest of his cousin Thomas Jones I with the Presbyterian corporation, and he was classed as a friend by Lord Wharton. Nevertheless he had already begun to work his passage with the offer of a loan to the exiled Court, and in the Convention he was to reveal himself as an ultra-Royalist. A moderately active Member, he made 18 recorded speeches, and acted as teller in four divisions. He was named to 29 committees, including those for the land purchases bill and the bill of indemity, to both of which his attitude was anything but cordial. On 24 May he was one of five Members sent into the City to raise £2,000 ‘for the present service of his Majesty’, but ‘finding difficulty therein’, as John Frederick reported, they agreed to advance the whole amount themselves, for which they received the thanks of the House.7
After the Restoration Jones was among those commissioned to administer the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to his fellow-Members. He played a prominent and generally harsh part in the debates on the indemnity bill. On 8 June he was among those ordered to establish the names of those who had sat in judgment on Charles I before the day of the verdict, and he acted as teller against limiting the number of those to be excepted from the bill. On individual cases, he was against putting the question on William Sydenham and Bulstrode Whitelocke†, against pardoning the clerical agitator Hugh Peter, against reading a petition from Oliver St. John, and against extending the period of grace for the regicides to give themselves up. He was entrusted with reporting the debts charged on the Exchequer on 20 June. For settling religion he first proposed a committee of the whole House, and then, three days later, a synod of divines. On 4 July he ‘urged very strongly’ that Protectorate officials should be compelled to refund their salaries. He moved against the purchasers of crown lands and the property of cathedral chapters, ‘but to consider the soldiers under General [George] Monck’. On 26 July he was ordered to draft an address for negotiations with the Dutch over the discriminatory taxes imposed on imported cloth. On the following day he was named to the committee for the navigation bill, and urged the House to proceed with supply. With regard to ecclesiastical livings, he proposed that the intruded ministers should be given till Michaelmas to quit, and should divide the profits with the incumbents. He was appointed to the committees to consider the bill for settling ministers, and also to estimate the revenue necessary to ‘maintain the splendour and grandeur of the kingly office’. But his speeches were becoming less acceptable to the House. Robert Shapcote, falsely accused by him of sitting in a high court of justice, contemptuously ‘desired that, if Colonel Jones were not careful of other men’s credit, he would be of his own’. A strong supporter of the Lords’ amendments to the indemnity bill, Jones demanded extravagantly: ‘What will the world say to [hear us] speak for the King’s murderers?’ Called to order by another Devonian, Sir John Northcote, he was obliged to explain that ‘he did not reflect upon any person’. On 23 Aug. he reported a Shropshire estate bill, and on 4 Sept. he carried his draft address on Dutch taxation, as amended on the floor of the House, to the Lords. Two days later he returned, to remind them of a number of bills awaiting completion, including the bill for settling ministers and the navigation bill, and he helped to manage the conference of 11 Sept. on disbanding the army.8
For his loyalty Jones had already been rewarded with a knighthood before the House rose for the autumn recess. In the second session he was added to the committee to bring in a militia bill ‘that they might know, he said, how to govern and be governed’. He proposed on 19 Nov. that the crown should be compensated for the loss of feudal revenues with a grant of excise, and a week later he was teller for a bill to empower the corporation of London to levy a rate for the militia. But a proposal from Heneage Finch to include him among those to be rewarded for their services and sufferings only ‘set the House into laughing’. He provided further light relief during the debate on the bill to encourage the fisheries, in which a clause had been inserted to make Wednesday a meatless day.
Sir Samuel Jones offered a proviso to it that all travellers on the road might have liberty to have flesh dressed at their inns. ... Sir William Doyley jestingly said that it was fit Sir Samuel Jones and his family only should be excepted out of the bill for this motion. The bill passed without the proviso.9
Jones’s concern to maintain the standards of hospitality at the English roadside inn was natural in view of his widespread estates, which must have required constant travelling. But his interest was not commensurate, and he was unable to find a seat in the Cavalier Parliament. Though he inherited further property in Shropshire in 1663 as well as an office in the court in the marches, in Northamptonshire he seems to have been even less able to command respect than at Westminster. He died on 3 Jan. 1673, aged 63, and was buried at Courteenhall. Under his will he endowed almshouses on his Shropshire estate and a school at Courteenhall, besides leaving £500 to be used for interest-free loans to young tradesmen in Shrewsbury. Jones was the last of this branch of the family, although he stipulated that his heirs should assume the name. His widow married Charles Bertie.10