MARSDEN, Henry (c.1625-88), of Gisburn, Yorks, and Wennington Hall, Melling, Lancs.

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



30 Nov. 1680

Family and Education

b. c.1625, ?s. of John Marsden, schoolmaster, of Clitheroe, Lancs. educ. Staple Inn; G. Inn 1655. m. by 1654, Jennet (d.1689), da. of Adam Mort of Preston, Lancs., 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Preston 1662, 1682; j.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1667-d., Lancs. 1676-d., Glos. and Carm. 1680-d.; commr, for assessment, (W. Riding) 1673-80, Lancs. 1677-9, out-bailiff, Clitheroe 1675, 1679-80; maj. of militia ft. (W. Riding) 1679-87, dep. lt. 1680-d.2


Marsden bore a name well-known in 17th-century Clitheroe. John Marsden was usher of the grammar school till his death in 1627 and Robert Marsden officiated as curate from about 1640 to 1671, while Thomas Marsden, vicar of Walton-on-the-Hill from 1665 to 1720, was born in the borough. Marsden himself became an attorney. He married the daughter of the royalist mayor of Preston who was killed in action when the town was taken by the parliamentary forces in 1643, and took up residence at Gisburn in Craven during the Commonwealth. Ambrose Pudsay owned considerable property in the parish, and soon became heavily indebted to Marsden. The whole estate was mortgaged for £2,500, which was only redeemed by a marriage between Pudsay’s heir and Marsden’s daughter. Marsden also acquired property in Clitheroe, and in 1674 he bought the Wennington estate in Lonsdale.3

As a West Riding j.p. Marsden reported the meagre results of a search for arms in the houses of Roman Catholics during the Popish Plot. It was probably as a court supporter that he was returned for Clitheroe to the second Exclusion Parliament at a by-election, but he was immediately entrusted with selecting Lancashire Papists for deportation. He was re-elected in 1681, but was appointed to no committees and made no speeches in either Parliament. He was among those candidates ‘propounded’ at Clitheroe in 1685, but he is unlikely to have stood for re-election against the powerful interests of the Duke of Albemarle (Christopher Monck) and the Earl of Derby. He died on 4 Jan. 1688, aged 62, and was buried at Gisburn. He left an estate of £1,200 p.a., but no other member of the family entered Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxv), 212; Gisburn Par. Reg. (Yorks. Par. Reg. Soc. cxiv), 78-102, 285-315.
  • 2. Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 149, 191; HMC Var. ii. 402; Lancs. RO, QSC 79-86; W. S. Weeks, Clitheroe in 17th Cent. 237-8; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxix. 285; CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 456.
  • 3. Weeks, 169; Pudsay Deeds (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. Ser. lvi), 62-63, 286; VCH Lancs. viii. 208.
  • 4. Stowe 746, f. 4; HMC Lords, i. 225; HMC Kenyon, 178; Nonconformist Reg. ed. Turner, 72.