MONSON, Henry (1653-1718), of Burton Hall, Lincs.
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Family and Education
bap. 17 Sept. 1653, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John Monson. m. 4 Mar. 1675, Elizabeth, (d. 20 May 1725), da. of Charles Cheyne of Chesham Bois, Bucks., 1st Visct. Newhaven [S], s.p. suc. gdfa. as 3rd Bt. 29 Dec. 1683.1
J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1675-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-94, Herts. 1675-Feb. 1688, commr. for assessment Herts. 1677-80, Lincs. 1679-80, 1689-90; freeman, Lincoln 1675; dep. lt. Lincs. by 1680-87, capt. of militia ft. by 1680.2
Monson was elected for Lincoln when he was just of age at the by-election caused by his father’s death. He was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, being appointed to only eight committees, including those considering habeas corpus reform and the prevention of illegal exactions in his first session. He probably received the government whip in the autumn; but in 1676 Sir Richard Wiseman wrote that his father-in-law ‘must take care of this gentleman, and that most particularly, for he is very uncertain unless one be at his elbow’. On the working lists he was among those ‘to be remembered’, but Shaftesbury classed him as ‘worthy’ in 1677, and he was on neither list of the court party in the following year. On 27 Mar. 1678 he acted as teller against adjourning the debate on the growth of Popery.3
Monson was re-elected in 1679 as a country candidate, the Duke of Newcastle (Henry Cavendish) commenting in disgust: ‘my nephew Monson was afraid to see the servant I sent to him, though the election at Lincoln was over’. Shaftesbury again marked him ‘worthy’, but he was not active in the first Exclusion Parliament. He was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges and to two others of no political consequence, for a naturalization bill and an estate bill. He voted for exclusion, and was probably re-elected without a contest after Sir Thomas Hussey had been persuaded to desist. He took no known part in the second Exclusion Parliament, and may have come to oppose exclusion, for he was replaced by Hussey in 1681.4
Monson succeeded to an estate of £3,000 p.a. in 1683, and regained his seat as a Tory in 1685. His only committee in James II’s Parliament was on the bill for the new parish of St. James Piccadilly. Danby listed him among the Opposition, both in Parliament and in the country, where he was considerable both for interest and estates. To the lord lieutenant’s questions he replied that he consented to the repeal of some of the Penal Laws, but not of the Test Act, and that he would vote for ‘loyal and honest gentlemen’. He was removed from county office, but the King’s electoral agents reported that both Churchmen and dissenters in Lincoln were resolved to choose him again. He was duly reelected to the Convention, but he never attended the House, and was discharged as a non-juror. His brother William, subsequently the 4th baronet, first entered Parliament in 1695 as Whig Member for Lincoln, but Monson himself retired into private life. He died on 6 Apr. 1718 and was buried at South Carlton.5