OTTLEY, Sir Richard (1626-70), of Pitchford Hall, Salop.

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

Constituency

Dates

1661 - 10 Aug. 1670

Family and Education

b. 5 Aug. 1626, 1st s. of Sir Francis Ottley of Pitchford by Lucy, da. of Thomas Edwards of The College, Shrewsbury, wid. of Thomas Pope of Shrewsbury. educ. Shrewsbury 1638; G. Inn 1647. m. c. Jan. 1649, Lady Lettice Ridgeway, da. of Robert, 2nd Earl of Londonderry [I], 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 1649; kntd. 21 June 1660.1

Offices Held

Capt. (royalist) 1642-5.

J.p. Salop. Mar. 1660-d., dep. lt. July 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-9, capt. of militia horse Oct. 1660-d., jt. receiver of hearth-tax 1662-7, commr. for oyer and terminer 1662, corporations 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, jt. farmer of excise 1663-d.2

Gent. of privy chamber June 1660-d.3

Biography

Ottley was descended from Thomas Ottley, merchant of the staple and alderman of Shrewsbury, who purchased Pitchford in 1473. A member of the family had represented Bridgnorth under Elizabeth. In the first Civil War, Ottley’s father was made a commissioner of array by Charles I, and distinguished himself in the royalist cause as governor of Shrewsbury 1643-4. Ottley served under his father in the Shrewsbury garrison, and surrendered with him in February 1645. Father and son compounded together under the Bridgnorth articles on a fine of £1,860, reduced to £1,200 in consideration of a £4,000 debt. In March 1650 after his father’s death, Ottley took the oath to the Commonwealth, obtained passes from the Shropshire and Staffordshire county committees in order to settle his financial affairs, and discharged the estate on payment of £169 to the committee for the advance of money.4

In March 1660 Ottley was sent a commission from Charles II in Brussels to raise militia forces in Shropshire. He went to greet the King on his arrival in England, reporting to his mother on 29 May:

I praise God we are safe come to town, and his Majesty with his two brothers, the Duke of York and the Duke of Gloucester, are now at Whitehall. I met them at Canterbury, and had the happiness to be one of the life guard since Friday last, wherein my content overbalanced the pains I underwent.

Returned for the county in 1661, he was very active in the Cavalier Parliament, with 230 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in ten sessions. In the first session he was named to the committee for the bill of uniformity. Ottley was rewarded for his Civil War services by the receivership of the county hearth-tax, together with Richard Scriven, the son of one of his Cavalier comrades-in-arms, and in 1663 their tender of £2,800 p.a. for the Shropshire excise farm was accepted. He was appointed to the committee for regulating the sale of offices and honours, and on 22 June he acted as teller against excusing from office those who refused the sacramental test. In the following year he was named to the committees for the conventicles bill and an additional corporations bill. In July 1667 the Shropshire hearth-tax commission was revoked, and Ottley and Scriven were ordered to pay in £700 arrears. Their efforts to collect them caused ‘great riots and tumults there, in so much that many or most of the goods distrained for said arrears to a considerable value were forcibly taken away, together with the said books and papers relating to the said arrears’ On the fall of Clarendon he was appointed to the inquiries into the sale of Dunkirk and the loyal and indigent officers fund. In 1669 Sir Thomas Osborne classed him among the Members who usually voted for supply. He was granted the benefit of any prize-money concealed during the Interregnum that he could discover, and, jointly with Scriven, all treasure trove found since the Restoration and part of a Cheshire outlaw’s estate. Shortly before his death his hearth-tax arrears were remitted in view of his ‘services and loyalty’ He died on 10 Aug. 1670 and was buried at Pitchford, the last of the family to enter Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690