PACKER, Robert (1614-82), of Shellingford, Berks.

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



c. Sept. 1646

Family and Education

bap. 12 Sept. 1614, 1st s. of John Packer, clerk of the privy seal, of Westminster and Shellingford by Philippa, da. of Francis Mylles, clerk of the privy seal, of Bitterne, Hants. educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1633; travelled abroad (France and Holland) 1638-40. m. by 1657, Temperance (d.1705), da. of Edward Stephens of Little Sodbury, Glos., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1649.2

Offices Held

Commr. for execution of ordinances, Berks. 1644, assessment, Berks., Mdx. and Westminster 1644-8, Berks. 1650, 1657, Aug. 1660-80, new model ordinance, Mdx. 1645, militia, Berks. 1648, Mar. 1660, j.p. 1653-d.; commr. for oyer and terminer, Oxford circuit July 1660, recusants, Berks. 1675.


Packer’s grandfather and father were both in the service of the crown. His father became secretary to the first Duke of Buckingham, bought the manor of Shellingford in 1620, and sat for West Looe in the Parliament of 1628. Nevertheless his Presbyterian views made him a supporter of Parliament in the Civil War. Packer himself, a young man ‘of a very civil behaviour’, was first returned for Wallingford as a recruiter, but secluded at Pride’s Purge. He held local office during the Protectorate, but did not sit again till 1660.3

In the Convention Packer was an inactive Member, being named only to the committee of elections and privileges, but he was probably in sympathy with the Presbyterian Opposition. Reelected in 1661 by the still unpurged corporation, he was listed as a friend by Lord Wharton, to be managed by his father-in-law. Again inactive, he made no recorded speeches in the Cavalier Parliament and was appointed to only 27 committees. He took the chair for a naturalization bill in 1666, and apparently struck out the names of the High Church divine, Isaac Basire and the crypto-Catholic soldier Sir William Throckmorton, though they were restored on the third reading. His income about this time was estimated at £1,500 p.a. In 1676 Sir Richard Wiseman declared: ‘I can give little aim in reference to the gaining of him at present’, and Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly worthy’. He is not known to have stood at the Exclusion elections. He died on 25 Feb. 1682 and was buried at Shellingford. His grandson represented Berkshire as a Tory from 1712 to 1731.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Secluded at Pride’s Purge, 13 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 254; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, vi. 140, 251.
  • 3. HMC 10th Rep. VI, 174; VCH Berks. iv. 476; G. E. Aylmer, King’s Servants, 358; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, vi. 133; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 159.
  • 4. CJ, viii. 663; Salisbury Cathedral Lib., Bp. Seth Ward, Liber Notitiae, f. 53; Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1680-99, p. 30.