SERLE, Samuel (1620-83), of Hale, Honiton, Devon.

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



Family and Education

bap. July 1620, 1st s. of Hugh Serle, yeoman, of Hale. m. Mary, 10s. 2da. suc. fa. 1662.1

Offices Held

Capt. of militia ft. Devon 1650, major Apr. 1660, commr. for assessment 1657, 1679-80, militia Mar. 1660.2


Serle’s family were numerous in east Devon in the first half of the 17th century. Most of them are described as yeoman, merchants or innholders, and Serle himself was apprenticed to a London Merchant Taylor in 1638. George Searle, MP for Taunton in the Long Parliament, who died at Honiton in 1658, was a kinsman.3

According to Prince, Serle enjoyed great authority in the neighbourhood of Honiton during the Interregnum, ‘yet he never abused his trust, either to avarice (he never getting, as he told me, but one piece of plate of small value which he had presented him for some service in Parliament), nor to oppression, for he did many kindnesses to the King’s party, for which he had their thanks after the Restoration’. He was re-elected for the borough in 1660, but left no trace on the records of the Convention. If he voted it was doubtless with the Opposition. In 1672 his house was licensed for Baptist worship. Nevertheless his eldest son became a clergyman, apparently with his approval. He stood again in 1679, but was defeated by the high churchman Sir Thomas Putt. He was buried at Honiton on 2 Feb. 1683. At his death he owned several small parcels of land and houses in the borough, as well as corn and stock. No later member of of the family entered Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Trans. Devon Assoc. lxvi. 261.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1650, p. 207; 1659-60, p. 16; Parl. Intell. 16 Apr. 1660.
  • 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 336; Merchant Taylors apprentice bk. 1635-9, p. 185.
  • 4. Plymouth City Lib. mss. J. Prince, Devon Worthies; CSP Dom. 1671-2, p. 437; J. Carswell, Old Cause, 54; PCC 62 Drax.