STAFFORD, William (1627-65), of Blatherwick, Northants.

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



1661 - 9 Oct. 1665

Family and Education

b. Apr. 1627, 3rd s. of William Stafford (d.1637) of Blatherwick by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Walter Treadway of Beckley, Oxon. m. by 1648, Margaret, da. of Sir John Corbet, 1st Bt., of Stoke, Salop, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. bro. 1644.2

Offices Held

J.p. Northants. July 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d., capt. of militia 1661; freeman, Stamford 1661; commr. for assessment, Northants. 1661-d., Lincs. 1661-3, 1664-d., (Kesteven) 1663-4, loyal and indigent officers, Northants. 1662, enclosures, Deeping fen 1665.3


Stafford’s ancestry can be traced back to Domesday Book in Staffordshire, and he was directly descended from Sir Walter Stafford, who represented that county six times between 1290 and 1318. His own branch of the family had held Blatherwick, eight miles from Stamford, since early in the 15th century, and resided there since 1486; but none of them had sat for a local constituency. The family was not involved in the first Civil War, but Stafford joined the Earl of Holland’s forlorn royalist rising in 1648. His involvement, he declared, was unpremeditated, but he was obliged to compound for £4,350 on an estate valued at £1,300 p.a. At the Restoration he was recommended for the Order of the Royal Oak, with an income now estimated at £3,000 p.a., and as a militia officer he was active in repressing fifth monarchists.4

At the general election of 1661 Stafford was returned for Stamford after a contest, probably on the Cecil interest. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to eighteen committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in the first four sessions. In the opening weeks he was named also to the committees for confirming public Arts, considering the security and corporations bills, and restoring bishops to the House of Lords. On 19 July he acted as teller to an unsuccessful proviso to the bill of pains and penalties, probably tendered on behalf of his neighbour, the grandfather of James Griffin. But on 25 May 1663 he was given leave to take the waters at Spa, and probably never returned to Westminster. A new writ was ordered on 9 Oct. 1665. He was the last of the family to sit in Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Paula Watson / Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. New writ.
  • 2. SP23/207/117, 126; The Gen. n.s. xxxi. 176-7; Nichols, Leics. iv. 820.
  • 3. Merc. Pub. 14 Feb. 1661; Reliquary, xvii. 202.
  • 4. Bridges, Northants. ii. 276; SP23/207/112-22.
  • 5. CJ, viii. 306, 492.