STONE, John (c.1627-1704), of Brightwell Baldwin, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1627, 1st s. of Sir Richard Stone of Great Stukeley, Hunts. by Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Bennet, Mercer, of Cheapside, London. educ. Oundle; Christ’s, Camb. adm. 2 Aug. 1643, aged 16. m. (1) 1652, Catherine (d. 28 July 1688), da. of Sir John Carleton, 1st Bt.†, of Brightwell Baldwin, and coh. to her bro. Sir George, 9s. (at least 5 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) 1681, Frances, da. of Sir Henry Gibbs of Honington, Warws., wid. of William Glanville of Broad Hinton, Wilts., s.p. suc. fa. 1660.1
J.p. Oxon. July 1660-Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-96, Berks. 1685-July 1688, 1689-96, Oxon. 1700-d.; commr. for assessment, Hunts. 1661-74, Oxon. 1663-80, Berks. and Hunts. 1679-80, Oxen. and Westminster 1689-90, loyal and indigent officers, Oxon. 1662, dep. lt. 1668-Feb. 1688, 1689-?96, 1702-d., commr. for recusants 1675; freeman, Wallingford 1679, Oxford 1684-June 1688.2
Stone was the grandson of a lawyer of Bedfordshire descent who purchased the manor of Great Stukeley in 1618. His father, as sheriff of Huntingdonshire, tried to convey the college plate from Cambridge to the King in 1642, but was thwarted by Cromwell. His estate was estimated at £1,100 p.a. but it was encumbered with portions totalling £7,000, and in 1645 he was allowed to compound for £500.3
Stone, who was a kinsman of Sir John Bennet through his mother, acquired Brightwell Baldwin, six miles from Wallingford, by marriage. He was returned for the borough at the first election of 1679, and marked ‘base’ on Shaftesbury’s list. An inactive Member of the first Exclusion Parliament, he made no speeches and was appointed to only three committees, those to bring in and to consider a bill for security against Popery and to inquire into the shipping of artillery to Portsmouth. He voted against the committal of the first exclusion bill, and was defeated in August by William Lenthall. His petition was never reported by the elections committee of the second Exclusion Parliament, and he seems not to have stood in 1681. As a Tory, he regained his seat in 1685, though some of the inhabitants petitioned against the election. He was again inactive in James II’s Parliament, in which he was appointed only to the committee of elections and privileges and to that for the relief of London widows and orphans. To the lord questions in 1688, Stone replied:
In case he were chosen a Parliament man, though he might at present perhaps be willing to have the Penal Laws and Tests abrogated upon safe compensation and cautions, yet since his mind may alter upon a free debate, therefore he does not make a previous promise ... He shall contribute (as far as he can undertake for others) to the election of such Members as are loyal and well affected, to cause a mutual confidence between his Majesty and his subjects ... He shall endeavour to support liberty of conscience with our civil liberties, and since we are commanded to have peace with all men (especially with those calf the household of faith), yet it was ever his nature to live friendly with any that have dissented from his own way of worship.
These moderate and placatory answers did not suffice to avert his dismissal. He presumably accepted the Revolution, holding local office in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, but he did not stand again, perhaps because of financial embarrassment. He secured a private Act in 1702 to enable him to settle his affairs, and died on 10 Oct. 1704. He was buried at Brightwell Baldwin, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.d at Great Bedwyn.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. xvii), 265; Par. Colls. (Oxon. Rec. Soc. ii), 53, 56; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 125; Bodl. Oxon. Wills 150/2/25; W.U.S. Glanville-Richards, Glanville Recs. 126.
- 2. Berks. RO, Wallingford borough statute bk. 1648 1766, f. 108; Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 163; PC2/72/677-8.
- 3. VCH Hunts. ii. 232; VCH Oxon. viii. 24; Cal. Comm. Comp. 881.
- 4. CJ, ix. 644, 716; Bodl. Oxon. wills. 150/2/25; LJ, xvii. 96, 118; Par. Colls. 56.