TOLSON, Richard (c.1622-89), of Bridekirk, Cumb. and Wath-upon-Dearne, Yorks.

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



31 Mar. 1646

Family and Education

b. c.1622, o.s. of Henry Tolson of Bridekirk by Margaret, da. and h. of Henry Savile of Wath. educ. Oriel, Oxf. matric. 17 Oct. 1639, aged 17; L. Inn 1641, called 1656; G. Inn 1646. m. c.1650, Anne, da. of Gilbert Gregory of Barnby-upon-Don, Yorks., 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. 1663.2

Offices Held

Commr. for exclusion from sacrament 1646, scandalous offences 1648.

J.p. Yorks (W. Riding) 1652-61, Cumb. Mar. 1660-June 1688, Oct. 1688-d.; commr. for assessment, Cumb. Aug. 1660-79, militia, Cumb. and Westmld. Mar. 1660; steward, Ennerdale manor Aug. 1660-?72; sheriff, Cumb. 1666-7, commr. for recusants 1675.3


Tolson’s ancestor acquired the manor of Bridekirk, formerly held by Gisburne priory, at the Reformation. Tolson’s grandfather served as a j.p. until his death in 1650, and his father was a commissioner for the northern association and held local office throughout the Interregnum. Tolson himself became a lawyer, though he made slow progress in his profession. Probably a Presbyterian, he represented Cumberland as a recruiter until Pride’s Purge, though accused of royalist sympathies, and returned with the secluded Members.4

Tolson was returned for Cockermouth, two miles from his father’s home, at the top of the poll in the general election of 1660. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was named to only three committees, all in the first fortnight. They were the committee of elections and privileges, and those to consider the Declaration of Breda and the assessment ordinance. Pr