TYRELL, Sir John (1597-1676), of Heron, East Horndon, Essex.

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



1661 - Mar. 1676

Family and Education

b. 14 Dec. 1597, 1st s. of Thomas Tyrell of Ramseys, Buttsbury by Margaret, da. of John Filioll of Old Hall, Rayne. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1617, BA 1620; I. Temple 1619. m. (1) 14 Dec. 1624 (with £3,000), Elizabeth (d. Feb. 1630), da. of George Evelyn of West Dean, Wilts., 1da.; (2) June 1630, Martha (d. 17 Dec. 1679), da. of Sir Lawrence Washington of Garsdon, Wilts., 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da. Kntd. 27 Jan. 1628; suc. uncle at Heron 1647.1

Offices Held

J.p. Essex 1628-41, July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment 1661-74, recusants 1675.2


Tyrell claimed descent from Walter Tirel, an Essex landowner in Domesday Book and the reputed slayer of William Rufus. The surname occurs in Buttsbury as early as the reign of Henry III, and the family frequently represented the county from 1355 to 1495, providing the Speaker in the Parliaments of 1427, 1431 and 1437; but recent generations had been less distinguished. From his father Tyrell inherited a small estate of £430 p.a., and he was on bad terms with his uncle, the head of the family. Consequently when it seemed in 1643 that his second wife might inherit the Garsdon estate, through the serious illness of her father and brother, he obtained a pass from Parliament to Wiltshire, and thence proceeded to Oxford, where the elder Washington had been summoned by the King. But, as Tyrell wrote to the committee for compounding, he never bore arms at all, or even kissed the King’s hand. ‘He was ever affectionate to the Parliament, and disliked the counsels and courses at Oxford.’ He seems to have been equally hostile to Popery and puritanism. He changed sides early in 1644, but was reported to have ‘shown much disaffection to Parliament’, and had to compound for £800. He was again sequestrated in 1648, and imprisoned at Yarmouth after Penruddock’s rising in 1655. His estate was valued for decimation at £650 p.a., and he claimed to have ‘lost more than he had left (which was no small matter) for his loyalty and love for his Majesty’.3

Tyrell signed the declaration of the Essex Cavaliers in 1660, and was returned for Maldon in the following year. He was aged 63, and the first of his family to enter Parliament for over a century. He was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, being named to only nineteen committees, of which the most important were for regulating the excise and settling the Duke of York’s revenue in 1663. In October 1667, he was among those appointed to consider the private bill promoted by his colleague Sir Richard Wiseman, and he was last mentioned in the Journals when he was added to the committee of elections and privileges in the following month. Nevertheless he was noted on the working lists in 1675 as under the influence of the father of Banastre Maynard. He was buried at East Horndon on 5 Apr. 1676, ‘aged 82’. His eldest son, who had been created a baronet in 1666, had predeceased him, and no later member of the family sat in Parliament until 1830.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Gillian Hampson


  • 1. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiv), 717-18; CSP Dom. 1637, p. 521; PCC 199 Fines, 56 Bence.
  • 2. Morant, Essex, i. 209; HMC 10th Rep. IV. 502-7.
  • 3. Morant, i. 208-9; ii. 8, 50, 242; CSP Dom. 1637-8, p. 370; 1655, p. 387; Cal. Comm. Comp. 94, 885; SP23/223/815-21; Thurloe, iv. 436.
  • 4. Essex Arch. Soc. Trans. v. 149; PCC 56 Bence; F. Chancellor, Ancient Sepulchral Mons. of Essex, 167.