WORSLEY, Sir Henry, 2nd Bt. (1613-66), of Appuldurcombe, Godshill, I.o.W.

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

Constituency

Dates

Apr. 1640
1661 - 11 Sept. 1666

Family and Education

b. 31 May 1613, 1st s. of Sir Richard Worsley, 1st Bt., of Appuldurcombe by Frances, da. of Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear, Berks. m. 4 June 1632 (with £4,000), Bridget, da. of Sir Henry Wallop of Farleigh Wallop, Hants, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 27 June 1621.2

Offices Held

J.p. Hants 1642-d.; commr. for assessment, Hants 1643-52, Jan. 1660-d., I.o.W. 1645-50, Aug. 1660-1, 1663-4; dep. lt. I.o.W. 1643; commr. for sequestration, Hants 1643, accounts I.o.W. 1643, levying money, Hants and I.o.W. 1643, execution of ordinances 1644, safety 1645, sheriff 1657-8; commr. fair militia, I.o.W. 1659, oyer and terminer, Western circuit July 1660.3

Biography

Worsley’s ancestors originated in Lancashire, which one of them represented in the Parliament of 1386. His branch of the family settled at Appuldurcombe in 1527, acquired the freehold at the dissolution of the monasteries, and established a strong interest in the Isle of Wight boroughs. Worsley supported the Parliamentarians in the Civil War, although he was not conspicuously active. He abstained from sitting after Pride’s Purge, but held local office until his death. Returned to the Convention for Newtown, he was listed by Lord Wharton as a friend, and he may have acted with the Presbyterian Opposition. In the first session he was appointed to no committees and was granted leave to go into the country on 16 June 1660. In the second session he was nominated to committees for two bills, one to prevent profane swearing and the other to supply defects in the poll bill. He also made one speech on 19 Dec., when he maintained that the House had no power to tax people to give money to Jane Lane and others who had helped the King after the battle of Worcester, but only to provide funds for the King. He suggested that ‘every member should give her 40s. out of their own purses’.

Worsley again represented Newtown in the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was moderately active. He was appointed to 39 committees, including those for the security bill, the execution of those under attainder, regulating the press, restoring the temporal jurisdiction of the clergy, and the better observance of the Sabbath, and he was among the Members ordered to report on the shortfall in public revenue. On 14 Apr. 1663 he was instructed to bring in a bill against profanity. The bill was given a first reading when Parliament re-assembled a fortnight later, and Worsley’s was the first name on the committee. But there was considerable debate on the report stage on 16 July, and the bill was recommitted and lost on the prorogation. He was among those ordered to bring in a similar bill in the next session; but he was now chiefly concerned with Lady Wandesford’s attempt to reassert crown rights over lands recovered from the sea, which threatened his claim to Brading Harbour. He was given leave to bring in a bill himself on 30 Mar. 1664, and two days later acted as teller against Lady Wandesford’s bill. Though his name stood first in the list of the committee for his own bill, it was never reported; but he was on the committee for a similar bill in the following session, which passed, and when Lady Wandesford’s bill was revived a proviso saving Worsley’s rights was inserted on the third reading. During the second Dutch war he advanced £1,000, secured on the additional aid. He died on 11 Sept. 1666.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Paula Watson

Notes

  • 1. Abstained after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. C142/389/126; V. J. Watney, Wallop Fam. i, p. xlviii.
  • 3. Royalist’s Notebk. ed. Bamford, 110.
  • 4. Keeler, Long Parl. 399-400; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 59, CJ, viii. 472, 473, 545, 571, 605; VCH Hants, v. 157, 171; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 700.

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