WYAT, Edwin (c.1629-1714), of Maidstone, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. c.1629, 5th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Francis Wyat (d.1644) of Boxley Abbey, nr. Maidstone by Margaret, da. of Sir Samuel Sandys† of Ombersley, Worcs. educ. Eton 1643-7; King’s Camb. 1647; I. Temple 1648, called 1658. m. lic. 15 Feb. 1665, Frances (bur. 26 Oct. 1727), da. and coh. of Thomas Crispe of Quex, Birchington, Kent, 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. bro. 1655.1
Commr. for assessment, Kent 1667-80; standing counsel, Maidstone 1675, recorder and freeman 1682-Jan. 1688, Mar.-Oct. 1688; bencher, I. Temple 1675, reader 1681; j.p. Kent 1682-9; dep. recorder, Canterbury 1684-Oct. 1688; second justice, S. Wales circuit 1687-8, c.j. Feb. 1688-9.2
Wyat’s ancestors, of Yorkshire origin, had been seated in the Maidstone area since 1492. The first of the family to enter Parliament was Sir Thomas Wyat, the poet, who represented the county in 1542. Wyat’s father, twice governor of Virginia, returned to England in 1643 but took no part in the Civil War; but his eldest brother may have been a parliamentarian sympathizer, since he was nominated to the county assessment commission by the Rump. Wyat himself became a lawyer, and used his professional skill to recover from his niece, Lady Selyard, the bulk of the Boxley estate, apart from the Abbey itself. As counsel to the Maidstone corporation he played a large part in the surrender of the charter in 1682 and was nominated recorder. In the following year he became a serjeant-at-law.3
Wyat seems to have been returned to James II’s Parliament at a by-election for Maidstone. But as the writ was not authorized till 9 Nov. 1685 he may have taken his seat before the prorogation eleven days later. A staunch Tory, it was rumoured that he would replace Thomas Street on the autumn circuit in 1686, and in the following year he was made a Welsh judge. He was briefly removed with the rest of the Tory corporation in January 1688, but he gave affirmative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was restored. In September Sunderland recommended him as court candidate, but he lost his interest on the reinstatement of the old charter. A non-juror after the Revolution, he set up a family memorial in the chancel of Boxley church in 1702, listing his former offices, including ‘burgess in Parliament for the corporation of Maidstone’. He died on 7 Dec. 1714, aged 85, and was buried at Boxley, the last of the family to sit in Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Berry, Kent Genealogies, 295; Reg. Roff. 789; J. Cave-Browne, Hist. Boxley Parish, 173, 184-5.
- 2. Recs. of Maidstone ed. Martin, 157, 161, 164, 167; Reg. Roff. 789; W. R. Williams, Gt. Sessions in Wales, 178.
- 3. Hasted, Kent, iv. 335, 337, 450; Cave-Browne, 147, 151; Recs. of Maidstone, 159.
- 4. Luttrell, i. 383; Recs. of Maidstone, 164; PC2/72; CSP Dom. 1687-9, pp. 156, 274; Reg. Roff. 789; Berry, 295.