AYSCOUGH, Sir Edward (1650-99), of South Kelsey, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1685 - 1687
1689 - 20 Oct. 1699

Family and Education

bap. 19 Nov. 1650, 1st s. of Sir Edward Ayscough† of South Kelsey by Isabel, da. of Sir John Bolles, 1st Bt., of Scampton, Lincs.  educ. Melton, Lincs.; Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1667; Padua 1671; G. Inn 1671.  m. (1) Bridget (d. 1684), da. of Edward Skinner of Thornton College, Lincs., 1s. d.v.p. 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 1 Aug. 1685, Mary (d. 1715), da. and h. of William Harbord*, 1s. 7da. (3 d.v.p.)  suc. fa. 1668; kntd. 17 Jan. 1672.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Lincs. 1683–4; high steward, Gt. Grimsby 1686–Oct. 1688.2

Commr. prizes 1689–June 1699, drowned lands 1690.3


Although a very late convert to the ranks of Revolution supporters, after 1689 Ayscough adapted to the role of Court placeman. His family’s tenure of the lordship of Stallingborough had secured his ancestors’ electoral success at nearby Grimsby since 1529, and in 1690 he gained his third successive victory there. At the outset of the new Parliament he was classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Whig, but was not a prominent Member. In the spring of 1691 Robert Harley* marked him as a Court supporter. He was nominated to two drafting committees on 31 Oct. 1691, for bills to secure the rights of corporations, and to regulate parliamentary elections, he being doubtless familiar with corruption in his own notoriously venal constituency. In the fifth session he was granted a leave of absence on 11 Jan. 1694, but on 12 Jan. 1695 a motion was tabled that he should be placed into custody of the serjeant-at-arms for non-attendance. It was defeated, and instead the Speaker was ordered to write to him to require his presence. In 1693–5 his name appeared on several lists of placemen (as a commissioner of prizes) and Samuel Grascome classed him as a Court supporter.4

Ayscough gained an unopposed victory at Grimsby in 1695, and remained loyal to the Court. He was classed as a probable government support