WYNNE, John (1689-1718), of Melai, Denb.

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



1713 - 1715

Family and Education

b. 6 Feb. 1689, o. s. of William Wynne of Melai by Margaret, da. and h. of Hugh Lloyd Rossendale of Denbigh.  educ. Jesus, Oxf. 1704.  m. 7 Apr. 1713, Sydney (d. 1751), da. of Sir William Williams, 2nd Bt.*, sis. of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Bt.†, Richard† and Robert Williams†, 1s. d.v.p., 2da. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. 1693.1

Offices Held

Common councilman, Denbigh 1707–d., mayor 1712, alderman 1715–16, 1717–18; sheriff, Denb. 1711–12.2


Wynne’s ancestors had resided at Melai since the late 14th century, though the first to enter Parliament had been his grandfather John, returned as knight of the shire at a by-election in 1664. The family’s political tradition was one of Cavalier loyalism, and of co-operation with the dominant Tory interest in Denbighshire – the Myddeltons of Chirk Castle. While an adolescent, John Wynne, whose great-aunt had married into a junior branch of the Myddeltons, was on friendly terms with Sir Richard Myddelton, 3rd Bt.* In 1710, at the first general election after coming of age, Wynne applied to Myddelton for his interest at Denbigh Boroughs, ‘if there was some design of changing the burgess’. He was, however, passed over by Myddelton in favour of John Roberts*, and at the following general election Wynne betrayed the Myddelton faction. To his own interest Wynne added that of his father-in-law Sir William Williams and Sir Thomas Cotton, with whom he had come to an underhand arrangement, and in September 1713 he secured his return at Roberts’ expense. Little is known of Wynne’s activity in Parliament. Defeated by the Myddelton candidate in 1715, Wynne continued a guerrilla campaign in alliance with Cotton in corporation elections for two more years, until a legal judgment decided the struggle in favour of Chirk Castle. He died on 29 May 1718. ‘A person of good natural parts, and exceedingly courteous, just and hospitable’, ran the inscription on his funerary monument, ‘he served his country faithfully, both at home and in Parliament.’ His surviving daughter married a near namesake, John Wynn (later Sir John, 2nd Bt.) of Glynnllivon, Caernarvonshire, whose service in the Commons, as a Whig placeman from 1740 to 1768, included a spell as Member for Denbigh Boroughs.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. J. E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 376; J. Williams, Recs. Denbigh, 75–76, 144–5; N. and Q. ser. 4, v. 284.
  • 2. Arch. Camb. ser. 3, xv. 108; Trans. Denb. Hist. Soc. v. 74.
  • 3. Chirk Castle Accts. 1666–1753 ed. Myddelton, 368; Griffiths, 285; NLW, Chirk Castle mss E6126, Wynne to [Myddelton], 12 Sept. 1710; NLW Jnl. 107–8; Williams, 75–76.