CHAFIN, Bampfield (1592-1644), of Folke, Dorset

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



22 Apr. 1628

Family and Education

b. 13 Nov. 1592,1 o.s. of Thomas Chafin of Chettle, Dorset and Jane, da. of Hugh Bampfield of North Cadbury, Som.2 educ. M. Temple 1610.3 m. by 1618, Mary (bur. 27 Apr. 1660), da. and coh. of Thomas Lisle of Briddlesford, I.o.W., 8s. (5 d.v.p.) 5da. (2 d.v.p.).4 suc. fa. 1593.5 bur. 8 July 1644.6 sig. Bampfeild Chafin.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Dorset 1624-5;7 treas. E. Dorset 1626-7;8 j.p. Dorset 1638-c.1640, 1642-?d.;9 commr. sewers 1638, piracy 1639,10 assessment 1640-1,11 array 1642.12


Chafin was apparently related to the Wiltshire family that produced three Members for Salisbury in early Tudor times.13 His father, Thomas, emerged as a Dorset landowner during Elizabeth’s reign, acquiring the manor of Chettle in 1576 and half the manor of Folke a few years later. A relatively wealthy man, Thomas also owned the Somerset manor of Knowle, which (along with £3,000 in goods and money) he assigned as his wife’s jointure estate when he married (Sir) William Bampfield’s* sister in 1590.14 When Chafin inherited as a minor three years later, John Boden* assessed the purchase value of his wardship at £1,000, but it was sold to Sir William Brooke† for only £100. Sir George Trenchard†, a leading Dorset gentleman who married Chafin’s widowed mother, also tried to acquire the wardship, and no doubt took a close interest in his stepson’s upbringing.15 Chafin grew up ‘a personable, well-carriaged man of a good estate’, who ‘wanted neither understanding nor value for himself’. After attaining his majority he constructed a new house at Folke.16

As sheriff of Dorset, Chafin presided over the county’s parliamentary elections in 1625. He was reportedly also ‘the first sheriff that kept an ordinary’, offering cheap board to all visitors during his term of office.17 In 1628 he himself stood for election at Bridport, presumably relying on the Trenchard interest, but was rejected by the corporation. However, the borough’s return was declared void by the Commons, and Chafin won the subsequent election, which was held on 22 Apr. under a broader franchise. Having finally achieved membership of this Parliament, he left no further trace on its records.18

‘An enemy to the puritan party’, Chafin sided with the king at the outbreak of the Civil War. Besieged by parliamentarian forces at Folke, he found refuge at Exeter, where he died in July 1644, being buried in the cathedral. No will or administration grant has been found.19 His grandson Thomas sat in six later Stuart Parliaments, representing Poole, Dorchester and Hindon.20

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. C142/235/99.
  • 2. Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 565.
  • 3. M. Temple Admiss.
  • 4. Hutchins, iii. 565; iv. 185; Oglander Mems. ed. W.H. Long, 80; Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. cxvii), 13.
  • 5. C142/235/99.
  • 6. Reg. Exeter Cathedral ed. W.U. Reynell-Upham and H.T. Soper (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1910), p. 67.
  • 7. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 39.
  • 8. Dorset Q.S. 1625-38 ed. T. Hearing and S. Bridges (Dorset Rec. Soc. xiv), 22.
  • 9. C231/5, pp. 279, 530; C66/2859.
  • 10. C181/5, ff. 113v, 153.
  • 11. SR, v. 61, 83, 150.
  • 12. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 13. HP Commons, 1509-58, i. 607-9.
  • 14. Hutchins, iii. 565; iv. 174; C142/235/99; PROB 6/4, ff. 121, 138v.
  • 15. HMC Hatfield, iv. 297-8, 420; WARD 9/221, f. 279; Hutchins, iii. 565.
  • 16. W.D. Christie, Life of Shaftesbury, i. app. 1, p. xviii; T. Gerard, Survey of Dorset, 122.
  • 17. Dorset RO, D53.
  • 18. CD 1628, ii. 397, 428-9; OR.
  • 19. Christie, i. app. 1, p. xviii; Hutchins, iii. 565; Reg. Exeter Cathedral, 67.
  • 20. HP Commons, 1660-90, ii. 42.