OWFIELD (OLDFIELD), Samuel (1595-1643), of the Middle Temple, London and Upper Gatton, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. May 1595,1 1st s. of Roger Owfield, Fishmonger, of Billiter Lane, London and Thomasine, da. and co. of John More†, merchant, of Ipswich, Suff.2 educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1612; M. Temple 1614.3 m. by 1623, Katherine (d.1664), da. and h. of William Smith, Mercer, of Thames Street, London, 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 7da. (2 d.v.p.).4 suc. fa. 1608;5 kntd. 13 May 1641.6 bur. 4 May 1643.7
Commr. sewers, Lincs. 1634-5, 1640,11 subsidy, Lincs. (Lindsey) 1641-2;12 ?j.p. Surr. 1642;13 dep. lt. Lincs. 1643;14 commr. assessment, Lincs. (Lindsey) 1643-d., sequestration 1643, levying money 1643.15
Owfield’s father, who came from the Derbyshire market town of Ashbourne, was a successful merchant, able to bequeath his son lands in Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire, and to provide the eldest of his six sisters with a dowry of £3,000. His numerous charitable bequests included £13 6s. 8d. to the leading puritan divine Walter Travers. Owfield’s aunt left £400 to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, which her nephew briefly attended.16
After Cambridge, Owfield went on to study at the Middle Temple. Although never called to the bar he retained a chamber until 1632. He remained closely connected with the City of London, joining the Artillery Company in 1617 and taking his freedom of the Fishmongers’ by patrimony the following year; he is not known to have taken any part in trade though he invested in the East India Company.17 In April 1622 he contributed £20 towards the Benevolence for the recovery of the Palatinate.18
Owfield acquired the manor of Upper Gatton almost certainly before his return in 1624, when he was described as being ‘of Gatton’; he presumably owed his election to possession of this property.19 He was not appointed to any committees in the last Jacobean Parliament but attended an undated meeting of the committee to consider the bill to abolish the tithes levied on lead mined in Derbyshire, which may have been of interest to his kinsmen in the county.20 He made no recorded speeches.
Owfield was not re-elected for Gatton in 1625, although he signed the indenture returning (Sir) Thomas Crewe and (Sir) Charles Howard.21 He was subsequently returned at Midhurst after Sir Walter Tichborne had chosen to sit for Wootton Bassett. He was named to only one committee, on 8 July, for a private bill concerning the 4th earl of Dorset (Sir Edward Sackville*).22 He was re-elected at Gatton with Howard in 1626, but left no trace on the parliamentary records.
In August 1626 Owfield was arrested for defaulting in the Surrey musters, but established that, ‘having not £100 a year in the county’, he had been over assessed by Howard, who was one of the deputy lieutenants.23 Nevertheless, despite the evident friction between them, both Owfield and Howard were returned together again in 1628, although on this occasion Owfield took the first place. The Catholic lord of the manor, William Copley, returned two alternative Members; however, the dispute was resolved in favour of Owfield and Howard on 26 March.24 During the first session Owfield was appointed to committees to consider abuses of billeting in Surrey (28 Mar.) and petitions against a patent for converting foreign currency (13 June).25 In 1629 he was named only to a committee for a private bill (21 February).26
Owfield added to his holdings in and around Gatton in the 1630s and was elected there to the Short and Long Parliaments.27 Although knighted in 1641, he supported Parliament in the Civil War. His name was included in Charles I’s purge of the parliamentarians on the Surrey bench in July 1642, but this may have been a mistake, as there is no other evidence that Owfield ever served as a justice of the peace. On 2 May 1643 he was among those ordered by the Commons to go to Lincolnshire to bolster the defence of that county. He presumably died in transit and was buried at Hull two days later.28 His widow proved his will, drawn up in December 1636, in February 1645. His eldest son William was elected for Gatton as a recruiter in 1645, and sat for the borough again in 1661.29
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates
- 1. C142/660/30.
- 2. PROB 11/112, f. 403; H.F. Waters, Gen. Gleanings in Eng. 727, 869-70.
- 3. Al. Cant.; M. Temple Admiss.
- 4. Par. Regs. of Gatton ed. W.B. Bannerman, 6; M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 291; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 245.
- 5. C142/660/30.
- 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 208.
- 7. J. Sykes, ‘Reg. of St. Mary’s, Hull’, Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xii. 468.
- 8. Ancient Vellum Bk. ed. G.A. Raikes, 29.
- 9. W.P. Haskett-Smith, Worshipful Co. of Fishmongers of City of London: Lists of Apprs. and Freemen, 32.
- 10. CSP Col. E.I. 1622-4, p. 488.
- 11. C181/4, ff. 170, 201; 181/5, f. 223.
- 12. SR, v. 63, 152.
- 13. C231/5, p. 532.
- 14. CJ, ii. 926a.
- 15. A. and O. i. 92, 114, 149.
- 16. PROB 11/112, f. 403; Waters, 728; Oxford DNB sub Travers, Walter.
- 17. MTR, 787, 797-8.
- 18. SP14/156/14.
- 19. VCH Surr. iii. 199; OR.
- 20. C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 214.
- 21. C219/39/203.
- 22. Procs. 1625, p. 350.
- 23. APC, 1626, pp. 172, 182, 184, 189, 210.
- 24. CD 1628, ii. 119.
- 25. Ibid. ii. 168; iv. 289.
- 26. CJ, i. 932a.
- 27. VCH Surr. iii. 191, 193.
- 28. CJ, iii. 67b.
- 29. PROB 11/192, f. 367.