ARUNDELL, Hon. John (1649-98), of Trerice, Newlyn, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



2 Oct. 1666

Family and Education

bap. 1 Sept. 1649, o. surv. s. of Richard Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Trerice, and half-bro. of Sir Nicholas Slanning. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1667. m. (1) lic. 10 May 1675, Margaret (d. 26 Mar. 1691), da. of Sir John Acland, 3rd Bt., of Columbjohn, Devon, and h. to her bro. Sir Arthur Acland, 4th Bt., 1s. 1da.; (2) 14 Feb. 1693, Barbara, da. of Sir Thomas Slingsby, 2nd Bt., of Scriven, Yorks., wid. of Sir Richard Mauleverer, 4th Bt., of Allerton Mauleverer, Yorks., 1s. suc. fa. as 2nd Baron 7 Sept. 1687.

Offices Held

Ensign, Pendennis Castle 1666-81, capt.-lt. and dep. gov. 1681-7, gov. 1689-d.; capt. Earl of Bath’s Regt. (later 10 Ft.) 1686-Apr. 1688.1

Commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1667-80, recusants 1675, lt.-col. of militia ft. by 1679; j.p. Cornw. 1680-?d., Mdx. 1687-?d.; alderman, Tregony and Truro 1685-7; freeman, Bodmin, Liskeard, Mitchell and Penryn 1685-Sept. 1688.2

Master of the horse to Queen Catherine of Braganza 1687-94.


When Arundell was returned for Truro at the by-election caused by the death of his uncle, Nicholas Arundell, he was described as ‘of great loyalty and integrity, and a person whom envy itself cannot blemish in the least’, though only 17 years of age. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he defaulted on calls of the House in 1667 and 1671, though he was included in both lists of the court party among those to be engaged by the Duke of York. In pursuit of an heiress, he forced a duel on the Hon. Thomas Wharton by a public insult. He twice wounded his rival, ‘after which he closeth with him and with his Cornish dexterity throws him flat on his back, takes away his sword and breaks it’, and then gave him his life and his mistress, whose charms were not equal to her fortune. He was teller for the motion to debate the King’s speech on 12 Jan. 1674. His name was entered on the working lists, but in 1676 Sir Richard Wiseman remarked: ‘he voted ill last session’. Nevertheless Shaftesbury classed him as ‘thrice vile’. He was again a teller on 10 Apr. 1677, this time against a corn bounty clause in the excise bill, but his only committee was on the bill to enable the King to lease out duchy of Cornwall estates. Though he again defaulted in the closing days of the Parliament, he was on both lists of the court party in 1678, and as one of the ‘unanimous club’ is unlikely to have stood for the Exclusion Parliaments.3

Arundell was nominated to the Truro corporation in the new charter of 1685 and returned to James II’s Parliament. He was again inactive, being appointed only to the committee of elections and privileges and that on the bill for rebuilding St. Paul’s. After succeeding to the peerage he laid down his commission and was removed from municipal life. He supported the regency in the House of Lords in 1689, and refused to sign the Association in 1696. He was buried at St. James, Piccadilly, on 23 June 1698. His younger son Richard sat for Knaresborough as a government supporter from 1720 to 1758.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 194.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 61; 1685, pp. 72, 74, 80; J. Wallis, Bodmin Reg. 169; Cornw. RO, AD107/22; PC2/72/735.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1666-7, pp. 175, 182; Letters of Rachel, Lady Russell, i. 9-10; Add. 28052, f. 23.
  • 4. PC2/72/735; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 194.