BALDWYN, Charles (c.1652-1707), of Elsich, Diddlebury, Salop.

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




Family and Education

b. c.1652, 4th but o. surv. s. of Sir Samuel Baldwyn of Stokesay Castle by Elizabeth, da. of Richard Walcot, merchant, of London. educ. Shrewsbury 1662; Queen’s, Oxf. matric. 13 Dec. 1667, aged 15; I. Temple 1665, called 1674. m. lic. 11 May 1679, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Nicholas Acton of Bockleton, Worcs., 4s. 1da. suc. fa. 1683.1

Offices Held

Commr. for recusants, Salop 1675, assessment, Worcs. 1679-80, 1689, Herefs. and Salop 1689-90; freeman, Ludlow 1679, common councilman 1681-5, 1690-1701, alderman 1701-d., recorder 1704-d.; freeman, Much Wenlock 1680; j.p. Herefs. Mar. 1688-d., Salop 1689-d., Worcs. by 1701-d.; sheriff, Herefs. 1690-1; chancellor, Hereford dioc. 1694-d.; dep. lt. Herefs. 1696-d.2


Baldwyn came from a family settled at Diddlebury by the 14th century. His grandfather, who represented Ludlow in the Short and Long Parliaments, was a Royalist, and compounded under the Ludlow articles on a fine of £586. His father, a distinguished lawyer, leased Stokesay Castle from Lord Craven and held it for the King during the first Civil War; he sat for Ludlow in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, but was defeated by Timothy Littleton in 1661.3

Baldwyn stood unsuccessfully for Ludlow against his cousin Thomas Walcot at the second general election of 1679, with the support of ‘supposed fanatics and nonconformists’. He petitioned without result, but after gaining admission to the corporation he defeated Walcot in 1681. He took no known part in the Oxford Parliament, though he presumably supported exclusion. As ‘a gentleman of quality and good estate’, he expected an honorary doctorate of civil law when the Duke of York visited Oxford University in 1683, but no recommendation was forthcoming and a letter from the Duke of Ormonde, as chancellor, seems to have had no effect. He was not reappointed to Ludlow corporation under the new charter, and probably did not stand in 1685. Apparently a Whig collaborator, he became a Herefordshire j.p. in March 1688.4

Baldwyn lost municipal office in December when the new corporation of Ludlow was dissolved, and he was rejected as recorder of Leominster in favour of Edward Harley. Nevertheless he regained his seat in the Convention and became an increasingly active Member, despite repeated absences on leave. He was appointed to 40 committees and twice acted as teller. On 23 May 1689 he reported a private bill, probably the local estate bill which he carried to the Lords four days later. On 1 July he opposed the exception of Dr Sprat, bishop of Rochester, from the bill of indemnity, saying Sprat ‘deserted the ecclesiastical commission wholly when they proceeded against Magdalen College, and wrote a book against it’. The same month he was appointed to the committees on the bills to reverse judgments against Titus Oates and Sir William Williams. After the recess he was a member of the committees to inquire into the miscarriages of the war, to examine the expenses of the war, and to reverse the attainder of Sir Thomas Armstrong. He was absent on leave from the division on the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations; but on 21 Jan. 1690 he was appointed to the committee to enforce a general oath of allegiance, and he acted as teller against debating the tithe recovery bill.5

Baldwyn sat in the 1695 Parliament and signed the Association in 1696. He died on 4 Jan. 1707, aged 55, and was buried at Bockleton. His son, Acton Baldwyn, represented Ludlow as a moderate Tory under Anne and George I.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 43; (ser. 4), vi. 64; Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxvi), 302.
  • 2. Charters and Grants to Ludlow, 205; CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 229; Salop RO, Ludlow minute bks., Forester mss (Wenlock corp. bk.).
  • 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 30-31; Keeler, Long Parl. 94-95; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1227.
  • 4. Staffs. RO, D1788/46/6; HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 630.
  • 5. HMC Portland, iii. 421; Grey, ix. 384; CJ, x. 345.
  • 6. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 344.