BARNARDISTON, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bt. (c.1646-98), of Kedington, Suff. and Silk Willoughby, Lincs.

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



14 Oct. 1690
25 July - 5 Oct. 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1646, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, 1st Bt., of Kedington by Anne, da. of Sir William Armine, 1st Bt., of Osgodby, Lincs., and coh. to her bro. Sir Michael, 3rd Bt. educ. St. Catherine’s, Camb. 1664; G. Inn 1667. m. lic. 26 July 1670, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Robert King of Boyle Abbey, co. Roscommon, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 4 Oct. 1669.

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Suff. 1673-80, Dunwich 1689, Lincs. and Suff. 1689-90, Essex 1690; freeman and alderman, Dunwich 1680-4; j.p. Lincs. (Holland and Kesteven) 1685-Feb. 1688, (Kesteven) by 1691-?d., Suff. ?1689-d., Essex 1690-d.; recorder, Gt. Grimsby 1686-?Oct. 1688; col. of militia ft. and dep. lt. Suff. 1689-d.; steward, honour of Clare 1689-91.1


Barnardiston’s ancestors had been seated at Kedington since 1347, and one of them represented Lincolnshire in 1358. The family dominated the Suffolk county committee during the Civil War. Barnardiston’s father entered the Long Parliament as a recruiter; secluded in 1648, he became reconciled to the Protectorate, during which he continued to hold local office and sat in the Parliaments of 1654, 1656 and 1659. He supported the Restoration, however, and in 1663 he was created a baronet at the same time as Barnardiston’s uncle, Sir Samuel Barnardiston, when his income was estimated at £2,000 p.a.2

Barnardiston himself enjoyed some protection at Court through his cousin, the widow of Sir Henry Belasyse, whom James II had once wished to marry. He presented a loyal address of congratulation from Lincolnshire on James’s accession, and was elected for Grimsby in 1685 on the Armine interest. He was listed by Danby among the Opposition. His only committee in this Parliament was on the bill for rebuilding St. Paul’s. Despite her zealous Protestantism Lady Belasyse remained at Court, and doubtless procured his nomination as recorder of Grimsby under the new charter of 1686. Even an attempt to recover from him £6,801 which he owed to his uncle, who had been fined £10,000 for seditious libel, does not seem to have been pressed. He was removed from the bench in 1687, but in April 1688 the King’s electoral agents reported that he would probably stand for Suffolk with his uncle, who could influence him to support the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. On 15 Sept. he was confirmed as court candidate and urged to lose no time in securing his interest in conjunction with his brother-in-law, Sir Philip Skippon. But he did not contest the county in 1689 and was re-elected at Grimsby. An active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to 41 committees and acted as teller in three divisions. In the first session his most important committees were to consider new oaths of supremacy and allegiance, to bring in a bill for religious comprehension, and to consider the toleration bill. After the recess he was among those entrusted with examining the evidence against the prisoners in the Tower, taking the accounts of war expenditure, bringing in a militia bill, and hearing complaints about the activities of the press-gang. He was appointed to the committee for restoring corporations, but not listed as a supporter of the disabling clause, though he acted as teller against a Tory motion for candles to prolong the debate. He never sat for Grimsby again. A court Whig under William III, he signed the Association in 1696. He died on 7 Oct. 1698, aged 52, and was buried at Kedington. None of his descendants sat in Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. E. Suff. RO, 105/2/11; EE6/1144/13; Q. Sess. Procs. (Lincs. Rec. Soc. xxv), 365, 473; CSP Dom. 1686-7, p. 223; 1698, p. 342; Eg. 1626, f. 42; Sir Robert Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Official Lists, 203.
  • 2. Copinger, Suff. Manors, v. 256; A. M. Everitt, Suff. and the Gt. Rebellion (Suff. Recs. Soc. iii), 18-19; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 96.
  • 3. London Gazette, 23 Mar. 1685; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 2106; CSP Dom. 1687-9, pp. 8, 50, 264, 276; CJ, x. 329.