BEAUMONT, Sir Henry, 2nd Bt. (1638-89), of Stoughton Grange, Leics.
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Family and Education
bap. 12 Apr. 1638, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Beaumont, 1st Bt.†, of Stoughton Grange by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir Nicholas Trott of Quickswood, Herts. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1655. m. 12 Apr. 1662, Elizabeth, da. of George Farmer of Holbeach, Lincs., protonotary of c.p., 14s. (9 d.v.p.) 7da. suc. fa. 11 Aug. 1676.1
Commr. for militia, Leics. Mar. 1660, j.p. Mar.-July 1660, 1677-d., capt. of militia ft. Apr. 1660, commr. for assessment 1661-3, 1679-80; freeman, Leicester 1679; dep. lt. Leics. 1680-d.2
The Stoughton branch of the Beaumont family was founded by a younger son who married the heiress in Elizabethan times. Beaumont’s father took the side of Parliament during the Civil War, served on the committee for the New Model Army, represented Leicestershire under the Protectorate and was created a ‘baronet’ by Cromwell in 1658. The baronetcy was re-granted by Charles II at the Restoration.3
Beaumont was returned unopposed to the Exclusion Parliaments for Leicester, four miles from his home. Shaftesbury classed him as ‘honest’, and on 22 Mar. 1679 he spoke in favour of pressing home the impeachment of Danby, adding grimly that if the lord treasurer were not ‘suspended’ in this way, ‘I hope he may be in another’. His only committee in the first Exclusion Parliament was the committee of elections and privileges, and he was absent from the division on the bill. He left no trace on the records of the second Exclusion Parliament, but he was again appointed to the elections committee for the Oxford Parliament.4
Beaumont seems subsequently to have gone over to the Court, and was re-elected to James II’s Parliament with the support of the Tory Earl of Rutland (John Manners). On 23 May 1685 he wrote to the mayor of Leicester from his Westminster lodgings that ‘all this town (which is more populous than ever) is transported with joy at the good correspondence between King and Parliament’. A moderately active Member, he acted as teller against the private bill brought in by Edward Meller and was named to six committees, including the elections committee and those appointed to draw up addresses promising support against the Duke of Monmouth (13 June) and protesting against the employment of Roman Catholic officers. He deplored the purge of Tories from the corporation in February 1688, including some of his ‘especial friends and tenants entirely to be governed for his Majesty’s service’, and he gave negative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. He suggested to the Earl of Huntingdon, a leading Whig collaborator and recorder of Leicester, that more compliant Members would be returned for the borough if the franchise were once again confined to the corporation and the scot and lot voters excluded, and his advice was taken when the new charter was issued in September. Beaumont and Sir William Villiers, ‘persons of undoubted loyalty and fidelity’, were recommended as court candidates for the abortive Parliament, and their nomination was confirmed by Sunderland. But he did not stand at the general election of 1689, and died a few weeks later on 27 Jan. He was buried at Stoughton. His younger son, the 4th baronet, sat for Leicester as a Tory from 1702 to his death in 1737.5