BOCKLAND, Walter (1619-70), of Standlynch, Wilts.

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



17 May 1661 - 17 Nov. 1670

Family and Education

bap. 21 Nov 1619, 1st s. of Walter Bockland of Standlynch by Beatrice, da. of Charles Walcot of Walcot, Salop and coh. to her uncle Anthony Foster of Trotton, Suss. m. 1639, Helen, da. of Hubert Hacon of Norwich, Norf., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 1638.2

Offices Held

Capt. (royalist) c.1643-5.3

J.p. Wilts. July 1660-70, commr. for assessment Sept. 1660-9, corporations 1662-3.4


Bockland’s great-grandfather, of Somerset origin, bought Standlynch, three miles from Downton, in 1572. Though Bockland was baptized as an Anglican, the entire family, including his wife, were recusants before the Civil War. Bockland seems to have subsequently falsified his age to prove that he was only 16 in 1640, and therefore not liable to the penalties of recusancy. Unfortunately, he had been described as 18 years of age and upwards on his father’s death. He produced a rather dubious sacrament certificate from Sussex, dated 1641, but it is improbable that he conformed till after the war, when, as a Papist in arms, he might have lost his entire estate. He took the Covenant on 11 July 1645, and in the following year the rector of St. Margaret’s Westminster certified that ‘Mr Walter Bockland, after conference with me and good satisfaction given unto me of his settled conformity to the doctrine and worship of the Church of England, received the sacrament’. Eventually he was allowed to compound for £696, but he was described as a Papist in 1655 at the time of Penruddock’s rising, when there was a suspicious gathering of horsemen at his house. At the Restoration, Bockland, whose mother was first cousin to the Earl of Bristol, was recommended for the order of the Royal Oak, with an estate of £900 p.a. He failed, however, in his application for the lease of a moiety of Shepton Mallet manor, valuable for its coal royalties, which had been held by his ancestors from 1545 to 1610 but was now granted to Clarendon’s friend Lord Mordaunt.5

Bockland was involved in a double return at Downton in the general election of 1661, but as his indenture was signed by the bailiff he was allowed to take his seat. He was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, serving on only ten committees, none being of political importance. With good grounds for discontent with the Clarendon administration, he was probably a country Cavalier, though his name does not appear on any list. Bockland had the good sense to cooperate in the construction of water-meadows with the new lord of the manor Sir Joseph Ashe, who, needing a local ally, treated him with special favour, though the destruction of his watermills entailed some temporary loss of income. Bockland was struck off the commission of the peace in June 1670, some months before his death. In his will, dated 1 Oct., he bequeathed £100 to his recusant servant Robert Lincoln, and provided for his burial in his chapel at Standlynch, which with the preceding circumstances suggests that he may have returned on his deathbed to the church of his baptism.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. New writ.
  • 2. Soc. Genealogists, Sherborne par. reg.; SP23/162/643, 212/81; Dorset Vis. Add. ed. Colby and Rylands, 12; VCH Suss. iv. 35; Hoare, Wilts. Downton, 47; Wilts. Inquisitions (Index Lib. xxiii), 351-2; C5/410/1.
  • 3. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxvi. 356.
  • 4. Hoare, Salisbury, 449.
  • 5. Soc. of Genealogists, mss notes by H. B. Bower; Wilts. N. and Q. viii. 344; J. A. Williams, Catholic Recusancy in Wilts. 226-7; SP23/212/81-83, 101-3; Thurloe, iii. 655; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 664.
  • 6. Wilts. RO, Radnor mss 1084 (Ashe to Snow, 14 Nov. 1665); Hoare, Repertorium Wiltonense, 17; PCC 171 Penn.