BOLD, Peter (1656-92), of Bold Hall, Prescot, Lancs.

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



Mar. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 2 Sept. 1656, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Peter Bold of Bold by Joan, da. of Sir Ralph Assheton I of Whalley. educ. privately; L. Inn 1672; Christ Church, Oxf. 1674. m. 1679 (with £2,000), Anne, da. of Adam Beaumont of Whitley, Yorks., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1658.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Lancs. 1677-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1683-Apr. 1688, 1689-91; mayor, Liverpool 1686-7; sheriff, Lancs. Jan.-Dec. 1690.2


Bold’s family were settled at Bold in south-western Lancashire by the middle of the 12th century, though he was the first of his line to sit in Parliament. His father supported Parliament during the Civil Wars. In 1648 he was added to the Lancashire committee in preparation for the Duke of Hamilton’s invasion, and during the Interregnum he served on local assessment commissions. On his early death Bold’s mother made haste to marry again, consigning her sickly child and his estate to the care of her own relatives, the Asshetons of Middleton. Heavy medical expenses were incurred in bringing him through measles, jaundice, smallpox, ague and fever, which left him troubled with deafness and convulsive fits. His regular tutor, whom he shared with Sir Ralph Assheton II, found him ‘somewhat paralytical’, and when he was 15 the distinguished Presbyterian minister Adam Martindale had to be summoned to give him a two months’ crash course in arithmetic. Next he was sent to London to learn to fence, dance, paint, wrestle, and play the guitar, though he made no progress in singing. At Oxford he contracted some debts, mainly over the purchase of horses, but at his majority he came into an estate of £800 p.a. and showed that he had profited from Martindale’s instruction by querying Lady Assheton’s accounts of her guardianship. He took an active interest in improving his estate and the local highways. Though warned of ‘a certain opposition and a vast charge’ by Richard Legh, the most conscientious of the family trustees, he stood for the county at the first election of 1679, with the encouragement of Lord Derby and (Sir) John Otway, and was marked on Lord Huntingdon’s list as an opponent of the Court. He was totally inactive in the first Exclusion Parliament, being absent when the House divided upon the bill.3

Soon after the dissolution, Bold married a niece of his former guardian, with whom he kept ‘a genteel, hospitable house’, and he may have gone over to the Court, filling local offices, including that of mayor of Liverpool, of which he was a freeman by virtue of residence within the parish of Prescot. He does not appear to have had any mercantile or industrial interests to connect him more closely with the town, although his estates contained at least one coalpit. He was one of the 43 justices removed from the commission in April 1688. His will was proved at Chester in May 1692. There were bequests amounting to £3,000 to Bold’s children, who became the wards of Thomas Legh. His eldest son Richard sat for the county as a Tory from 1701 to 1704.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Add. 22654, ff. 16-17; Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxiv), 43; Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. iii. 223.
  • 2. Cavendish mss 9/9; Liverpool Municipal Recs. ed. Picton, i. 132.
  • 3. Croston, Lancs. v. 22-26; Gregson, Lancs. Frags. 183; VCH Lancs. iii. 402-3, 406; Civil War Tracts (Chetham Soc. ii), p. 252; E134/31 Chas. II Mich. 32; Rylands Lib. Legh mss; Bold to Legh, 22 Jan. 1676; HMC Kenyon, 194; Norris Pprs. (Chetham Soc. ix), 117.
  • 4. E134/31 Chas. II Mich. 32; Lancs. RO, Houghton mss, 31, 32; HMC Kenyon, 411; Wills Proved at Chester (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xviii), 29.