BOTELER, William (1634-1703), of Biddenham, Beds.

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

bap. 6 Aug. 1634, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Boteler of Biddenham by 1st w. Helen, da. of George Nodes of Shephalbury, Herts. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1651; I. Temple 1654. m. 14 May 1657, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Hatton, 1st Bt., of Long Stanton, Cambs., 2s. d.v.p. 4da. suc. fa. 1656.1

Offices Held

Commr. for militia, Beds. Mar. 1660; j.p. Beds. Mar. 1660-d., Bedford Sept. 1660-at least 1662; commr. for assessment, Beds. Aug. 1660-80, 1689-90, Bedford 1661-3; dep. lt. Beds. 1667-bef. 1679, 1689-d., sheriff 1690-1.2


Boteler’s ancestors were living at Biddenham, some two miles from Bedford, in the early 14th century and first sat for Bedfordshire in 1378. His father probably contested the county seat in both elections of 1640, and supported Parliament during the Civil War. He was appointed to the assessment committee by the Rump, but was regarded as an opponent of the Protectorate at the time of the 1654 election.3

Boteler was proposed for the order of the Royal Oak at the Restoration with an estate valued at £1,000 p.a. He probably attached himself to the Russell interest, and was removed as deputy lieutenant before the first general election of 1679, in which Lord Russell (Hon. William Russell) defeated the lord lieutenant’s son, Thomas Bruce. In the autumn he signed the letter asking Russell to stand again. Nevertheless he does not seem to have been an exclusionist, for he remained a j.p.; and it was at least with Bruce’s consent that he was returned at the top of the poll in 1685. An inactive Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed only to the committee on the bill for establishing the parish of St. James Piccadilly. He followed the example of Sir Anthony Chester in refusing his consent to the first two questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, but his answers were recorded under the name of ‘Butler’, and he was retained on the commission of the peace. Presumably he favoured the Revolution, for he was restored to the lieutenancy, but he is not known to have stood again. He was buried at Biddenham on 1 Feb. 1703, the last of his family.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Beds. Par. Regs. xvi (Biddenham), 3, 4, 27; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 85; F. A. Blaydes, Gen. Bed. 353; Beds. RO, TW 1141.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1667, p. 335.
  • 3. W. M. Harvey, Hundred of Willey, 6; Vis. Beds. 6-7; VCH Beds. iii. 37, 64; Keeler, Long Parl. 33, 242; Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. xviii. 1-42.
  • 4. J. Russell, Lord William Russell (1820), ii. 242-3; Ailesbury Mems. i. 100; Beds. RO, CH 15/1 VCH Beds. iii. 37; Beds. Par. Regs. xvi. 29.