BOURCHIER, Barrington (c.1627-95), of Beningbrough, Yorks.

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

b. c.1627, 1st s. of Sir John Bourchier of Beningbrough by Anne, da. of William Rolfe of Hadleigh, Suff. educ. G. Inn 1641 m. Frances, da. of Sir William Strickland, 1st Bt., of Boynton, Yorks., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1660; kntd. 24 Oct. 1676.1

Offices Held

Commr. for northern assoc., Yorks. (N. Riding) 1645, j.p. 1646-53, 1656-July 1660, 1677-Feb. 1688, Nov. 1688-d., commr. for assessment 1657, Jan. 1660-1, 1673-80, 1689-90; sheriff, Yorks. 1658-Feb. 1660, commr. for militia 1659, Mar. 1660; dep. lt. (N. Riding) 1685-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., of militia horse by 1688, col. of militia ft. ?1689-d.2


The Yorkshire Bourchiers were descended from an illegitimate son of the second Lord Berners. They acquired Beningbrough from the crown in 1556, and Bourchier’s great-grandfather was returned for Scarborough in 1586. His father, who had been imprisoned by Strafford in a dispute concerning enclosures, supported the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. He was returned to the Long Parliament as a recruiter for Ripon and signed the King’s death warrant in 1649.3

Bourchier himself was persuaded by his uncle, Sir Henry Cholmley, to join in Booth’s rising in 1659 ‘on assurance that his father’s offence would be no prejudice to him if he would so assist’. He was described as the only martyr for signing the Yorkshire declaration for a free Parliament in February 1660, and was removed from the shrievalty. At the general election he was defeated at Aldborough, but he was returned to the Convention for Thirsk after a contest. Lord Wharton marked him as a friend, but noted that he was abroad. He played no part in the Convention, and was unable to prevent his father’s exception from the Act of Indemnity, though he died before it became law. On 9 Nov. Cholmley presented his petition against his father’s inclusion in the attainder bill, which was successful; and in 1661 he was granted Beningbrough and all his father’s other lands ‘notwithstanding a proviso in the statute ... that nothing therein contained shall discharge the lands ... from all penalties and forfeitures’. He was even proposed for the order of the Royal Oak, with an estate of £1,000 p.a. Subsequently he devoted his energies to local affairs and to his estates, which he augmented by the purchase of two further manors. He had probably conformed to the Church by 1676 when he was knighted, and in the following year he was restored to the commission of the peace, on which he remained throughout the exclusion crisis. He never stood again, but in 1688 he replied to the lord lieutenant’s questions on the Test Act and Penal Laws:

If I shall be chosen a Member of Parliament I think myself obliged to give my vote according to the reason of the debate of the House of Commons. ... If I shall concern myself in the election of any to serve as a Member of Parliament, I think myself obliged to give my vote for such as shall to the best of my judgment serve the King and kingdom honestly and faithfully.

He was removed from local office but restored in the autumn. He was buried at Newton-on-Ouse on 29 Oct. 1695, the last of the family to sit in Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: P. A. Bolton / Paula Watson


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 307
  • 2. N. Riding Quarter Sessions (N. Riding Rec. Soc.), v. 17; vii. 1, 117; Eg. 1626, f. 53.
  • 3. VCH Yorks. N. Riding, ii. 162; Brunton and Pennington, Members of the Long Parl. 44; DNB (Bourchier, Sir John).
  • 4. Notts. RO, DDSR221/96, Robert Turner to Sir George Savile, 31 Mar. 1660; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 8; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 446, 557.