BRERETON, William, 2nd Baron Brereton of Laghlin [I] (1611-64), of Brereton Hall, Cheshire.

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



1661 - Apr. 1664

Family and Education

b. 28 Feb. 1611, 1st s. of Sir John Brereton (d.1629) of Brereton Hall by Anne, da. of Sir Edward Fitton, 2nd Bt., of Gawsworth. m. Lady Elizabeth Goring, da. of Sir George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 6 da. suc. gdfa. Sir William Brereton, 1st Baron Brereton, 1 Oct. 1631.1

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Cheshire 1642, j.p. and jt. ld. lt. July 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-1, 1663-d., corporations 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662.2


Brereton’s family had been seated at Brereton since the reign of Henry II, and had first represented the county in 1547. Unlike his better-known cousin of the Handforth branch, Brereton was an Anglican and a Royalist. Although he held no military command in the Civil War, he was an active commissioner of array and established a Cavalier garrison at Brereton. He was taken prisoner at the surrender of Biddulph House in Staffordshire, and compounded for an estate of £1,400 p.a. He was fined £2,538 18s., which he could raise only by selling land. Although all his daughters reached maturity, five of them died unmarried, presumably for lack of portions. Roger Whitley put him down as a colonel in his list of Cheshire Royalists, and he was involved in the rising of Sir George Booth in 1659. At the Restoration he was made joint lord lieutenant with the 8th Earl of Derby, an inharmonious partnership since ‘Lord Brereton is so wedded to his own humour that nothing else will please’.3

Brereton was returned to the Cavalier Parliament as knight of the shire, and became a moderately active Member in the first and second sessions. He was appointed to 49 committees, including those for the security bill, restoring bishops to the House of Lords, the corporations bill, and the reversal of Strafford’s attainder. His petitions for office or pension were rejected, but he was awarded £500 as the King’s free gift. He took a very active part in regulating the Cheshire corporations, and in the persecution of Presbyterians. In 1663 he was added to the committee to consider a petition from Cheshire concerning the Mersey and Weaver navigation bill. He was listed as a court dependant in 1664, but on 20 Feb. his son reported him ill with ‘an excessive cold’, and he was buried at Brereton on 21 Apr.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Gillian Hampson


  • 1. Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 89.
  • 2. Merc. Pub. 4 Sept. 1662.
  • 3. Ormerod, iii. 82; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1229-30; Dugdale, Diary, 61; Clarke Pprs. (Cam. Soc. n.s. lxii), 289; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 306.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 243, 598; 1663-4, pp. 435-6, 490; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 222; Cal. Cl. SP, v. 86, 260, 270.