BURDETT, Robert (1640-1716), of Bramcote, Polesworth, Warws.

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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. 11 Jan. 1640, 1st s. of Sir Francis Burdett, 2nd Bt., of Foremark, Derbys. by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Walter of Sarsden, Oxon., chief baron of the Exchequer 1625-30. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1659; G. Inn 1662. m. (1) Mary (d. 31 Aug. 1668), da. of Gervase Pigott of Thrumpton, Notts., 1da.; (2) Magdalen, da. of Sir Thomas Aston of Aston, Cheshire, 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 4da.; (3) Mary, da. of Thomas Brome of Croxhall, Derbys., s.p. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 30 Dec. 1696.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Derbys. 1677-80, Warws. 1679-80, Staffs., Lichfield and Warws. 1689-90; j.p. Warws. 1681-90, Derbys. and Warws. by 1701-d.; dep. lt. Warws. 1703-?d.2

Asst. Linen Corp. 1690.3


Burdett’s ancestors held considerable property in Warwickshire and Leicestershire in the reign of Henry II, and frequently represented one or other county in the 14th century. His grandfather moved to Derbyshire on acquiring Foremark by marriage. His father was appointed to two parliamentary committees in the early days of the Civil War. Although he was not active, he held local office throughout the Interregnum and was struck off the Derbyshire commission of the peace in December 1660. Burdett, however, took after his grandmother who sheltered the future Archbishop Sheldon at Bramcote after he had been expelled from Oxford by the parliamentary visitors.4

At the first general election of 1679 Burdett was nominated by the court party for Warwickshire only at the last moment, and returned after a contest. Shaftesbury marked him ‘honest’, but according to Roger Morrice he voted against exclusion. An inactive Member of the first Exclusion Parliament, he was named only to the committees for an estate bill and the compulsory wearing of wool. Reelected in the autumn after another contest, he was moderately active in the second Exclusion Parliament, in which he was appointed to eight committees. The most important were on bills for the regulation of parliamentary elections, for religious comprehension, and for the repeal of the Corporations Act. He lost his seat to an exclusionist in 1681, and would not stand in 1685, although he had some support among the moderate Tories in Derbyshire, unless ‘he might be chosen without expense (poor man)’.5

Burdett’s answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws are not extant, but he probably opposed James II’s religious policy, for during the Revolution he attended Princess Anne at Nottingham. Well known in south Staffordshire as a devotee of fox-hunting and ‘a good man’, he was returned unopposed for Lichfield, 11 miles from Bramcote, at the general election of 1689 as a Tory. In the Convention he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. An inactive Member, he was named to two unimportant committees in the first session, and given leave for three weeks on 25 May and again for a fortnight on 19 Dec. He was probably absent from the division on the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, though on 21 Jan. 1690 he was appointed to the committee to consider the restoration of the university charters.6

Burdett continued to represent Lichfield as a Tory in the next two Parliaments, refusing the Association in 1696 but ‘remaining’, by his own account, ‘faithful to the Government in church and state’. He died on 18 Jan. 1716, and was succeeded posthumously by a grandson, who sat for Tamworth as a Tory from 1748 to 1768.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Dugdale, Warws. 848.
  • 2. Q. Sess. Recs. (Warws. Recs. vii), p. xxx; (viii), p. xl; J. C. Cox, Three Centuries Derbys. Annals. i. 39.
  • 3. Sel. Charters (Selden Soc. xxviii), 213.
  • 4. Dugdale, 846; VCH Warws. iv. 190.
  • 5. Add. 34730, f. 41; HMC Rutland, ii. 86; Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 27, f. 82, Powell to Weymouth, 21 Feb. 1685.
  • 6. HMC Hastings, ii. 211; HMC Cowper, ii. 383; Thynne pprs. 28, f. 90, Powell to Weymouth, 11 Mar. 1685.
  • 7. HMC Cowper, iii. 51.