CALVERLEY, Sir Henry (c.1641-84), of Eryholme, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1641, 2nd s. of John Calverley of Eryholme by Margaret, da. of Thomas Jenison of Irchester, Northants. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1655; G. Inn 1658; M. Temple 1659, called 1664. m. 18 Dec. 1669, Mary, da. of Sir Henry Thompson of Marston, Yorks., 1s. d.v.p. 2da. suc. bro. 1668; kntd. 24 Dec. 1675.1
J.p. Yorks (N. Riding) 1670-7, co. Dur. 1671-80; commr. for assessment (N. Riding) 1673-80, co. Durham 1677-80, recusants (N. Riding) 1675.
Calverley came from a cadet branch of a 15th century family which was granted the Eryholme estate by the crown in 1580. His father does not seem to have taken any part in the Civil War, though his uncle was a Royalist. Succeeding his brother in the estate in 1668, Calverley was soon afterwards appointed to the North Riding magistracy, only to be removed in 1677 for having maintained that smiths’ forges ought not to be subject to hearth-tax; though it was later alleged that his real offence was an attempt to enforce the recusancy laws.2
Calverley was returned to the Exclusion Parliaments for Northallerton, eight miles from Eryholme, doubtless on the Lascelles interest. Classed as ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury in 1679, he was moderately active, being appointed to eight committees, of which the most important was for security against Popery. He also helped to draft an address for calling out the militia in and around London, and showed an interest in three matters which continued to preoccupy him in the next Parliament: abuses in the Post Office, the collection of hearth-tax, and the import of cattle. He was absent from the division on the exclusion bill. In June 1680 under Shaftesbury’s leadership he sought to indict the Duke of York as a popish recusant. An active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to 15 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges. He was among those ordered to receive information about the Popish Plot and to draft the address for the removal of Jeffreys. He acted as teller for the second reading of the bill to prohibit imports of Scottish cattle, and was named to the committee to inquire into the proceedings of the judges. In the Oxford Parliament he was named only to the elections committee.3
Calverley suffered in the reaction that followed disclosure of the Rye House Plot when his house was searched and arms were seized. Sometime before, however, he had left the country. He was in Rome in April 1683 and not expecting to quit Italy until June. Therefore his travels took him to Paris, where a court spy described him as ‘certainly a dangerous person’ and where he seems to have engaged in many of the Whig plots abroad. He died there on 14 June 1684, the last of the family.4