DAVERS, Sir Robert, 2nd Bt. (c.1653-1722), of Rougham, nr. Bury St. Edmunds, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. c.1653, o.s. of Sir Robert Davers, 1st Bt., of Barbados by Eleanor Luke of Barbados. m. 2 Feb. 1682, Mary, da. and coh. of Thomas Jermyn, 2nd Baron Jermyn of St. Edmundsbury, 4s. 5da. suc. fa. June 1684.1
Member of council, Barbados 1682-?87, baron of the Exchequer 1683-?87; commr. for assessment, Suff. and Bury St. Edmunds 1689-90; j.p. Suff. 1700-?d.2
Gent. of privy chamber 1691-1714.3
Davers may have been the son of the Robert Davers who emigrated to Barbados at the age of 14 in 1635; but according to the contemporary Suffolk historian, Sir Richard Gipps, his father was the younger son of a Buckinghamshire family who served in the royalist army and only went out to the West Indies after the execution of Charles I. By 1673 he was one of the leading planters in Barbados, with 600 acres, worth £30,000. About 1680 he returned to England, bought the estate of Rougham, four miles from Bury St. Edmunds, and was created a baronet. Davers himself was born in Barbados, and held office in the island until 1687, when he finally settled in England. In May 1688 he petitioned unsuccessfully for some allowance for his services.4
Davers was originally selected by his wife’s uncle, Lord Dover, as court candidate for Bury in 1688; but he excused himself ‘upon the account of his presence being so very necessary now he is pulling down his house’, and it was clear to the royal electoral agents that he would oppose the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. He defeated John Hervey† at the general election of 1689, and voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to 36 committees, including those to repeal the Corporations Act, to regulate the administration of oaths to army officers, and to consider an attainder bill. In June he acted as chairman for an estate bill. He was one of five Members ordered on 9 Aug. to prepare a bill to ease the plantations of the duties imposed in 1685. After the recess he was named to the committee of inquiry into war expenses, and in his only recorded speech opposed supply. After 1690 he became a friend of Robert Harley II and usually voted with the Tories. Although he signed the Association in 1696, he was later a member of the October Club, and in 1721 his name was included in a list of leading Jacobites sent to the Pretender. He died on 1 Oct. 1722, aged 69, and was buried at Rushbrooke. His younger son, the 4th baronet, was returned for Bury as a Tory in 1722 and for the county in 1727.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. Rushbrooke Par. Reg. (Suff. Green Bks. vi), 349-66.
- 2. CSP Col. 1681-5, pp. 248, 556, 565; 1689-92, p. 146; 1693-6, pp. 33, 444.
- 3. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 207, 211
- 4. List of Persons who Went to Amer. Plantations ed. Hotton, 63; Suff. Inst. Arch. Procs. viii. 1523; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1820, 1836.
- 5. IHR Bull. liv. 200; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 2, p. 675; Stuart mss 65/10; Rushbrooke Par. Reg. 353-66.