DORMER, John (1612-79), of Lee Grange, Quainton, Bucks.

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



c. May 1646

Family and Education

bap. 6 Jan. 1612, 1st s. of Sir Fleetwood Dormer of Lee Grange by Mary, da. of Sir Euseby Isham of Pytchley, Northants., wid. of Edward Reade of Cottesbrooke, Northants. educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. ?1625, BA 1628, MA 1630; L. Inn 1629, called 1636; travelled abroad 1635-8. m. by 1640, Katherine (bur. 23 Aug. 1691), da. and h. of Thomas Woodward of Saxons Lode, Ripple, Worcs., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1639.1

Offices Held

J.p. Bucks. by 1640-d., Worcs. 1647-8, 1649-July 1660, Buckingham 1654, 1660, 1663; commr. for defence, Worcs. 1644, assessment, Worcs. 1644, 1648-52, Jan. 1660, Bucks. 1647-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-d., militia, Bucks. and Worcs. 1648, 1659, Mar. 1660, Northants. 1659, oyer and terminer, Norfolk circuit July 1660, recusants, Bucks. 1675.

Commr. for removing obstructions 1651-2, Admiralty Feb.-July 1660.


Dormer’s family had been established in Buckinghamshire since the 13th century. One of them sat for Wycombe in the Reformation Parliament, and the Lee Grange branch benefited greatly from the dissolution of the monasteries. Dormer was a passive Parliamentarian during the Civil War, and was first returned for Buckingham, seven miles from his home, as a recruiter. Although an Independent in religion, he was neither an active Rumper nor a supporter of the Protectorate. By June 1659 he had come to favour a Restoration, for he lent the exiled King £100, and on the return of the secluded Members he was appointed to the board of Admiralty.2

Dormer was re-elected in 1660, surviving a petition from Francis Ingoldsby’, but he was an inactive Member of the Convention, in which he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges and to consider the bill restoring the dukedom of Norfolk. Lord Wharton sent him a copy of the case for modified episcopacy, but he took no part in the debates. He withdrew before the poll in 1661 in favour of the Cavalier William Tyringham, and was rewarded with a baronetcy for his son. He died on 22 May 1679 and was buried at Quainton, leaving debts of some £3,000. A younger son, Robert, twice represented the county as a Whig before becoming a judge in 1706.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Lipscomb, Bucks. i. 415; PC2/44/596.
  • 2. F. G. Lee, Church of Thame, 505-6; VCH Bucks. iv. 95; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 371; B. Worden, The Rump, 98-99, 376; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 3 (1881), p. 6.
  • 3. CJ, viii. 87; BL M636/17, Smith to Verney, 27 Dec. 1660; PCC 77 Exton; Lee, 507.