DOWDESWELL, Richard II (c.1653-1711), of Pull Court, Bushley, Worcs.

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



Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701

Family and Education

b. c.1653, 1st s. of William Dowdeswell of Pull Court by Judith, da. of Elkin Wymonsold of Putney, Surr. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 27 July 1669, aged 16. m. 1676, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Francis Winnington of the Middle Temple and Stanford Court, Stanford-on-Teme, Worcs., 5s. (3 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1683.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Worcs. 1677-80, Glos. and Worcs. 1689-90; j.p. Glos. and Worcs. 1677-81, 1689-d.; sheriff, Worcs. 1688-9; freeman, Preston 1682; dep. lt. Glos. 1689-?d., Worcs. by 1702-?d.; capt. of militia ft. Worcs. by 1697-?d.2


Dowdeswell was the grandson of Richard Dowdeswell I. His father seems to have taken no part in national politics. When (Sir) Henry Capel decided not to stand for Tewkesbury in 1685, Dowdeswell was returned, apparently unopposed. Probably a Whig, he left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. In 1688, the King’s electoral agents listed him, almost certainly erroneously, as a ‘dissenter’ who should be added to the commission of the peace for Worcestershire. When he was pricked as sheriff of Worcestershire in November, Brent, ‘the popish attorney’, pointed out that his father had held the same expensive office as recently as 1677, and urged an alteration; but no political objections were made, and Dowdeswell was still sheriff during the general election of 1689. However, the coroners acted as returning officers for the county, in accordance with the letter from the Prince of Orange, and Dowdeswell was himself re-elected for Tewkesbury, again without apparent opposition. In the Convention he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges, and to that for the bill to abolish the hearth-tax. He was listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He continued to represent the borough in the next eight Parliaments, voting consistently with the Whigs. He died on 17 Oct. 1711 and was buried at Bushley. His son, also a Whig, sat for Tewkesbury from 1711 until 1722, and members of the family continued to represent the borough until the late 19th century.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, vii. 64-67.
  • 2. Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 198; Eg 1626, f. 52.
  • 3. HMC Astley, 60.