DOYLEY, Sir John, 1st Bt. (1640-1709), of Chiselhampton, Oxon.

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



Family and Education

bap. 17 Nov. 1640, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John Doyley of Greenland House, Hambleden, Bucks. by Mary, da. and coh. of Sir John Shirley of Isfield, Suss. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1657. m. lic. 11 July 1666, Margaret (d.1704), da. and coh. of Sir Richard Cholmley of Grosmont, Yorks., 8s. (4 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. c.1660; cr. Bt. 7 July 1666.1

Offices Held

Commr. for oyer and terminer, Oxford circuit July 1660, assessment, Oxon. ?1661-80. and Oxford 1689-90; j.p. Oxon. 1674-Mar. 1688, Oxford 1682-Mar. 1688, Oxon. and Oxford Oct. 1688-?96, by 1701-d.; dep. lt. Oxon. 1676-Feb. 1688, 1688-?96, 1700-d.; freeman, Woodstock 1681, Oxford 1684-Feb. 1688; sheriff, Oxon. 1684-5, capt. of militia horse 1687-9.2


Doyley was descended from a Norman baron established in Oxfordshire under William the Conqueror. His ancestors had acquired Chiselhampton manor by 1536 and prospered at the dissolution of the monasteries. Henry Doyley, a younger son, sat for Wallingford in 1601, and Doyley’s great-grandfather represented Oxfordshire in 1604. They were strongly Puritan in sympathy. Doyley’s father was governor of Newport Pagnell for Parliament during the Civil War, and was elected for Oxfordshire as a recruiter. He was secluded at Pride’s Purge and did not again hold local office until January 1660. He probably died later in the year.3

Doyley owed his baronetcy to his marriage to the daughter of a prominent Cavalier, and became a Tory and a churchman. He stood unsuccessfully for Oxfordshire at the first election of 1679 as an opponent of exclusion, accompanied Lord Norris with the loyal addresses from Oxfordshire and Woodstock in 1681, and helped to regulate the corporation of Oxford in 1684. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in 1688, he replied that ‘he has no thought of standing, but if chosen ... he cannot determine what way he shall give his vote until he hath heard it fairly debated on both sides’. He may have owed his election for Woodstock in 1689 to Norris. An active Member of the Convention, he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. His 37 committees included those to consider the Lords’ proviso on the succession in the bill of rights and to draw up the address for permission to inspect the Privy Council registers and the books of the Irish committee. In the second session he was named to the committees for the second mutiny bill, for examining public accounts, and for attainting Irish rebels. He made no recorded speeches, but acted as teller against the election of the Whig John Southby at Abingdon. In the closing weeks of the Convention he was appointed to the committees to restore the university charters and to report on the poor laws.4

Doyley probably did not stand again. According to the historian of the family, he was a patron of learning and a man of much worldly wisdom, but proud and extravagant. His later years were marked by financial difficulty. Provision had to be made for a large family, and costly lawsuits depleted the estate. He died on 13 Apr. 1709 and was buried at Stadhampton. His son and grandson both stood for Abingdon, but he was the last of the family to sit in Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Leonard Naylor


  • 1. Bodl. mss, Stadhampton par. reg.; W. D. Bayley, House of D’Oyly, 30-35.
  • 2. Woodstock council acts, 1679-99 (3 Feb. 1681); Oxford Council Acts (Oxford Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 163, 196; SP44/29/158; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 125; Bayley, 33.
  • 3. Top. and Gen. i. 368; VCH Oxon. vii. 10; Bayley, 30-31; W. H. Black, Docquets of Letters Patent, 147; CJ, iv. 235, 246.
  • 4. EHR, xl. 255; Wood’s Life and Times (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xxi), 442; CJ, x. 327.
  • 5. Bayley, 33-36.