FARWELL (FAREWELL), Arthur (c.1642-87), of Westminster.

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



1685 - May 1687

Family and Education

b. c.1642, 1st s. of Arthur Farewell of Lincoln’s Inn by Anne, ?da. of John Winyard, keeper of the Palace of Westminster. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1658; I. Temple 1660. m. 1 June 1669, Mary, da. and coh. of Nicholas Monck, bishop of Hereford, 3s. suc. fa. 1652.1

Offices Held

Sec. to Christopher Monck by 1681-d.2


Farwell was probably descended from a 14th century Member for Taunton; if so, he was the only other bearer of the name to enter Parliament, though by Tudor times several branches of the family had acquired estates in Somerset. Younger sons, like Farwell’s grandfather, showed a predilection for the law, as a result of intermarriage with the family of the celebrated Elizabethan judge Sir James Dyer (previously Speaker in Edward VI’s last Parliament). Farwell’s father, also a barrister, took no part in the Civil War, though most of the family supported Parliament. In his will he admonished his wife to take especial care of Farwell’s education.3

However, Farwell owed his career less to his education than to his marriage to the cousin of the 2nd Duke of Albemarle, who made him his secretary, though he had ‘very little love and kindness’ for him. When Albemarle became chancellor of Cambridge University in 1682, Farwell was given an honorary degree, but was unable to profit from his employer’s letter of recommendation to the electors in 1685, and at Harwich he had to make way for a court nominee. He was, however, returned for Dartmouth after a contest, doubtless on the same interest; but he left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. He was buried at St. Margaret’s Westminster on 3 May 1687, and with the death of his patron Albemarle in the following year his family disappeared into obscurity, though his brother, a major in the Dutch army, became deputy governor of the Tower in 1689. His sons had apparently all died childless by 1709.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1640-1, p. 490; HMC 5th Rep. 108; PCC 322 Brent (wrongly calendared as John Farwell); E. F. Ward, Christopher Monck, Duke of Albemarle, 14; St. Margaret’s, Westminster (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxiv), 113, 144; Mems. of St. Margaret’s, Westminster, 631; C10/492/137.
  • 2. Ward, 69.
  • 3. N. and Q. (ser. 5), iv. 413.
  • 4. Ward, 182; C. H. Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iii. 608-10; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 2, p. 126; St. Margaret’s, Westminster par. reg.; Som. Wills, iv. 66; C5/84/57.