FRESCHEVILLE, John (1607-82), of Staveley, Derbys.
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Family and Education
b. 4 Dec. 1607, o.s. of Sir Peter Frescheville† of Staveley by 1st w. Joyce, da. of Thomas Fleetwood† of The Vache, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks., wid. of Sir Hewett Osborne of Kiveton, Yorks. educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. 1621; M. Temple 1624. m. (1) Bruce (d. 10 Apr. 1629), da. of Francis Nicholls, barrister, of the Middle Temple and Ampthill, Beds., s.p.; (2) Apr. 1630, Sarah (d. 25 June 1665), da. and h. of Sir John Harington of Elmesthorpe, Leics., 3da.; (3) Dec. 1666, Anna Charlotte (d. 12 Nov. 1717), da. of Sir Henry de Vic, 1st Bt., chancellor of the Garter, of Windsor Castle, Berks., s.p. suc. fa. 1634; cr. Baron Frescheville of Staveley 16 Mar. 1665.1
Dep. lt. Derbys. by 1630-42, July 1660-d., commr. of array 1642, j.p. July 1660-d., capt. vol. horse Oct. 1660-1, commr. for assessment 1661-5, corporations 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, oyer and terminer, Northern circuit 1665.2
Cornet of the bodyguard 1639; capt. of horse (royalist) 1642, col. 1643-4; gov. Welbeck 1645, York 1670-d.; capt. R. Horse Gds. (The Blues) 1661-79.3
Gent. of the privy chamber 1639-45.4
Frescheville’s ancestors had held land in Derbyshire since at least 1225. One of them represented the county in 1301, 1307 and 1313, and was summoned to a Great Council in. Frescheville himself was bred at the Court of Charles I, whom he served as a menial servant. He joined the King’s army at Nottingham in 1642, and commanded the royal forces in his own county. He obtained a warrant for a peerage, but his second wife, a great gambler, became impatient at the delay in the patent, and his ardour for the Stuart cause cooled. Though he visited Charles I in captivity at Hampton Court, he had useful contacts on the other side, and his fine of £287 10s.4d., even though conditional on endowing a local chapel with £30 p.a., was very moderate. He successfully claimed exemption from the decimation tax on the grounds of ‘good affection’ to the Protectorate, and only became involved in royalist conspiracy after the return of the Rump.5
Frescheville crossed over to Holland immediately before the Restoration, and obtained a fresh warrant for a peerage with a special remainder to his daughters, but again, much to his wife’s indignation, it failed to pass the seal. His wife complained to Ormonde:
As for Mr Frescheville, no injustice can ever make him a rebel, but this is so unkind a thing of the King that it will break his heart. I only heard this fall from him, that if he were unhandsomely used in this he would never make any request but one, that would easily be granted, which is to quit his country.
He was compensated with a commission in The Blues, and the lease without fine of the crown manor of Eckington. As the gentry candidate for Derbyshire in 1661 he easily defeated the Presbyterian, Sir John Curzon. Resuming his seat after an interval of 32 years, he was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, being appointed to 66 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in four sessions. In the opening session he was among those instructed to consider reparations to the Marquess of Winchester, his eldest daughter’s father-in-law, as well as the shortfall in revenue, the corporations and uniformity bills, and the bill for restoring advowsons and impropriations given up by Royalists, like himself, in their compositions. On 10 Jan. 1662 he was added to the committee on the bill for the execution of the remaining regicides, and two months later he acted as teller for a proviso to the hearth-tax bill. He was sent to the Lords to ask them to expedite the impropriations bill. He took a prominent part in the passage of the militia bill, helping to prepare an expedient for the assessment of peers on 16 May and asking the Lords for a conference. He was added to the managers, and on the next day acted as teller for agreeing with the Lords. In the hectic closing days of the session he was also sent to desire a conference on the border bill, and helped to manage a conference on restoring corporations.6
In the 1663 session Frescheville was among those appointed to hear a petition from the loyal and indigent officers, to resolve the differences between his son-in-law, Charles Powlett I, and Lord Winchester, and to provide remedies for the meetings of sectaries. Still only an expectant peer, he was listed as a court dependant in 1664, and on 13 Feb. 1665 he was sent, together with Sir Maurice Berkeley, William Coventry and Edward Progers, to thank the King for his constant grace and favour to the House. His patent at length passed the seal in the following month, but without the special remainder, and his third marriage in 1666 failed to produce a male heir. He remained a reliable court supporter in the Upper House, and was appointed governor of York in 1670. But he suffered severely from the stranguary in his later years, and was absent from the division on the second exclusion bill. He died on 31 Mar. 1682 and was buried at Staveley, the reversion of which he had sold to the Earl of Devonshire for £2,600.7
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: E. R. Edwards
This biography is based on Jnl. Derbys. Arch. Soc. n.s. vi. 51-63.
- 1. Savile Corresp. (Cam. Soc. lxxi), 9.
- 2. HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 389; HMC Coke, ii. 259; HMC 15th Rep. VII, 162; Add. 34306, f. 10; Chesterfield Bor. Recs. 138; J. C. Cox, Three Centuries of Derbys. Annals, i. 172-3.
- 3. CSP Dom. Add. 1625-49, p. 607; 1644, p. 191; 1670, p. 204.
- 4. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 141.
- 5. Clarendon, Life, ii. 359-60; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1048; Thurloe, iv. 509; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 242, 276.
- 6. Bodl. Carte 214, ff. 244-5; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 283, 290; HMC Hastings, i. 141; CJ, viii. 383, 423, 432, 433.
- 7. Coll. Top. et Gen. iv. 213-18.