KAYE, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (c.1641-1706), of Woodsome, Yorks.

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



Feb. 1701
1705 - 8 Aug. 1706

Family and Education

b. c.1641, 1st s. of Sir John Kaye, 1st Bt., of Woodsome by 1st w. Margaret, da. and coh. of John Moseley of Northcroft. educ. M. Temple 1659. m. bef. 1664, Anne, da. of William Lister of Thornton, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 25 July 1662.1

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) by 1663-Sept. 1688, Nov. 1688-d.; commr. for assessment (W. Riding) 1663-80, (W. and E. Ridings) 1689-90, (N. Riding) 1690, Lincs. 1689; dep. lt. (W. Riding) 1664-?Sept. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., lt.-col. of militia ft. by 1678-?Sept. 1688, col. Oct. 1688-?d.; freeman, Preston 1682.2


Kaye’s family acquired Woodsome in the reign of Henry VII. His grandfather was elected for Eye in 1610. His father owned an estate worth £1,000 a year before the Civil War, including fulling mills and coal mines. He raised a regiment of horse for the King, and compounded in 1645 for only £500 in view of £3,000 debts; but he held county office again after the Restoration.3

Kaye stood at the first general election of 1679 against the exclusionist candidate Lord Clifford (Charles Boyle) with the support of Lord Latimer (Edward Osborne) and Sir Richard Grahme. However, at the county meeting on 7 Feb. he withdrew to save the county trouble and expense. Clifford and Henry Fairfax, Lord Fairfax, the other candidate, attempted unsuccessfully to find him a seat at Aldborough. In the autumn he stood again, alone, against Clifford and Fairfax. Sir John Reresby was active on his behalf, and nearly 6,000 supporters came to the election in York, but he desisted after a three-day poll, probably owing to the enormous costs involved. He was unsuccessful at Pontefract in 1681. In the years 1682-4 he took part in breaking up conventicles in Yorkshire, but he was not harsh to the nonconformists, one of whom described him as ‘a man of great mildness and moderation and a swaying man’. He was returned unopposed for the county in 1685 and listed among the Opposition. A moderately active Member of James II’s Parliament, he was added to the committee to recommend expunctions from the Journals when it was revived on 3 June, and appointed to six others of secondary importance.4

Kaye gave negative replies to the questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was removed from the commission of the peace. Nevertheless he was expected to be re-elected. During the Revolution he was chosen colonel of about seven thousand volunteers. Many of them were persuaded by Danby and the Hon. Thomas Fairfax to declare for the Prince of Orange, but Kaye refused, and took no part in the abortive election of 24 Dec. Before the general election in the following month, Danby and 22 of his friends attempted to dissuade Kaye from standing for the county, but he was returned unopposed. Again moderately active in the Convention, he did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. Of his 13 committees, the most important in the first session were to bring in a bill to regulate the militia (24 Apr.) and to prepare reasons for a conference on disarming Papists (7 May). After the recess he was among the Members entrusted with the second mutiny bill, the inquiry into the state of the revenue, and the bill for the security of Irish Protestants. A letter of his of 6 Feb. 1690 to the mayor of Leeds shows that he was a strong opponent of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He was classed as a government supporter in 1690-2, signed the Association in 1696, and appears to have been a moderate Tory under Anne. He died on 8 Aug. 1706, aged 65, and was buried at Almondbury. His eldest son represented Yorkshire as a Tory from 1710 to his death in 1726.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 74.
  • 2. Add. 29674, f. 160; Browning, Danby , ii. 20; Yale Lib. Osborn mss; Reresby Mems. 584; Bradford Antiquary n.s. vi. 404; Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 190.
  • 3. J. T. Cliffe, Yorks. Gentry, 53, 97, 356; Royalist Comp. Pprs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xviii), 2.
  • 4. HMC Astley, 38-40; HMC Var. ii. 166-7, 393; O. Heywood, Diaries, iii. 119-20; Reresby, 185-8, 276; Dom. Intell. 26 Sept. 1679; Parl. Rep. Yorks. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xcvi), 94.
  • 5. Reresby, 584-5; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. x. 61, 163, 164; Parl. Rep. Yorks. 94, 174; Camb. Hist. Jnl. v. 249.