KENDALL, James (1647-1708), of Birdcage Walk, Westminster and Killigarth, Cornw.

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
17 Jan. 1706
17 May - 10 July 1708

Family and Education

bap. 17 June 1647, 4th but 3rd surv. s. of Thomas Kendall. educ. M. Temple 1666; L. Inn 1666. unm. 1s.1

Offices Held

Cornet, R. Horse Gds. 1675; lt.-col. of ft, regt. of Lord Morpeth (Edward Howard) 1678-9 capt. Cold-stream Gds. 1680-5.

Freeman, Portsmouth 1678; commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1689-90, j.p. by 1701-d.2

Gov. and v.-adm. Barbados 1689-94, member of council 1694-5; ld. of Admiralty 1696-9.3


Kendall, a younger son, became a professional soldier, although he inherited his father’s West Indian plantations. He was returned to Parliament for West Looe in 1685 as a Tory on the interest of his elder brother, who had acquired the nearby manor of Killigarth by marriage and had unsuccessfully contested the borough in the last three elections. In James II’s Parliament he was moderately active with four committees, including those on the bills for regulating hackney coaches and for the relief of insolvent debtors. He was probably at first a court supporter, and in September he was granted a hundred of the western rebels sentenced to transportation. At the opening of the second session he switched to the Opposition. On 13 Nov. he voted against the government motion to proceed with supply before debating the King’s message about Roman Catholic officers in the army, which was lost by one vote. The Earl of Middleton (Charles Middleton)

seeing many go out upon the division against the Court who were in the service of the Government, went down to the bar, and as they were told in, reproached them to their faces for voting as they did; and a Captain Kendall being one of them, the Earl said of him there, ‘Sir, have not you a troop of horse in his Majesty’s service?’. ‘Yes, my lord’, says the other, ‘but my brother died last night, and has left me £700 a year’.

He lost his commission, but as his niece’s guardian he controlled the manor of Killigarth, and continued to represent West Looe, with one interval, till 1702.4

Kendall was closely linked with the Earl of Rochester (Laurence Hyde) in the closing years of James II’s reign. Together with Francis Gwyn he accompanied him to Spa in 1687, and to Salisbury during the Revolution. Unlike his comrades, he went over to William of Orange; but according to Ailesbury’s list he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. Probably again a moderately active Member in the Convention, although the Journals do not distinguish him from Walter Kendall, he may have served on 18 committees, including those appointed to inquire into the authors and advisers of grievances in the last two reigns, and into the delay in relieving Londonderry. His only speech was in the debate on the indemnity bill on 18 June 1689, when he asked favour for Sir Edward Herbert for the sake of his brother. On 5 July he was appointed governor of Barbados, but did not leave to take up his post till the following spring. He acted as teller on 29 July for accepting the report of the committee which exonerated William Harbord from charges of malversation. He was one of five Members instructed on 9 Aug. to bring in a bill to ease the plantations of the duties imposed in 1685. In the second session he was appointed to the committees for the second mutiny bill and restoring corporations.5

Kendall did not stand for re-election in 1690. He left for Barbados on 9 Mar., returning five years later. He was appointed to the board of Admiralty in 1696, and sat as a court Whig. He died on 10 July 1708, leaving an estate of £40,000, chiefly in the West Indies, to his mistress.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 264; Cal. Treas. Bks. xv. 169-70; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 258-62.
  • 2. R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 363.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1689-90 pp. 178, 247; 1693, p. 78; 1696, p. 46; 1699-1700, p. 190; CSP Col. 1693-6, p. 220.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 329; Burnet, ed. Routh, iii. 92; Reresby Mems. 403; T. Bond, Looe, 156-9
  • 5. Ellis Corresp. i. 314; Fortnightly Rev. xl. 358; HMC Stuart, vi. 50; Grey, ix. 341.
  • 6. CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 540; HMC Downshire, i. 472; Luttrell, iii. 58, 478; vi. 327.