LENTHALL, William (d.1702), of Latchford, Great Haseley, Oxon.

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



Oct. 1679

Family and Education

o. surv. s. of Edmund Lenthall (d.1668) of Latchford by Elizabeth, da. of Sir William Wade, lt. of the Tower, of Hampstead, Mdx. m. (1) 1651, Stephana, da. of Sir Stephen Harvey of Northampton, s.p.; (2) by 1679, Lucy, da. of Edmund Dunch of Little Wittenham, Berks., s.p. suc. gdfa. 1669.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Berks. 1657, Oxon. Jan. 1660, 1664-80, 1689-90; j.p. Oxon 1673-80, Surr. 1673-d.; freeman, Wallingford and Woodstock 1679.2

Gent. of the privy chamber 1668-85; marshal of the King’s Bench prison 1669-?87, by 1690-?97.3


Lenthall’s ancestor, of Herefordshire origin, acquired Latchford, some dozen miles north of Wallingford, by marriage in the 15th century. Lenthall’s grandfather, the elder brother of the Speaker of the Long Parliament, acquired an unenviable reputation as marshal of the King’s Bench prison. His father apparently avoided active participation in the Civil War, but held local office from 1648 throughout the Interregnum and after the Restoration. Lenthall’s parliamentary career was probably due entirely to his second wife’s family, who found him two seats to enable him to evade his creditors. In August 1679 he defeated the court candidate John Stone at Wallingford, and a few months later he was removed from the Oxfordshire commission of the peace as an exclusionist. After the death of his brother-in-law Hungerford Dunch, he transferred to Cricklade and was returned in 1681, though he had to swallow a loyal address after the election. Totally inactive in both Parliaments, he is unlikely to have stood again, as his financial circumstances became desperate.4

In 1684 Lenthall mortgaged the profits of the prison for £3,000, thereby increasing his total debt to Sir John Cutler to £10,000. After the Revolution Robert Wright was charged with removing Lenthall and his deputy from office in an illegal manner, and he was again officiating as marshal in 1690. Under a clause of the Prison Act of 1697 he was forbidden to make any grant of the office without the consent of Cutler’s executor until the debt should be paid. Lenthall was still on the Surrey commission of the peace in 1702, but died, childless and intestate, before 27 Feb., when letters of administration were granted to Cutler’s son-in-law, the 2nd Earl of Radnor (Charles Bodvile Robartes). In 1708 Radnor obtained a private Act for the sale of the whole of Lenthall’s property in part satisfaction of the debt, then totalling over £20,000.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), i. 226; Burke, Gentry (1952), 1509; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 324; Bodl. Great Haseley par. reg.
  • 2. Berks. RO, Wallingford borough statute bk. 1648-1766, f. 109; Woodstock council acts, 6 Sept. 1679.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1670, p. 318; HMC Lords, ii. 434.
  • 4. Berry, County Genealogies, 60; W. Rendle, Old Southwark and its People, 89; J. M. Dalton, Mss of St. George’s Chapel, 351; Bodl. Ch. Oxon. C2/2839; Prot. Dom. Intell. 15 Mar. 1681.
  • 5. Statutes, vii. 275; HMC 7th Rep. 420; Prob. 6/78, ff. 25-27; HMC Lords, n.s. vii. 547-8; Par. Colls. (Oxon. Rec. Soc. iv), 166.