LEWKNOR, John I (1624-69), of Westdean, nr. Chichester, Suss.

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



1661 - 3 Dec. 1669

Family and Education

b. 11 Mar. 1624, o.s. of Richard Lewknor of Westdean by Mary, da. of Thomas Bennet, Mercer, of Cheapside, London and Babraham, Cambs. educ. M. Temple, entered 1638; St. John’s, Oxf. 1639. m. lic. 19 Apr. 1649, Anne, da. and coh. of George Mynne, clerk of the hanaper, of Woodcote, Epsom, Surr., 1s. 3da. suc. fa. 1635; KB 23 Apr. 1661.1

Offices Held

Capt. of dgns. (royalist) 1643-6.2

J.p. Suss. July 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-d., sewers, W. Suss. Oct. 1660, loyal and indigent officers, Suss. 1662; freeman, Portsmouth 1667.3


Lewknor’s ancestors had been Sussex gentry since the reign of Edward I, first representing the county in 1336. His uncle sat for Chichester in the Long Parliament and commanded a Cavalier regiment in the Civil War. Lewknor’s own involvement was less voluntary, as he told the commissioners for compounding. During the advance of Hopton’s army into Sussex in 1643, a disorderly party of parliamentary soldiers sacked his house and assaulted him, with ‘no other allegation or pretext against him, save that he had some of his name on the adverse party’. Lewknor took refuge with the Cavaliers, and was in arms until the surrender of Barnstaple in 1646. He was denied the benefit of the articles, and ordered to pay £1,440 to compound for his delinquency; but the fine was discharged on his settling £150 p.a. for the support of the local clergy. He was looked upon as a person who would engage for the King in 1651, but apparently took no part in royalist conspiracy during the Interregnum. His estate was assessed for decimation purposes at £700 p.a.4

At the general election of 1661 Lewknor was returned for Midhurst, the family borough, six miles from his home. He was appointed only to five committees, consisting of the committee of elections and privileges for the first three sessions of the Cavalier Parliament and those to establish a registry of pawnbrokers in 1661 and to inquire into the decay of trade in 1664. On 15 Dec. 1666 he defaulted at a call of the House, but shortly before his death he was included by Sir Thomas Osborne among those who had usually voted for supply. He died on 3 Dec. 1669, and was buried at Westdean. His widow married Sir William Morley.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: B. M. Crook


  • 1. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 72; Add. 5699, f. 202v.
  • 2. List of Officers Claiming (1663), 7Z.
  • 3. C181/7/58; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 3S9.
  • 4. Suss. Arch. Colls. iii. 92; Keeler, Long Parl. 251; SP23/186, ff. 593, 596; HMC Portland, i. 578; Thurloe, iv. 240.
  • 5. J. Comber, Suss. Genealogies Lewes, 156.