MUSGRAVE, Sir Philip, 2nd Bt. (1607-78), of Hartley, Westmld. and Edenhall, Cumb.

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



Apr. 1640
Nov. 1640 - 15 Mar. 1643
1661 - 7 Feb. 1678

Family and Education

b. 21 May 1607, and but o. surv. s. of Sir Richard Musgrave, 1st Bt., of. Hartley by Frances, da. of Philip, 3rd Baron Wharton. educ. privately 1618-22, Peterhouse, Camb. 1622-3; Trinity, Oxf. c.1624; G. Inn 1627. m. 1625, Julian (d. 5 Mar. 1660), da. of Sir Richard Hutton, j.c.p. 1617-39, of Goldsborough, Yorks. 6s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 6 Nov. 1615.

Offices Held

J.p. Cumb. and Westmld. 1638-46 July 1660-d. dep. lt. 1639-42, c. Aug. 1660-d., col. of militia ft. 1639-42, Oct. 1660-d., commr. of array 1642; custos rot. Westmld. July 1660-d.; commr. for oyer and terminer, Northern circuit July 1660, assessment, Cumb. and Westmld. Aug. 1660-d., farmer of tolls Oct. 1660-d., commr. for corporations 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662; alderman, Carlisle 1662-d., mayor 1665-6; commr. for charitable uses, Cumb. and Westmld. 1670, recusants 1675.1

Col. of ft. (royalist) 1642-6, 1648; gov. Carlisle 1643, Dec. 1660-d., Appleby 1648, I. of Man 1651, c.-in-c. Cumb. and Westmld. 1644; capt. of horse 1667.2


Musgrave’s family took their name from a property in Westmorland which they were already holding in 1204. Musgrave’s father sat for the county in the first Parliament of James I, as his ancestors had done regularly since 1340, but went abroad and died a Roman Catholic. Succeeding in childhood to ‘a very entangled and disordered estate’, and further handicapped by ‘a melancholy disposition and a weak body’, Musgrave became a lifelong Cavalier, whose devotion to the King was exceeded only by his devotion to the Church. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Rowton Heath in 1646, but helped to persuade the Scots to invade England in 1648, accompanied Charles II to Jersey, and returned from exile to act as governor of the Isle of Man for the Countess of Derby. His estates were forfeit and his life proscribed, but his Wharton cousins came to his aid. The 4th baron obtained his pardon from the Protector, and Sir Thomas Wharton lent him £3,300 without security to buy back his property from the treason trustees. He was under continual suspicion during the Interregnum, being ’most strictly dealt with’ by Charles Howard.3

Musgrave was offered a peerage on the eve of the Restoration. The patent still survives, but conscious of his impaired estate he preferred to accept the King’s bounty in another way. He was appointed governor of Carlisle and granted at a nominal rent the tolls on cattle imported into Cumberland and Westmorland from Scotland and Ireland. At the general election of 1661 he was returned for the latter county, probably unopposed, and became an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament. Lord Wharton, whom he had presented to the King at Greenwich for pardon, listed him as a friend, despite the differences in their religious and political outlook. He was appointed to 223 committees and made 15 recorded speeches. In the first session he was named to the committees on the private bills for confirming the jointure of Lady Pembroke, to whose kindness he had owed much during the Interregnum, and restoring the Earl of Derby’s property in Flintshire. He was also appointed to the committees for the corporations and uniformity bills, the bill of pains and penalties, and the bill to prevent theft and rapine on the northern borders. During the recess he wrote to Joseph Williamson: ‘I am become one of the state physicians, and course about to Kendal, Appleby and Carlisle to purge corporations’. In 1663 his committees included those to prevent the growth of Popery, to regulate the sale of offices, to consider the petition from the loyal and indigent officers, and to provide remedies against meetings of sectaries. He was ‘esteemed to be instrumental in the House of Commons in crossing the designs of those who did desire the procuring a toleration of different opinions in matters of religion’, and was regarded by the numerous local Quakers as their chief persecutor, especially after the Derwentdale plot. On 15 Feb. 1664 he offered to attend Parliament or the trial of the Westmorland prisoners, whichever the Government preferred. Listed as a court dependent, he was appointed to the committee for the conventicles bill, and was among those ordered to hear complaints against customs officials. At this time he was engaged in a bitter dispute with the collector of customs at Carlisle, a Manxman named Christian, whose father had, in Musgrave’s view, betrayed the island to the Commonwealth forces in 1651. Christian claimed one-sixteenth of the cattle tolls, which, originally valued by the Treasury at £100 p.a. at most, had in fact netted Musgrave £882 in the year 1662-3. Eventually he was suspended from office, and restored only on Musgrave’s request, presumably on relinquishing his claim. In the next session, Musgrave reported to the House that the Members for Cumberland and Westmorland had agreed on the assessment rates for their counties. In 1666 he was appointed to the committee on the bill against the import of cattle, by which he was ‘deprived of a great part of the benefit intended by his former grant’.4

On the news of Clarendon’s dismissal, Musgrave, who did not ‘covet the knowledge of state mysteries’, asked the King to dispense with his attendance at the next session of Parliament in view of his age and infirmity, and the difficulty of the journey to Westminster. But he had taken his seat by 9 Nov. 1667, when he was one of the delegation sent to ask the Duke of York about the fortification of Sheerness, and on 11 Feb. 1668 he was among those ordered to attend the lord chief baron about giving ease to sheriffs. He continued to serve on all committees aimed at nonconformists. He pointed out that Queen Elizabeth had punished them in the same way, and said:

The dregs of schism are so deeply settled in men that indulgence will never purge them out. It is to be wished that all profaneness and debauchery were restrained and duly punished to avoid the scandal and objections of the dissenters.

Meanwhile he had been involved in another local dispute with Alderman Aglionby of Carlisle, a henchman of the Lowther interest, who had insulted the garrison. The case was heard by the Privy Council on 21 Oct., and, ‘after many expressions of esteem from the King of Sir Philip Musgrave’s fidelity and good service’, Aglionby was compelled to apologize. He again served on a Commons delegation on 23 Nov. 1669, this time to thank the dying Albemarle for preserving peace, and he was appointed to the committee to consider the bill for union with Scotland. Although he wrote that he would not be returning to Westminster after the summer recess in 1670, he was as usual named to the committee for the conventicles bill on 8 Dec. A friend of Ormonde, his name appears on both lists of the court party in 1669-71, while an opposition writer described him as ‘an old stallion of the Court, [who] hath had good gratuity thereby, and for the prerogative is Orlando Furioso’.5

Musgrave moved for a vote of thanks for the King’s speech of 5 Feb. 1673, despite its defence of the Declaration of Indulgence; but his real feelings were shown in debate a few days later:

Believes that his Majesty had gracious intentions in this declaration, but it did make disturbances in most loyal hearts. ... Moves for an humble address of this House to his Majesty to preserve the Act of Uniformity.

He supported another vote of thanks on 24 Feb., but was none the less appointed to the committees to draft the address on the suspending power, to bring in a bill of ease for dissenters and to consider the bill against Popery, which became the test bill. He also served on the committee for the prevention of moor-burning, and was included in the Paston list. But it was the two sessions of 1675 that turned him, no doubt under his son’s direction, into a political figure of more than local significance. He attended the meeting of the court caucus on 25 Apr. which resolved not to oppose the illegal exactions bill on the first reading, and he was appointed to the committees for the bill, and for appropriating the customs to the use of the navy. During the summer he was engaged in a dispute with Sir George Fletcher about the import of Scottish cattle. His old enemy, Howard, now the 1st Earl of Carlisle, who was called in to compose the quarrel, told the Treasury that ‘Scotch cattle pay a certain toll to Sir Philip, upon which account ’tis presumed he may too much favour the importation’. Musgrave received the government whip for the autumn session, in the form of a personal letter from Henry Coventry, and was responsible, probably on the suggestion of (Sir) Joseph Williamson, for the admission of the secretaries of state to all meetings of the caucus. When Parliament met he proposed on behalf of the Court that days should be appointed for discussing religion and supply. He took exception to the remark of Sir John Hotham that the revenue granted by the Commons had been used to win over Members from the Opposition, and described the assault on the convert Luzancy by a Jesuit as ‘so great an affront to the Church that if nothing be done in it the Church will grow low in esteem’. He helped to draft the address and was appointed to the committee for the liberty of the subject. He was one of the managers of the conference on preventing the revival of differences between the Houses. He was included in the lists of dependents and government supporters prepared by Sir Richard Wiseman, and expected by Williamson to continue speaking on behalf of the Court. During the long recess which followed he became further embroiled with most of his fellow-magistrates over his proposal to transfer the quarter sessions from Kendal to Appleby. ‘We all have a very great kindness and Honour’ for Musgrave, wrote Daniel Fleming. ‘We only desire to continue things as they have been a long time.’ Once again his son’s influence was suspected, but Sir Francis North, one of the judges of assize, arbitrated, there was a friendly exchange of letters with Lord Carlisle, and an agreement was signed on 16 Aug. 1676. Musgrave did not attend the 1677 session, but Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’. He died on 7 Feb. 1678, and was buried at Edenhall.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Leonard Naylor


This biography is based on G. Burton, Life of Sir Philip Musgrave.

  • 1. CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 312; 1660-1, pp. 281, 313; 1661-2, p. 498; HMC 3rd Rep. 40; Carlisle Municipal Recs. (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. Soc. extra ser. iv), 44; HMC Le Fleming, 117; Westmld. RO, D/Ry 1124.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 431; 1667, p. 183.
  • 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 282-3; Cal. Comm. Comp. 2308; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 69, 87, 108; S. E. Hoskins, Chas. II in the Channel Is., ii. 315.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 281; 1663-4, pp. 188, 245, 480; 1664-5, pp. 85, 170, 205; 1671, p. 139; SP29/60/29; HMC Le Fleming, 26; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 14; iii. 868; CJ, viii. 579.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 480; 1667, pp. 451-2; 1668-9, pp. 10, 30-31; Grey, i. 104; Milward, 217; Bulstrode Pprs. 69-70; Harl. 7020, f. 42v.
  • 6. Dering, 106, 132; Dering Pprs. 70, 103; CSP Dom. 1675-6, pp. 75, 477; 1676-7, pp. 107, 229-30, 282, 480, 637; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 314; HMC Le Fleming, 115; Grey, iii. 293, 366, 421; CJ, ix. 380; North, Lives, i. 181-3.