NORTHLEIGH, Henry (1643-94), of Peamore, Exminster, Devon.

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



14 Mar. 1677
1690 - 31 Jan. 1694

Family and Education

bap. 4 Mar. 1643, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Henry Northleigh of Peamore by Lettice, da. of Edward Yarde of Bradley, Devon. educ. King’s, Camb. 1660; M. Temple 1663. m. 16 Oct. 1682, Susanna, da. of John Sparke, dyer, of Exeter, 4s. 5da. suc. fa. c.1676.1

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Devon 1676-May 1688, j.p. 1677-July 1688, Oct. 1688-d., commr. for assessment 1679-80, 1689-90, sheriff 1680-1.2


Northleigh’s ancestors took their name from a property in the North Devon parish of Inwardleigh, four miles from Okehampton. His grandfather, a younger son, acquired Peamore by marriage. His cousin, the head of the family, was killed in action in the royalist army, but his father took no known part in the Civil War, though he held county office under the Protectorate and retained it after the Restoration. Northleigh inherited substantial property in Okehampton, and defeated Josias Calmady II in a by-election in 1677 at the cost of £460 in tavern bills. Shaftesbury marked him as ‘worthy’, but his only committee in the Cavalier Parliament, apart from the committee of elections and privileges in May 1678, was on the bill for burial in woollen, and on 18 Dec. he was sent for in custody of the serjeant-at-arms as a defaulter on a call of the House. Northleigh was again listed as ‘worthy’ by Shaftesbury in 1679, but he was not returned to the Exclusion Parliaments.3

Northleigh must have opposed exclusion, for he remained in local office until 1688, when he followed Sir Edward Seymour in refusing his consent to the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act until they had been debated in Parliament. After joining William of Orange at Exeter, he regained his seat in 1689. He was appointed to no committees in the Convention, and made no recorded speeches, but voted with the Tories to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. Nevertheless, he was re-elected in 1690, but died of a fever on 31 Jan. 1694. His widow married Edward Yarde, who was returned for Totnes in 1695, and his son Stephen sat for the same constituency as a Tory from 1713 to 1722.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 584. Devon and Cornw. N. and Q. xx. 134-5; PCC 95 Bence; Cal. Devon Wills (Index Lib. xxxv), 132.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 498.
  • 3. Lysons, Devon, 235, 293; Cal. Comm. Comp. 73; Trans. Devon. Assoc. xxxi. 129-136; W. B. Bridges, Okehampton, 103.
  • 4. HMC 7th Rep. 416; Vivian, 831.