ORME, Humphrey (1620-71), of Peterborough, Northants.

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



26 May 1660
1661 - 2 Mar. 1671

Family and Education

bap. 12 Oct. 1620, 1st s. of Humphrey Orme of Peterborough by 1st w. Mary, da. of Humphrey Orme of Compton Dundon, Som. m. bef. 22 Nov. 1647, Mary, da. of Sir Henry Bedingfield of Oxburgh, Norf., wid. of Robert Apreece of Washingley, Hunts., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1653.1

Offices Held

J.p. Peterborough ?1649-50, June-July 1654, 1657-d., Northants. July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Northants. 1650, 1652, Jan. 1660-9; feoffee for town lands, Peterborough c.1653-d., commr. for charitable uses 1656-8, sewers, Lincs. 1658; capt. of militia ft. Northants. Aug. 1660-?d., commr. for oyer and terminer, Nassaburgh Oct. 1660, loyal and indigent officers 1662, enclosures, Deeping fen 1665, appeals, Bedford level 1668.2


Orme was descended from a Household official who leased West Deeping manor in Lincolnshire, about 12 miles from Peterborough, in 1536. His grandfather, knighted in 1604, took up residence in the city as tenant of the bishop’s manor of Borough Bury long before the Civil War, during and after which he served on various parliamentary committees for Northamptonshire. In his will he passed over Orme’s father, who had run into debt and gone to live with his second wife’s family in Sussex. Orme himself married a recusant, and undoubtedly had Cavalier sympathies; nevertheless in 1654 he became the first of the family to enter Parliament. He was nominated to the proposed order of the Royal Oak with an income of £1,000 p.a., probably an over-estimate. Owing to the double return for Peterborough at the general election of 1660, Orme was not allowed to take his seat till 26 May, though he had ‘without dispute the greater number of votes’. He was a moderately active Member of the Convention, with 11 committee appointments, of which the most important were for the attainder and militia bills. If his opponents in the 1654 election were to be believed, he had been by no means guiltless of ‘the detestable sins of profane swearing and cursing’, but he was appointed to the committee for their suppression, and also to that for draining the great level of the fens. In August he was described by the Earl of Exeter as ‘a very honest person’ and very forward in militia business.3

Orme was re-elected in 1661, probably without a contest. He was again moderately active, being appointed to 42 committees in nine sessions of the Cavalier Parliament, including those for the corporations and uniformity bills. His only recorded speech was on 15 Oct. 1666 when he proposed the redemption of the hearth-tax at eight years’ purchase. ‘This seemed to take with many’, wrote John Milward, and Orme was named to the committee to estimate the yield of the tax. Nothing came of this, but in the next session he was among the Members appointed to hear the petition of the Gloucestershire blacksmiths against the tax. He took no part in the proceedings against Clarendon, and his attendance began to be affected by ill-health. In 1669 he was named to the committee for the continuance of the Conventicles Act. But his name does not appear on either list of the court party, and he probably acted with the country Cavaliers. On 2 Mar. 1671 he was ‘called forth from the supreme assembly of England to the higher congress of the saints’, according to his epitaph in Peterborough Cathedral.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / E. R. Edwards


  • 1. Fenland N. and Q. iv. 137-8; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1778; C6/132/148, 135/135.
  • 2. Peterborough Local Admin. (Northants. Rec. Soc. x), 233; C181/6/333; Merc. Pub. 14 Feb. 1661; Add. 34222, f. 69.
  • 3. Fenland N. and Q. iv. 98-100; PCC 78 Pembroke; C6/117/114; CSP Dom. 1654, p. 313; SP29/11/52.
  • 4. Milward, 23; CJ, viii. 637; ix. 15; Bridges, Northants. ii. 569.