OSBORNE, Charles (1633-1719), of Kiveton, Yorks. and Tower Hamlets, Mdx.

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

Family and Education

b. 1633, 2nd s. of Sir Edward Osborne, 1st Bt., of Kiveton by Anne, da. of William Walmesley of Dunkenhalgh, Lancs., wid. of William Middleton of Lichfield, Staffs.; bro. of Sir Thomas Osborne. unm.1

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1661-?70, 1672-Nov. 1688, (E. Riding) 1690-at least 1702, Mdx. 1683-Feb. 1688, Sept. 1688-at least 1702; sub-commr. of prizes, Hull 1672-4; commr. for assessment (W. Riding) 1673-80, 1689-90, wharves, Boston, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sandwich 1676, Poole 1679, Chichester 1680; freeman, Exeter 1676, Poole 1679, Portsmouth 1680; dep. lt. (W. Riding) 1677-9, (E. Riding) 1699-1702, Tower Hamlets 1689-1701; commr. for carriage of coals, Newcastle 1679; lt.-gov. of Hull 1690-1700.2

Surveyor-gen. of customs 1675-Mar. 1679, May 1679-87; commr. for inquiry into the Mint 1677-8; receiver of prize arrears 1678-81; commr. of customs Jan.-Apr. 1679.3


Throughout his career Osborne rode on his brother’s coat tails. He was first appointed to a minor office during the third Dutch war, and three years later, after Danby had become lord treasurer, was given a post in the customs with a salary of 1,000 marks p.a. His return for East Looe at a by-election in 1677 was entirely due to Danby’s nomination, overriding the inclination of the borough’s patron, (Sir) Jonathan Trelawny I. Osborne was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament. He was twice named to the committee of elections and privilege and to 13 others, including those for the bills to prevent the export of wool and to prevent Papists sitting in either House. Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’ and his name appears on both the government and opposition lists of court supporters. It is unlikely that he stood for any of the Exclusion Parliaments, but in March 1679 he was among those relatives entrusted by Danby with the task of organizing his supporters in the Upper House. Nevertheless, he somehow incurred his brother’s displeasure and is not likely to have stood in 1685. His post in the customs was under threat from the Treasury reforms introduced by Lord Rochester (Laurence Hyde), but it was not until 1687 that it was abolished as ‘unnecessary and chargeable’. Danby believed that his services would have been retained if he had given affirmative replies on the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act, but he was absent from the meeting of the West Riding magistrates summoned by the lord lieutenant in the following year. After the Revolution William refused to restore him to office, and his promise to continue his salary was not kept. In November 1689 Osborne wrote to his brother (now Marquess of Carmarthen) bewailing his ‘low condition’, whereupon Carmarthen sent him £100, and as governor of Hull secured his election to the next three Parliaments as a court Tory. He died on 7 Aug. 1719, aged 86, and was buried at Harthill.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Browning, Danby, i. 9; Foster, Yorks. Peds. ii.
  • 2. Mdx. RO, MJ/SBB446; MJP/CP5a; Add. 28040, f. 6; 29674, f. 162; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 296, 328, 398, 1206-7; vi. 637; Exeter Freemen (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. extra ser. i), 168; Poole archives, B17; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 364; Yale Univ. Lib. Osborn mss; CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 68; Luttrell, iv. 666.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 698; v. 751, 986, 1105, 1166, 1219, 1271, 1306; vi. 12, 49; vii. 47; viii. 206, 1272.
  • 4. Eg. 3330, ff. 73, 75, 83; Add. 28051, f. 194; Browning, ii. 160-2; HMC 11th Rep. VII, 35.