OXENDEN, Sir James (1641-1708), of Deane, Wingham, Kent.

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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
Dec. 1701

Family and Education

bap. 4 Apr. 1641, 1st s. of Henry Oxenden by 2nd w. educ. G. Inn, entered 1657; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1658, BA 1661; travelled abroad (Italy) 1663-5. m. (1) lic. 17 May 1673 (with £3,000), Elizabeth da. of Edward Chute alias Westrow of Bethersden, Kent, s.p.; (2) Arabella (d.1735) da. of Edward, 2nd Baron Rockingham, s.p. Kntd. 22 Mar. 1672; suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. Aug. 1686.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Kent 1673-80, Sandwich 1679-80, Kent and Sandwich 1689-90; j.p. Kent 1677-87, 1689-d.; freeman, Sandwich 1679; capt. of militia horse, Kent Dec. 1688; commr. for lodemanage court, Cinque Ports 1689; dep. lt. Kent 1694-d.2


Oxenden defeated the court candidate John Strode II at Sandwich in the first general election of 1679. Shaftesbury listed him as ‘honest’ and he voted for the first exclusion bill. He was named to six committees, including those for the habeas corpus amendment bill and the regulation of parliamentary elections. Returned, probably unopposed, to the next two Parliaments, he may have wavered on exclusion. He was named only to one unimportant committee in 1680 and to the committee of elections and privileges in 1681.3

Oxenden received a pass to go to France on 20 Feb. 1685, and probably did not stand at the general election. He was removed from the commission of the peace in 1687. During the Revolution

Sir Basil Dixwell and Sir James Oxenden came to Faversham with their two militia troops under pretence of securing the King from the rabble, but indeed to secure him for themselves and to make a merit to the Prince of Orange.

James complained of the strict guard they put upon him and of ‘their rude and rebellious carriage to their sovereign’ and excluded them from pardon.4

Oxenden regained his seat in the Convention, where he declared on 28 Jan. 1689 that it was a ‘voluntary departure in the King to go away and stir up foreign princes to bring in a foreign power to destroy us’ He was named to only four committees, including those to prepare the address of thanks and to draw up the bill of settlement. He advanced £7,000 to the new regime, and supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He failed to find a seat in the next two Parliaments, but was returned for Kent as a Whig in 1698. He died on 29 Sept. 1708. His nephews, the fourth and fifth baronets, sat for Sandwich as Whigs from 1713 continuously to 1754.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. The Gen. n.s. viii. 40; Coll. Voyages and Travels ed. Churchill (1746), vi. 520, 663.
  • 2. Kent AO, SA/AC8, f. 223; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 210.
  • 3. Kent AO, SA/AC8, ff. 227, 229.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 433; N. and Q. (ser. 3), vi. 23; Clarke, Jas. II, ii. 255-6, 485.
  • 5. Grey, ix. 21; IHR Bull. xlix. 251; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1973; Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1700-15, p. 163.