PECKHAM, Henry (1615-73), of Chichester, Suss.

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



1661 - Apr. 1673

Family and Education

bap. 20 Aug. 1615, 1st s. of William Peckham of Aldingbourne, Suss. by his w. Mary. educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. 1632; M. Temple 1634, called 1641. m. 8 May 1644, Judith, da. of Henry Goring of Highden, Suss., 6s. 4da. Kntd. 24 May 1662; suc. fa. 1671.2

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. 1647-9, 1655-d.; recorder, Chichester 1654-d., Portsmouth 1658-d., Newport I.o.W. aft. 1661-d.; commr. for assessment, Suss. 1657, Jan. 1660-d., Chichester 1663-4, militia, Suss. Mar. 1660, oyer and terminer, Home circuit July 1660, sewers, W. Suss. Oct. 1660; bencher, M. Temple 1663, reader 1669.3

Serjeant-at-law 1669-d.


Peckham’s father, a younger son of a family established in Sussex only in Elizabethan times, apparently avoided commitment in the Civil War. Peckham, a professional lawyer, held local office during the Protectorate and was three times elected for Chichester, but Roger Whitley included him among the Sussex Royalists, and his career continued uninterrupted by the Restoration. Returned on both indentures at the general election of 1660 he seems to have taken his seat at once, and was marked by Lord Wharton as a friend, to be managed by Sir Richard Onslow. An inactive Member, he was appointed to seven committees, including those for the indemnity bill and for settling ecclesiastical livings. On 25 June he spoke against the petition from the intruded dons at Oxford, and on 9 July he warned Members against getting involved in religious matters, which should be discussed in a synod. In the second session, nevertheless, he was added to the committee to bring in a bill for modified episcopacy. He was clearly an Anglican and a court supporter.4

Peckham again represented Chichester in the Cavalier Parliament but he was no more active than before, with only 32 committees, of which the most important were for the corporations bill and the execution of those under attainder. He acted as chairman for a naturalization bill in 1667. He was listed by Sir Thomas Osborne in 1669 among the Members who had usually voted for supply, and his appointment as serjeant-at-law dates from the same year. He was buried at St. Peter the Great, Chichester on 27 Apr. 1673. His son Henry was mayor of Chichester in 1681 and 1686, but no other member of the family is known to have sat in Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / B. M. Crook


  • 1. Excluded.
  • 2. Information from Mr. W. D. Peckham; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 157; Add. 5699, f. 144.
  • 3. A. Fletcher, County Community in Peace and War, 295; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 420; CSP Dom. 1673, p. 388; C181/7/58.
  • 4. VCH Suss. iv. 144.
  • 5. CJ, ix. 34; Add. 5699, f. 181v.