SACKVILLE, Edward (c.1640-1714), of Bow Street, Covent Garden, Westminster.

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



14 Feb. - 25 Mar. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1640, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir John Sackville (d.1661) of Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent and Westminster by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir William Walter of Wimbledon, Surr. m. bef. 1677, Anne Thornton, at least 2s. (1 d.v.p.).1

Offices Held

Ensign, 1 Ft. Gds. (later Grenadier Gds.) 1667, capt. 1672-80; capt. 2 R. English Regt. (French army) 1672-4; lt.-col. Sidney’s Ft. 1678, Coldstream Gds. 1680-Dec. 1688; c.-in-c. Tangier 1680-1, gov. 1681-2; brig. 1685, maj.-gen. Nov.-Dec. 1688.2

J.p. Mdx. and Westminster 1687-9.3


Sackville’s father, a younger son of the Sedlescombe branch and uncle to Thomas Sackville, sat for Rye in the first and second Parliaments of Charles I. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was living at Knole as factotum for the 4th Earl of Dorset, the head of the family, and collecting arms and money for the King. He was seized by the parliamentary forces on his way back from Sevenoaks church, and committed to the Fleet by order of the House. No doubt, as Sackville stated, he suffered long for his loyalty, but he was not required to compound. Sackville also claimed to have himself served the King from a child, but his name has not been found among the records of the exiled Court. He inherited from his father the manor of Baldslow and the parsonage of Mountfield, and became an army officer ‘very severe in his discipline’. From 1672 he served in the same regiment as his cousin, the Hon. Edward Sackville, whose brother Charles Sackville, the head of the family, allowed him to occupy his house in Covent Garden and planned to marry off his illegitimate daughter to Sackville’s eldest son. On the same interest he was returned for East Grinstead at the first general election of 1679, defeating Henry Powle and the son of Lord Chief Justice Scroggs, who both petitioned. Sackville was marked ‘base’ on Shaftesbury’s list, but was not able to play any part in the first Exclusion Parliament, except to defend himself against Titus Oates. Thanks to his Sussex connexions, Sackville knew enough of the informer’s antecedents to destroy his credibility as a witness. An encounter was therefore arranged in a coffee-house near Sackville’s home. By calling Sackville a rascal, Oates provoked him into expressing disbelief in the Popish Plot, ‘vilifying the King’s evidence’, and condemning the proceedings in the last Parliament. He admitted calling Oates a lying rogue, and may have offered to bet that he would be proved a perjurer within a fortnight. As soon as a Speaker had been elected, Oates complained to the House. Sackville undertook to ‘limit my discourse so for the future as not so much to name Mr Oates nor anything of his former life’; but on the motion of John Maynard I it was resolved unanimously to expel him from the House and send him to the Tower. It was also agreed, despite the opposition of Henry Coventry and (Sir) William Coventry, that the Privy Councillors should ask the King to cashier him. Brought to his knees at the bar, Sackville hoped that ‘it is not the desire of the House to ruin me, for I have nothing else to eat bread with’. There is no evidence that the address for his dismissal was ever formally presented, and a week later he was released. Rather oddly, he ascribed his humiliating experience to the malice of Scroggs; but when his election was declared void on 7 Apr. the seat was awarded to Powle.4

Sackville’s military career was unimpeded by his short excursion into politics. He served with distinction in Tangier, and, having become a Roman Catholic, received rapid promotion in the next reign. He surrendered his commission to James II at Rochester on 19 Dec. 1688, but became one of the most active Jacobite conspirators. He had some success in obtaining military information from the Earl of Marlborough (John Churchill II), though Lord Ailesbury (Thomas Bruce) found him ‘naturally most peevish and passionate and poor and proud’. He was briefly imprisoned in 1692 and ‘remained a non-juror to his dying day’. He received an annuity of £100 under the 6th Earl’s will, and died on 9 Jan. 1714. His son Thomas (d.1732) was gentleman of the bedchamber to the Old Pretender, but further descendants have not been traced.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: B. M. Crook / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. PCC 55 Laud; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii) 183; Suss. N. and Q. x. 18; St. Paul Covent Garden (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxxvi), 75; C. E. Lart, Jacobite Extracts, i. 24.
  • 2. J. Childs, Army of Charles II, 247.
  • 3. Mdx. RO, MJ/SBB, 446, 453; WJP/CP1, 2.
  • 4. A. M. Everitt, Community of Kent and the Great Rebellion, 71, 109, 111-12; LJ, v. 380; Suss. Manors (Suss. Rec. Soc. xix) 17; (xx) 314; C.J. Phillips, Hist. Sackville Fam. i. 427-9; Compleat Hist. Europe 1713-14, p. 389; Kent AO, U269/T84/9; Grey, vii. 10, 47, 50-53, 55, 73; HMC 4th Rep. 298.
  • 5. Luttrell, i. 59; Clarke, Jas. II, ii. 268, 446; Ailesbury Mems. 272, 360; CSP Dom. 1691-2, pp. 327, 543; PCC 105 Poley; Pol. State, vii. 55; Compleat Hist. 389; Lart, 121.