SWANTON, William (c.1630-81), of Salisbury, Wilts.

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



14 Feb. 1673

Family and Education

b. c.1630, x st 1st s. of Francis Swanton. educ. M. Temple 1647, called 1652. m. (1) 5 Feb. 1649, Elizabeth, da. of Emmanuel Gauntlett, silkman, of Salisbury, 1s.; (2) Dulcibella (d. 21 June 1678), da. of William Whitwell, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1661.1

Offices Held

Clerk of assize, Western circuit 1656-67; commr. for assessment, Wilts. and Salisbury Aug. 1660-80; oyer and terminer, Western circuit 1661; j.p. Wilts. 1661-80; recorder, Salisbury 1668-d.; commr. for recusants, Wilts. 1675.2


Like so many of his family, Swanton became a lawyer, succeeding Richard Colman as recorder of Salisbury in 1668 and as Member in 1673. He was moderately active, being named to 22 committees, of which the most important were for preventing abuses in elections in 1673 and illegal exactions in 1677. In the latter year he registered his pedigree at the heralds’ visitation of Wiltshire. Shaftesbury marked him as a ‘worthy’ Member of the Cavalier Parliament, but he is not known to have stood again, though he was sufficiently prominent locally to be removed from the commission of the peace in 1680 as an exclusionist. He died on 18 July 1681, and was buried in the Cathedral. His son Francis sat for Salisbury as a Tory from 1715 to his death.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Vis. Wilts. 1677 ed. Phillips; Wilts. N. and Q. i. 377; Soc. of Genealogists, West Harnham par. reg.; R. Rawlinson, Antiqs. Salisbury Cathedral, 104.
  • 2. J. S. Cockburn, Hist. Eng. Assizes, 319; M. Temple Recs. 1042, 1044; HMC Lords, i. 191; Hoare, Wilts. Salisbury, 711.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 405; Rawlinson, 104.