TUFTON, Hon. Richard (1641-84), of Hothfield, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 30 May 1641, 3rd s. of John, 2nd Earl of Thanet by Lady Margaret Sackville, da. and coh. of Richard, 3rd Earl of Dorset; bro. of Hon. Sackville Tufton and Hon. Thomas Tufton. educ. travelled abroad (France, Low Countries) 1660-3. unm. suc. bro. as 5th Earl of Thanet 27 Apr. 1680.
Capt. of R. Ft. Gds. (later Grenadier Gds.) 1673-80; gov. of Tilbury 1681-4.
Commr. for sewers, Rother marshes Oct. 1660, assessment, Kent. 1665-80, Suss. 1673-80; sheriff, Westmld. 1680-d.
Tufton’s family orignated in East Sussex. They were seated at Northiam under Richard II, but in the 16th century moved to Kent on receiving a grant of Hothfield, which became their principal residence. Their parliamentary record begins only in 1601, and the peerage dates from 1628. The second earl was probably the wealthiest landowner in the county with an income of £10,000 p.a. He joined the King at Oxford in 1642, but was taken prisoner by the Parliamentarians later in the year endeavouring to promote a Cavalier rising in Kent. Although he escaped to France, he compounded for his estates in 1644. He was one of the organizers of the Kentish revolt in 1648. Though he changed sides at the last moment, the family remained under well-justified suspicion throughout the Interregnum. Tufton was offered a seat at Appleby by his grandmother, Lady Anne Clifford, in 1668, but preferred to travel. Five years later, however he accepted a commission in the guards, and he was returned for the borough at both elections in 1679. He was marked ‘base’ on Shaftesbury’s list, but he probably paired with his colleague Anthony Lowther for the division on the exclusion bill. He served on no committees and made no speeches. On his succession to the Clifford estates in 1680, he impaired the family interest by reviving the old feudal custom of exacting arbitrary fines from the tenants. In the Lords he voted against exclusion and for the acquittal of Lord Stafford. He died on 8 Mar. 1684, and was buried at Rainham.
R. Pocock, Mems. Tufton Fam. 14, 18; A. M. Everitt, Community of Kent and the Great Rebellion, 35, 187, 255-6; CSP Dom. 1667-8, p. 213; 1680, p. 2.