WORSLEY, Thomas (c.1649-1715), of Hovingham, Yorks.

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




Family and Education

b. c.1649, 1st s. of Thomas Worsley of Hovingham by Alice, da. of John Holcroft of Holcroft, Lancs. m. Mary, da. and coh. of Henry Arthington II of Arthington, Yorks., 4s. 1da. suc. fa. 1664.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1673-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1677-Feb. 1688, Nov. 1688-d., maj. of militia ft. by Jan. 1688, lt.-col. 1689-d., dep. lt. Oct. 1688-d.2


Worsley was descended from a branch of the old Lancashire family that had acquired estates at Hovingham, eight miles from Malton, in the middle of the 16th century, and ‘suffered under the prelates for nonconformity’. Worsley himself probably opposed exclusion, since he survived the purge of the North Riding magistracy in 1680, and was returned for Malton in 1685. But he was given leave of absence on 22 June and proved totally inactive in the House. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in 1688, he replied:

If I be chosen a Parliament man, I shall go free into the House, and give my vote as my judgment and reason shall direct when I hear the debates. If I be concerned in the election of any Member, it shall be for such as I think will serve the King and country faithfully and honourably. I always shall desire and hope to live peaceably and honestly, as becomes a good Christian and a loyal subject.

He was removed from local office and did not regain his seat until 1698. He was buried at Hovingham on 18 May 1715. His son had been returned for Thirsk as a Whig in 1711, and his grandson, though not interested in politics, sat in the House as a placeman from 1761 to 1774.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: P. A. Bolton


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. iii. 57.
  • 2. N. Riding Recs. vii. 8, 94; Eg. 1626, f. 53.
  • 3. VCH N. Riding, i. 506; HMC 7th Rep. 59.