ANDREWS, Sir Matthew (c.1630-1711), of Ashley House, Walton-on-Thames, Surr. and Mere, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1679 - Mar. 1681
1689 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1630, 1st s. of Matthew Andrews, of Ironmonger Lane, London by Sarah, da. of Hugh Evance, clothworker, of London.  m. bef. 1669, Anne (d. 1709), 1s. 3da.  suc. fa. c.1643; kntd. 16 Apr. 1675.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Clothworkers’ Co. 1652; member, Hon. Artillery Co. 1667, treasurer 1681–1703; freeman, E.I. Co. 1669, cttee. 1671–81 (with statutory intervals); er. bro. Trinity House 1680–d., master 1695–7, dep.–master 1697–9; gov. Christ’s Hosp. by 1687.2

Sheriff, Wilts. 1676–7.

Commr. for preventing export of wool 1689–92; gent. of privy chamber 1689–1702; receiver of rents for manor of Mere 1693.3

Commr. public accts. 1691–4.


Andrews was a former merchant and shipowner who had started his career in India. His estate at Woodlands in Mere, some six miles from Shaftesbury, gave him an interest in the borough. Returned in 1690, he was classed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). Andrews was appointed to many drafting committees in his career, often concerning matters of trade, especially those relating to the East India Company. He played a leading role in the abortive attempt to establish a commission of public accounts in 1690, being nominated to the drafting committee for a bill to appoint commissioners and reporting from the committee supervising their election by ballot (20 May). He himself was not chosen on this occasion, but when the bill was revived in the following session he came 5th in the poll with 119 votes. The commissionership carried a salary of £500 p.a. In December 1690 Andrews reported a bill to permit the employment of foreign seamen in English merchant ships, carrying it up to the Lords on the 23rd, and acted as a teller on 27 Dec. in favour of the bill for the speedier determination of elections. In April 1691 Robert Harley* classed him as a member of the Country party. In the 1691–2 session he helped to manage a local waterworks bill through the Commons, and told on 18 Feb. 1692 against the second reading of the Lords bill for the relief of London orphans. Appointed on 22 Feb. to examine William Fuller about his allegations of Jacobite plots, Andrews was sent to find Fuller’s witnesses on the 23rd, reporting later the same day his failure to locate them. In the following session, during January and February 1693, he managed a bill to encourage the Greenland trade. In the 1693–4 session, he twice acted as a teller against the treason trials bill: on 14 Nov. against the first reading of the bill, and on 2 Jan. 1694 to terminate discussion in a committee of the whole by moving that the Speaker should resume the Chair. However, he was one of the Country Whigs who lost their places in the next ballot for commissioners of public accounts.4

Andrews successfully contested Shaftesbury in 1695, and continued to be involved in the preparation of legislation although he rarely managed any bills through the House. He was classed as ‘doubtful’ in a forecast of 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade. He signed the Association in February, and in March voted with the Court to fix the price of guineas at 22s. On 25 Nov. he voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Although involved in a local waterworks bill, in the 1697–8 session, his activity was curtailed by a leave of absence on 26 May 1698. He was listed as placeman in July 1698 and in another list in September was classed as a member of the Court party. He did not stand again for Parliament, probably because of advancing age. In 1710 he was listed as owning sufficient stock in the Bank of England to afford him a vote. Andrews died on 6 Mar. 1711 and was buried at Mere. A collector of paintings and china and something of a philanthropist, he had founded a school at Mere and made provision in his will for the salary of the schoolmaster and the upkeep of the premises.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Soc. of Genealogists, Boyd’s London units 19529; PCC 32 Pile, 48 Young; N. and Q. ser. 10, v. 289; Hoare, Wilts. Mere, 24; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 298.
  • 2. Cal. Ct. Mins. E.I. Co. ed. Sainsbury, viii. 209; ix. 30, 225; x. 302; xi. 40; W. R. Chaplin, Trinity House, 14–17, 58; G. A. Raikes, Hist. Hon. Artillery Co. ii. 477.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 350; Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 203; Ancient Vellum Bk. ed. Raikes, 109; info. from Prof. H. Horwitz.
  • 4. Hoare, 24; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 300–1, 1223; xviii. 134; xix. 114; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1557–1696, p. 394; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 132, 140; Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 26, f. 341.
  • 5. Hoare, 19; Egerton 3359 (unfol.); PCC 48 Young.