CHAPLIN, John (1657-1714), of Tathwell, Lincs.

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



1690 - 1695
1702 - 1705

Family and Education

b. 29 Jan. 1657, 1st s. of Sir Francis Chaplin, Clothier, of Thames Street, St. Botolph Billingsgate, London, alderman of London 1668–d., ld. mayor 1677–8, by Anne, da. of Daniel Hutt of Essex; bro. of Sir Robert Chaplin, 1st Bt.†  m. (1) lic. 13 Mar. 1678, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir John Hamby of Lamberhurst, Kent and Tathwell, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) 3 Feb. 1692, Frances, da. of Thomas Archer† of Umberslade Hall, Tanworth, Warws., sis. of Andrew Archer* and wid. of Sir Francis Rouse, 3rd Bt., of Rouselench, Worcs., s.psuc. fa. 1680.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Lincs. 1689–90; high steward, Grimsby ?–d.2


Hailing from Bury St. Edmunds, which his uncle Thomas had represented in 1659 and 1660, Chaplin’s father became a prosperous London merchant, and served as lord mayor. He left estates in Suffolk, Wiltshire and Jamaica, and over £1,000 in personalty, including stock in the Royal African Company. Chaplin himself does not appear to have entered trade, although one of his brothers took advantage of their father’s connexions to become a colonial merchant and administrator. Through his first marriage John acquired Tathwell, which proprietorial interest helped him to fight a successful campaign at Grimsby in 1690. At the beginning of his parliamentary career he was classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a probable supporter of the Court, though in April 1691 Robert Harley* marked him as a Country Member. He was not active, although in the fourth session he was granted a leave of absence on 13 Dec. 1693, and the following month successfully sued for breach of privilege against two men for arresting one of his servants. In the next session he was reported to be ‘very ill’ on 22 Feb. 1695 and was granted leave to go into the country. Sickness may thus have been the reason for his decision not to stand at the general election held later that year.3

Chaplin did not return to Parliament until 1702, when he emerged at the top of the poll at Grimsby. He soon showed his adherence to Whig principles, voting in February 1703 for agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the Abjuration. He was classed as a probable opponent of the Tack in October 1704, and duly voted against it or was absent in the division on 28 Nov. Having suffered a resounding defeat at Grimsby in 1705, he did not stand again. He died on 11 Nov. 1714, and was buried at Tathwell. His brother Sir Robert Chaplin, 1st Bt., sat for Grimsby under George I, and the descendants of his youngest son, Thomas, provided many Members for the boroughs and county of Lincoln.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Perry Gauci


  • 1. Burke, LG (1855), 193; J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London (London and Mdx. Arch. Soc.), 44–45; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 237; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 221–2.
  • 2. Letters and Pprs. Banks Fam. ed. Hill (Lincoln Rec. Soc. xiv), p. xx.
  • 3. Woodhead, 44–45.
  • 4. Monson’s Church Notes ed. Monson (Lincoln Rec. Soc. xxxi), 371.