CHICHELEY, Sir John (c.1640-91), of Southampton Square, Bloomsbury, Mdx.

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



Mar. 1679 - Mar. 1681
1685 - 1687
1689 - 20 Mar. 1691

Family and Education

b. c.1640, 2nd s. of Thomas Chicheley† of Wimpole, Cambs. and Great Queen Street, St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Mdx. by his 1st w. Sarah, da. of Sir William Russell, 1st Bt.†, of Chippenham, Cambs.  educ. I. Temple 1657.  m. c.1667, Isabella (d. 1709), da. and coh. of Sir John Lawson of Alresford, Essex, wid. of Daniel Norton of Southwick, Hants, 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da.  Kntd. June 1665.1

Offices Held

Lt. RN 1662, capt. 1663, r.-adm. 1673–5; envoy, Spanish Netherlands 1670; commr. navy 1675–80, Ordnance 1679–82; ld. of Admiralty 1682–4, 1689–90.2

Freeman, Portsmouth 1675, Liverpool 1686; conservator, Bedford Level 1683–d.3


Chicheley, who had opposed the abdication vote in 1689 as making the crown elective, was nevertheless appointed a lord of the Admiralty by King William. One of the most experienced members of the commission, he was one of three regular attenders who transacted most of the day-to-day business. Returned for Newton by his nephew Peter Legh† of Lyme, a frequent house guest of Chicheley’s in Southampton Square, he was classed as a Court supporter by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in his list of March 1690. On 5 June he resigned from the Admiralty commission, giving no reason for his decision but probably disgusted by the divisions and mismanagement in the navy. At the beginning of the second session of the Parliament Chicheley was listed as a probable supporter of Carmarthen, in connexion with the projected Commons’ attack upon Carmarthen’s ministerial position, and the session saw him appointed to draft a bill to improve the recruitment of seamen (15 Oct.). In April 1691 Chicheley was listed as a Country supporter by Robert Harley*, but he had long suffered from lung trouble and died very suddenly on 20 Mar. 1691, being buried at St. Giles-in-the-Fields three days later.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 234; Lyme Letters ed. Lady Newton, 25.
  • 2. Commissioned Sea Officers of RN 1660–1815 (Navy Recs. Soc. occ. pub. 1), 80; Cal. Treas. Bks. vi. 140; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 13; J. Ehrman, Navy in War of Wm. III, 639.
  • 3. R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 361; Wahlstrand thesis, 58; S. Wells, Drainage of Bedford Level, i. 463–5.
  • 4. Ehrman, 279–80, 296–9, 342; Morrice ent’ring bk. 3, p. 155; Hervey Diary, 15; Lyme Letters, 184.