CHILD, Sir Josiah, 2nd Bt. (c.1668-1704), of Wanstead, Essex

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



24 Nov. 1702 - 20 Jan. 1704

Family and Education

b. c.1668, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Josiah Child, 1st Bt.†, of Wanstead, gov. E.I. Co. 1681–3, 1686–8, by his 2nd w. Mary, da. of William Atwood of Hackney, Mdx., merchant, and wid. of Thomas Stone of London, merchant; half-bro. of Sir Richard Child, 3rd Bt.*  m. 10 Mar. 1691 (with £25,000), Elizabeth (d. 1741), da. of Sir Thomas Cooke*, s.p.  Kntd. 29 Oct. 1692; suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 22 June 1699.1

Offices Held

Cttee. E.I. Co. 1687–93.2

Freeman, Maldon 1701.3


Child’s father had acquired a considerable fortune as a merchant and for many years had been regarded as the virtual head of the East India Company, in which he owned over £50,000 of stock. Child, who himself held £6,000, married the daughter of Sir Thomas Cooke, another large shareholder, thus consolidating the family’s grip on the company. Child did not take over the leadership of the company after his father’s death; instead this passed to Cooke. The terms of his father’s will, moreover, indicate that Child was by no means a favourite son. James Vernon I* wrote on 27 June 1699 that

Sir Josiah Child . . . has made such a disposition of his estate as his family is not likely to agree about. He has left his eldest son no more than was settled on him in marriage . . . which they reckon about £4,000 p.a. The other son [Sir Richard Child], who is by the present wife, is made heir to the rest and executor. He will have about £5,000 p.a. in land . . . They say he does not leave so great an estate as was expected and that he has several accounts depending, which will either take from his estate, or some will be great losers.

Child was nevertheless regarded as a man of sufficient substance to entertain the King to dinner at his house in October 1700.4

Child entered Parliament in 1702 at a by-election for Wareham on the interest of George Pitt*. A Tory like his father and brother, he did not stay long enough in the Commons to make any mark. He died of pleurisy on 20 or 21 Jan. 1704 and was buried at Hackney.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 192; W. Letwin, Sir Josiah Child, 1, 23.
  • 2. Info. from Prof. H. Horwitz.
  • 3. Essex RO (Chelmsford), Maldon bor. recs. D/B3/1/24, f. 144.
  • 4. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, ii. 316–17; Verney Letters 18th Cent. i. 86.
  • 5. Frag. Gen. n.s. i. 120, 128.