CHOLMLEY, Hugh (1684-1755), of Abbey House, Whitby, Yorks.

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



1708 - Nov. 1721

Family and Education

b. 3 Aug. 1684, 1st s. of Nathaniel Cholmley of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London, merchant, by Mary, da. and h. of Sir Hugh Cholmley, 4th Bt.†, of Abbey House.  educ. Enfield g.s.; Magdalene, Camb. 1700.  m. 16 Mar. 1717, Katherine, da. of Sir John Wentworth, 1st Bt., of North Elmsall, Yorks., 8s. (4 d.v.p.) 4da. d.v.psuc. fa. 1727.1

Offices Held

Surveyor-gen. crown lands 1715–22; commr. victualling Nov. 1721–Mar. 1722.2

Sheriff, Yorks. 1724–5.


Cholmley inherited Abbey House through his mother, whose family had long represented Scarborough in Parliament. In 1707 he was appointed by Lord Keeper Cowper (William*) as a justice of the peace for the North Riding. When he was returned for Hedon in 1708, apparently with the support of William Pulteney*, Cholmley’s election was reckoned a ‘gain’ for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). This was an accurate classification, as in 1709 he supported the naturalization of the Palatines, and the following year he voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. Cholmley had intended to stand for Scarborough in 1710 but, not finding enough support, had been returned for Hedon. He was marked as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’, and it was probably Hugh rather than John Cholmley who told on 15 Dec. for the motion to add four names to the land tax commission for Kent and on 27 Jan. 1711 against John Boteler’s* election for Hythe, and who was given leave of absence on 5 Mar. for one month. However, Hugh Cholmley was back in the House on 25 May, when he sided with a hard core of Whigs in opposition to the administration, and voted against the amendment to the South Sea bill.3

The death of John Cholmley in 1711 makes it easy to identify Hugh henceforth in the proceedings of the House. During the 1711–12 session he told on 19 Feb. 1712 against a motion accusing the Duke of Marlborough’s (John Churchill†) secretary, Adam de Cardonnel*, of corruption in relation to provisions for the army. In the following session Cholmley told on two occasions in May 1713 against suspending the duties on imported French wines. On 9 June he acted as a teller in favour of recommitting the report on the French commerce treaty of 1674, while in the debate of the 18th on the bill for confirming the 8th and 9th articles of the new commercial treaty he spoke and voted against the bill, being listed as a Whig. The following day he reported from the committee appointed to consider the petition of some army officers for payment of arrears. Noted as a Whig in the Worsley list, in the 1714 session he voted on 18 Mar. against the expulsion of Richard Steele. On the 31st Cholmley told in favour of discharging from custody Thomas Glascock, who had been arrested for refusing the Tory Nicholas Corsellis* access to Colchester borough records while the latter had been preparing for a disputed election case. Cholmley also told on 6 Apr. for a motion to allow Lord Barrymore (James Barry*) to present a new petition relating to the Wigan election of 1713, and on the 19th in favour of making the commissioners to treat with France ineligible to sit in the House. The following month he told for a motion to include Roman Catholics within the schism bill (12 May), and on 16 June against a motion to instruct the elections committee to proceed with hearing the merits of the Harwich election.4

Re-elected for Hedon in 1715, Cholmley was noted as a Whig in a list which compared the 1715 Parliament with its predecessor. He was appointed to government office at the accession of George I, replacing Alexander Pendarves* as surveyor-general. Subsequently he moved from Abbey House to Howsham Hall in the North Riding, a Jacobean house he had acquired by marriage. He died there on 25 May 1755 and was buried at Whitby.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 256–7.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. xxix. 338.
  • 3. J. Taylor, A Journey to Edinburgh, 71; Clay, 253–7; Herts. RO, Panshanger mss, D/EP F152, list of j.p.s put in or put out by Ld. Cowper, [1707]; EHR, lxxxii. 483; Hist. Jnl. iv. 197–8.
  • 4. SRO, Cromartie mss GD305 addit./bdle. 15, [?] to [Earl of Cromarty], 20 June 1713.
  • 5. F. R. Pearson, Abbey House, Whitby and Cholmley Fam. 29–30.