COLT, Sir Henry Dutton, 1st Bt. (c.1646-1731), of St. James’s, Westminster

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



2 Dec. 1695 - 1698
Dec. 1701 - 1702
1705 - 1708

Family and Education

b. c.1646, 4th s. of George Colt of Colt Hall, Cavendish, Suff. by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Dutton† of Sherborne, Glos.; bro. of John Dutton Colt*.  m. lic. 26 May 1704, Cecilia (d. 1712), da. of Francis Brewster of Wrentham, Suff., wid. of William Nuthall of Kingston-upon-Thames, Surr. and Sir Robert Hatton of Thames Ditton, Surr., s.pcr. Bt. 2 Mar. 1694.1

Offices Held

Cornet, Barbados drag. 1672–4; corp. yeomen of the gd. 1673–?86, ensign 1685–6; adj. of drag. Prince Rupert’s regt. 1678; ensign, R. Regt. Drag. 1678, capt. 1679.2


Colt’s military career was not markedly successful. By the time he reached 40 he had not progressed beyond the rank of captain, and his financial circumstances, as an officer on the Irish establishment, were then described as ‘very sad’, possibly a consequence of the fondness for gaming which was certainly to characterize his later years. Nevertheless, in 1687 he was able to stand bail for his brother John in the sum of £2,000. Although he lost his place in the yeomen of the guard by 1686, and perhaps too his dragoon troop, he avoided the more serious dangers to which his family’s opposition to King James’s policies rendered them subject. He did spend some time in custody in November 1688 but was released when Lord Middleton (Charles†) expressed a belief in his innocence. Unlike his brothers, who received offices or promotion at the Revolution, he obtained no tangible rewards for his apparent fidelity to the Protestant cause. A warrant for the grant of a baronetcy was ordered in June 1690 but the honour was not actually conferred for four years. By then Colt had established an unenviable reputation, not only as a gambler and a ‘cheat’ who would be ‘worth nothing if his debts were paid’, but as an ageing rakehell: he had already been fined for one duel, and was subsequently lampooned as a ‘satyr’, with the hint of a scandal between himself and his own niece.3

Colt was returned to Parliament for Newport, Isle of Wight, at a by-election in December 1695, to fill a place left vacant by the island’s governor, Lord Cutts (John*), and presumably at Cutts’s recommendation. He was soon active in the House, managing a bill through the House in February–March 1696 for facilitating the recovery of servants’ wages. The measure had arisen from a celebrated case involving Colt in his capacity as a Middlesex justice: he had signed an order for the arrest of one Feilding, a Catholic and returned Jacobite exile, at the request of a servant of Feilding who had not been paid his wages, whereupon Feilding, enraged at this affront, had attacked him and inflicted a serious wound. During his first session Colt reported on 3 Apr. from a committee investigating a petition over arrears of pay to troops on the Irish establishment, the first of many such committees to which he, as a former soldier and the brother of a serving officer, was to be nominated. He was twice a teller: on 12 Mar., against adding to the bill for the suppression of hawkers and pedlars a clause to provide against street-traders selling ‘fresh provisions’ in London and Westminster, a clause which had been requested by the Poulterers’ Company; and second, on 17 Apr., against receiving the report of the committee on the bill to regulate abuses in the garbling of spices. Meanwhile he was demonstrating his loyalty to the Whig administration: he was listed as likely to support the Court in a forecast for the division on the proposed council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696, signed the Association promptly and voted in favour of fixing the price of guineas at 22s.4

The volume of parliamentary business undertaken by Colt increased rapidly during the following session, and it would not be unfair to assume that this hyperactivity reflected a determination to attract the attention of ministers, even though many of his committees concerned matters that were beneath governmental responsibility. It would appear that Colt had also by this time embarked upon the second strategy that he would employ in order to try to make his mark, the exposure of Jacobite disaffection, which would enable him to revenge himself on his enemies and simultaneously prove his own loyalty and earn the gratitude of the King. When Lord Bellew, an Irish peer, found his petition for reversal of outlawry blocked as a result of a report that he had not yet taken the oaths, Colt was the person he blamed for informing against him. In the House Colt acted as a teller on 26 Oct. 1696, alongside a Court Whig, in favour of a motion to go into a committee of supply. He was active in forwarding the bill of attainder against Sir John Fenwick†. A teller twice on 16 Nov. in proceedings on the bill, in favour of reading the record of the trial of Peter Cook and the written statements made in custody by the absconded conspirator Goodman, he intervened in the debate to refute Tory arguments against the further examination of witnesses to Goodman’s testimony. Needless to say, he voted for the bill at its third reading on 25 Nov., having told against a motion to clear the Speaker’s chamber and lock the door of the House before this vote was taken. Of his many tellerships in this session, a number were in divisions on matters concerning the supply and recoinage: on 31 Dec. against adjourning the committee on the bill to encourage the bringing in of plate; on 9 Jan. 1697 in favour of a resolution of ways and means to lay a duty on all plate not brought in; on 21 Jan. for a clause to be added to the land tax bill, to exempt Queen Catherine of Braganza’s annuity; on 17 Feb. in favour of a tax on leather; on 30 Mar. and 3 Apr. in favour of committing, then engrossing, the wine duties bill; and on 7 Apr. for agreeing with a resolution of ways and means for an additional tax on land. One of his tellerships on the land tax bill seems at first glance to reflect Country rather than Court sympathies: on 26 Jan. 1697, for an additional clause to prevent excise officers being named as commissioners under the Act. But almost immediately afterwards he served as a teller on the Court side that the bill pass. Three tellerships concerned elections: on 21 Dec. 1696 against (Sir) Arthur Kaye* (3rd Bt.) in the Aldborough election; on 4 Feb. 1697 on the Tavistock case; and on 21 Nov. 1696 on a more general question, albeit arising from a petition from a particular borough, that of Exeter against the land qualifications for Members proposed in the current elections bill, which the petitioners claimed would exclude many ‘prudent’ and wealthy citizens, a protest Colt endorsed. In each of these cases Colt was demonstrating his loyalty to fellow Whigs, as he also did on 28 Nov. 1696, when he told in favour of upholding a complaint of breach of privilege against (Sir) Isaac Rebow*. His opposition to the bill to restrain the wearing of East Indian cloth, against which he told on 1 Feb. 1697, extended as far as acting as a teller again on 20 Mar. for naming Sir Samuel Barnardiston, 1st Bt., as the Member guilty of speaking against the bill at a conference between the two Houses. It may have reflected a more general dislike of measures restricting freedom of trade. The two public bills that he himself managed through the House during this session, for paving and otherwise regulating the streets near the Haymarket, and a similar measure to explain the Act of 1689 for paving and cleaning the streets within the bills of mortality, exemplified his concern for local interests, but not those of his constituency so much as of his place of residence. He also managed a private bill in March. His one remaining tellership, on 22 Feb., was in support of a general naturalization bill, a subject which was subsequently to interest him greatly.5

During the summer and early autumn of 1697 Colt became heavily involved in an attempt to peddle information to the government about reputed Jacobite conspiracies. He was said to have been the ‘conduit pipe’ for the fantasies of a pair of informers, the experienced rogue William Chaloner and his youthful accomplice, Aubrey Price. Their original approach to Colt coincided with an unsuccessful petition by him to the King for some unspecified grant, a fact that probably explains his heightened zeal in pursuing the affair. He first broached the subject to the lords justices in June 1697, bringing forward a proposal from Chaloner to obtain intelligence of Jacobite plots from Price, who had succeeded, as he put it, in infiltrating the cabals of the disaffected. As a token, Colt exhibited a list of Northamptonshire Jacobites. The lords justices were unimpressed, and particularly dubious of the participation of ‘Chaloner the clipper’, as they remembered him, but ordered Colt to carry on. Over the next two months the business proceeded slowly, until late in August Colt brought things to a head by presenting plans for what purported to be a plot to seize Dover Castle. Again the lords justices were scornful, telling him it was ‘all stuff’, but they allowed him to proceed with the arrest of the so-called conspirators. They were especially annoyed at information implicating the Duke of Shrewsbury. Colt, taking his cue from his audience, admitted that this was a ‘very impertinent’ allegation. But he had earlier tried to make use of it to blackmail Shrewsbury, acquainting the Duke with the details before the Council meeting and offering to suppress them, a proposal Shrewsbury wisely declined. James Vernon I* even suspected Colt of helping to invent the tale himself. After the arrest of Price, Chaloner and one or two unfortunates that they had incriminated, the ‘plot’ was revealed to be a ‘foolish’ invention, and Colt, temporarily abashed, acknowledged that he had been ‘ill used and imposed upon’. Within days, however, he was bringing forward other informers, and was even publicizing the claims of Price and Chaloner that they had been imprisoned in order to cover up treachery in high places. ‘I think we are never to have done with Sir Harry Colt’, observed a weary Vernon in September 1697, and indeed in the ensuing session of Parliament the affair was raised again, by Colt and his associate John Arnold*. Chaloner petitioned the House in March 1698 to complain of his imprisonment, and his petition was referred to a committee. Colt ‘busied himself for Chaloner’ and was regarded by Vernon as the moving spirit behind the entire exercise. At one point, in a debate on 15 Mar., he

came out with an expression that some things were material to Chaloner’s defence which he had advised him to waive for reasons he should acquaint the committee with, intimating as if it were in relation to some services Chaloner had done, without naming what they were.

This deliberately mystifying manner of speech, for which Colt was ‘taken up’ by the House, was calculated to prolong the agony for ministers, and possibly to encourage them to give Colt a reward of some kind, but presumably because the actual weakness of his hand was well known, no plums were forthcoming.6

Besides following up Chaloner’s case, Colt was in general highly active in the Commons in 1697–8, with the exception of ten days in April during which he enjoyed leave of absence. Throughout the session he was prominent in helping to forward Court business. He was a teller on 11 Dec. 1697 for recommitting the report on the King’s Speech after the reading of a resolution to disband all the land forces raised since 1680; and on 8 Jan. 1698, when the issue of the standing army was raised again, he was a teller for a Court-inspired amendment to the instruction to the committee of supply about guards and garrisons, which would have omitted any reference back to the earlier resolution for disbandment. He also acted as a teller on 20 Jan. in support of a ministerial riposte to the nascent Country campaign over land grants, a motion to lay before the House an account of all crown grants since the Restoration; on 14 Feb., to prevent the adjournment of the bill of pains and penalties against Charles Duncombe*, a measure instigated by Charles Montagu*, and again on 26 Feb., that the bill should pass; and on 22 Feb., against an opposition motion of censure, arising from the disclosure of the Exchequer bill scandal, directed against the receipt of Exchequer bills in payment of excise. Several other tellerships arose from supply measures: against giving leave for a bill to explain the law relating to the drawback on rock-salt (29 Jan.); against a clause in the tunnage and poundage bill to save the debt due to the bankers (9 June 1698); against leave for a clause to be inserted into the bill to impose the salt duties and incorporate the New East India Company, to enable the tellers of the Exchequer to accept Bank bills in payment of the duties (18 June); and for engrossing the latter bill (23 June). In a related case on 3 May he reported from the committee examining a petition from the glovers’ company of Chester against the effects of the Leather Duty Act. Much of his activity in this session followed up subjects which had engaged his attention before. On 7 Jan. he reported on a bill to regulate the marriages of minors, and was a teller (on 3 May) for the reintroduced bill to facilitate the recovery of servants’ wages. Naturalization bills were a particular interest: he managed four separate bills through the House, including a measure to naturalize foreign-born offspring of serving soldiers. Questions of army pay and arrears engaged him similarly: he reported on petitions concerning regimental agents and unpaid arrears, and another which dealt with the general problems of disbandment. As for questions of trade, he was a teller against a further bill to restrain imports of East Indian stuffs (24 Jan.), and showed once again his dislike of restrictive legislation and privileged commercial interests in two tellerships: on 23 Feb., against committing the bill for the encouragement of trade to Russia, and on 1 June, against a clause to be added to the bill to encourage the Lustring Company, to exempt the looms of alamode and lustring weavers from distraint in civil cases. At the same time he was ordered on 4 June to bring in a bill for the relief of some Virginia merchants, one of whose ships had been unavoidably detained in America and was now prevented from returning to England by the stipulations of the recent Act regulating the Plantations trade. A teller on 9 Mar. for the bill to prevent abuses in weights and measures, he took a similarly constructive approach to economic and social problems with his bill, presented on 20 Apr., for draining part of the Lindsey level, and his support for the bill for the relief of insolvent debtors, on behalf of which he acted as a teller on 17 May. Another bill he presented, ‘to prevent mischiefs by squibs and other fireworks’, should possibly be regarded in this light, as correcting a social evil. It is likely too that it represented a particular grievance to Colt’s Westminster neighbours. His involvement in private bill legislation, covering some five bills, included drafting a bill on behalf of his connexion, Sir Ralph Dutton, 1st Bt.*, and chairing a committee on another, on behalf of Sir Edward Fitzharris, 2nd Bt., father of the executed Whig conspirator, Edward Fitzharris. Opposition to the bill for the suppression of blasphemy and profaneness, against which he stood as a teller three times (on 12, 24 and 30 Mar.), was perhaps only to be expected from someone of Colt’s moral outlook and social habits, even though one of his closest parliamentary colleagues, John Arnold, was an ardent supporter of the movement for the reformation of manners. Colt did share some of the other preoccupations of such reforming Members, however; he was active in the field of electoral reform, for example. Having acted as a teller on 19 Apr. against a clause proposed to be added to the elections bill to modify the landed qualification proposed for some borough electorates, he presented the first bill for the prevention of false returns (21 May), and, after it had been lost by the clerks, served on the committee of inquiry into its disappearance (17 June) and then brought in a replacement bill (18 June). His determined anti-popery was another trait shared with Arnold and ‘moral reformers’. Colt acted as a teller on 17 June in favour of the bill to vest in Greenwich Hospital and similar charities estates that had formerly been given away to ‘superstitious uses’. In promoting inquiries into Catholic landed endowments he was also motivated by financial interests. By the summer of 1698, hunting out forfeited lands had become his main money-making enterprise. He petitioned in August for a grant of several properties in Kent brought to his notice by a professional informer, and then went into partnership with Lord Fairfax (Thomas*) in the revival of an old commission of inquisition, which within a year or two had ‘discovered’ more forfeited estates in Kent and Essex, to the value of over £5,000 p.a.7

The driving force behind Colt’s actions at this point in his career was his need for money. He had supported the Whig ministry throughout the 1695 Parliament in order to earn reward, while putting pressure on individual ministers by raking over the embers of Jacobite conspiracies. As late as April 1698 he had begun ‘searching at the Signet Office’ through the registers of licences issued to returning exiles from France, in the hope of unearthing some scandal with which to embarrass James Vernon I. He took the matter before the King, who remarked to Vernon of ‘the behaviour of men out of business towards those that are in it, which would, in great measure, be cured if they themselves were employed, and put into the same dangers they have raised against others’. When these efforts came to nothing, his gambler’s instinct prompted him to challenge two leading Court Whigs, Vernon and Charles Montagu, in their campaign for re-election in the Westminster constituency. Colt came third in the poll in what was a very acrimonious contest, which continued in the Commons following his petition. Colt found few supporters in the House, while the full revenge of the ministers came shortly afterwards, when he was put out of the Middlesex commission of the peace. The pretext was that ‘among other things’ Colt had ‘discouraged public houses from quartering of soldiers’, possibly in retaliation for the participation of regular army officers in violence directed against his voters at the poll in Westminster. The real motive for his exclusion was, however, political. As Vernon wrote, ‘I think it will be for the peace of mankind if we can get rid of such a disturber of it’.8

Over the next two or three years Colt worked his way back into the good graces of the Whig Junto, benefiting from their increasing suspicion of, and impatience with, Vernon, his perennial opponent at Westminster. In the first general election of 1701 Colt and Vernon were confronted by three Tory candidates but still did not join interests. Indeed, Colt seems at one point to have regarded Vernon as his principal adversary, though after his defeat he was rumoured to be contemplating a petition not against Vernon but against the successful Tory, Thomas Crosse*. In the following November Colt and Vernon were again the Whig representatives in a large panel of candidates, one of them the prominent High Tory Sir John Leveson Gower, 5th Bt.*, whose ‘warm behaviour’ in Parliament had ‘made the Whigs in general great sticklers against him’. Leveson Gower’s presence, and Vernon’s surprising decision to join with Crosse rather than Colt, prompted the Junto lords to take up Colt’s cause ‘very warmly’. Soon after the dissolution Lords Somers (Sir John*), Orford (Edward Russell*) and Halifax (Charles Montagu*) declared for him, the latter evidently forgiving Colt’s behaviour in 1698, and a mere matter of days before the election he was restored to the Middlesex bench. At the poll he comfortably took first place. A fourth member of the Junto, Lord Spencer (Charles*), marked his election as a ‘gain’. Colt repaid his fellow Whigs for their electoral support by actively assisting in the prosecution of any partisan cause in the House. With regard to election cases, he acted as a teller on 5 Jan. 1702 to appoint a day for hearing the Norwich dispute; on 29 Jan. to put off a vote of censure on the Earl of Peterborough over his conduct in the Malmesbury election; and on 28 Mar. against convicting an alderman of Coventry of breach of privilege in an incident arising from the election. He was also a teller on the Whig side on 23 Jan. on a motion to adjourn all committees, and twice subsequently in divisions connected with the supply: on 4 May to add a rider concerning the transport service to the bill for making good the deficiencies in public funds; and on 13 May against an amendment to the salt duties bill. He also presented two bills. One was a further attempt to facilitate the ‘discovery’ of lands granted to ‘superstitious uses’ and to apply them to the support of Greenwich Hospital (3 Mar.); the other was for the relief of insolvent debtors (2 Feb.). His many other activities included managing two multiple naturalization bills, which were still a prime concern of his in spite of the personal opposition he had endured from Huguenot voters in 1698, and reporting on 9 Mar. on the laws relating to woollen manufactures, which as a former opponent of protectionism he might have been expected to examine critically. He served as a teller on 13 Mar. in favour of the bill for the more effectual punishment of felons. But the subject which most frequently engaged his attention in this Parliament was the settlement of the Irish forfeited estates. He told on 23 Feb. against receiving a petition from Patrick Megawley and Pierce Nugent in connexion with Irish forfeitures, and on 26 Mar. against giving leave for a bill to relieve the Jacobite banker Sir Daniel Arthur from the effects of the Resumption Act. However, he was actively involved in the management of no fewer than eight similar relief bills: five for private individuals; two on behalf of the ‘Protestant purchasers’ and ‘Protestant tenants’ of forfeited estates, whose cause the English Whigs had adopted; and the last a measure sought by the Church of Ireland, for making provision from the forfeitures for the rebuilding of churches and the augmenting of small vicarages.9

Having reportedly ‘chosen’ Lord James Cavendish* for his partner in the 1702 general election, Colt suffered the mortification first of seeing two Tories returned for Westminster, and then of being struck off the Middlesex commission of the peace by the incoming Tory administration. His bitterness was such that not long afterwards he began legal proceedings on another pretext against Sir Walter Clarges, 1st Bt.*, one of the victorious Tory candidates at Westminster. Nothing came of the suit, and the following year saw Colt seeking fresh fields in which to advance his career. He attempted to ingratiate himself with the electoral court at Hanover, protesting his and his family’s ‘zeal’ for Hanoverian interests, while at the same time cultivating an old Tory connexion, the Duke of Ormond. In March 1703 he wrote of having received ‘an encouragement’ from Ormond, ‘to whom and his family I owe very many obligations’, to ‘attend him in Ireland’, where the Duke had been appointed lord lieutenant. ‘If it be my fortune to serve there in Parliament’, he told the Hanoverian minister Robethon, ‘I shall embrace all opportunities whereby I may any way show my devotion to the illustrious house of Hanover.’ In fact, the opportunities did not arise, and in 1705 Colt was contesting Westminster again in the Whig interest, partnered by Hon. Henry Boyle*. In the aftermath of the Tack the two Whigs were able to turn the tables on their Tory opponent. Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer) again calculated Colt’s return as a ‘gain’, while another analysis listed him as a ‘Churchman’. True to form, Colt voted on 25 Oct. for the Court candidate as Speaker, while his inclinations to the Court, which by the spring of 1706 were prompting him to appeal to Robert Harley* to assist his nephew’s search for a suitable military commission, manifested themselves in his support for the Court on 18 Feb. 1706 in the proceedings over the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. The author on 1 Nov. 1705 of a motion to print the votes of the Commons, Colt quickly resumed an active parliamentary career. Among his many tellerships, he acted on 1 Feb. 1706 against an instruction to the committee on the tunnage and poundage bill to regulate Exchequer fees; and on 13 Feb., against a clause proposed to be added to the recruiting bill. He also managed through the House a bill to enable the Treasury to compound with Thomas Tomkins over a debt to the crown. Partisan loyalties were evident in his extensive involvement in election cases. He was a teller on 10 Nov. against instructing the elections committee to hear the Cheshire dispute in two weeks; on 24 Nov. against John Gape* in St. Albans; and on 1 Dec. on the Whig side in the Amersham case. Two other tellerships, at the report of the land tax bill on 14 Dec., were probably motivated solely by party sentiments, since they concerned the nomination of commissioners under the Act in Suffolk and in Coventry. Naturalization bills were becoming a major issue between the parties, and Colt again managed a measure providing for the naturalization of a large number of Protestant immigrants. Bills for the relief of claimants to Irish forfeited estates also remained a preoccupation, and he was actively involved in four such cases before the House. Another old interest to resurface was the payment of arrears to soldiers and officers on the Irish establishment. On 26 Nov. 1705 Colt presented a bill for the relief of Colonel Samuel Venner, formerly governor of military hospitals in Ireland. He was also actively involved in the progress of five other bills relating to regimental arrears before bringing in a bill on 6 Mar. to tackle the problem in a more general way, by enlarging the time for registering debentures on Irish forfeited estates. He presented on 25 Jan. a bill for widening the passage into the palace yard at Westminster; on 6 Mar. told for a rider to the bill to prevent frauds by bankrupts; and two days later reported from a committee considering several petitions concerning public mourning. Otherwise his parliamentary activity in this session related to four private bills.10

Colt’s participation in parliamentary business became noticeably less intense after the 1705–6 session. He brought in three bills in January 1707: for suppressing various industrial premises erected since 1705 in the vicinity of Westminster and St. James’s palaces (7 Jan.); for widening the passage into Westminster palace yard (24 Jan.); and a private naturalization bill (28 Jan.). He was also actively involved in four other bills, three of which were on matters of Irish interest: a private bill on behalf of Sir John Mead, an Irish baronet and a member of the Irish parliament; a bill enabling the English holder of the office of remembrancer of the exchequer in Ireland to take the oaths in England; and a measure to improve the Acts to apply the forfeited impropriations in Ireland to the erection of new churches and the augmentation of poor vicarages, a subject in which he had shown some interest previously. He was a teller too against a bill for the relief of Francis Sarsfield from the effects of the Irish Forfeitures Resumption Act (28 Mar. 1707). Another tellership was in opposition to an amendment to the bill repealing the Acts prohibiting the importation of foreign lace (27 Feb.). In the following session Colt seems to have sympathized with the plight of John Asgill*, as would have been natural in one who had opposed earlier blasphemy legislation, for on 18 Dec. he acted as a teller in the minority to adjourn the debate on Asgill’s expulsion. He was a teller again on several occasions over supply legislation: on 12 Dec. for a clause to be added to the land tax bill relating to local arrangements in Monmouthshire; on 5 Feb. 1708 against an additional clause offered for the annuities bill; on 25 Feb. against instructing the committee drafting the bill on the Equivalent to ensure payment on a pro rata basis to all those on the Scottish establishments; and on 27 Mar. against an amendment to a supply bill. He also acted as chairman of the committee of the whole on 2 Dec. 1707 on the East Indian goods duties bill. Of equal interest to the ministry were the bills for the encouragement of seamen, for which he told on 26 Jan. 1708, and the bill for raising the militia, which he presented on 4 Mar. He presented, on 16 Feb., another bill for the relief of insolvent debtors, a subject not far from his own heart, and managed through the House three more private bills. He was classified as a Whig in two lists from 1708, before and after the general election, at which he lost his seat at Westminster to the Tory Thomas Medlycott*. Colt’s petition of 24 Nov. was rejected, to the surprise of many observers. In the Tory landslide of 1710 Colt and James Stanhope* were defeated by two Tories in a ‘riotous’ election at Westminster, in which Colt finished bottom of the poll. He had evidently been restored to the bench since 1702, for in 1711 he was purged once more. He did not stand for Parliament again. At the Hanoverian succession he was restored as a j.p. and a deputy-lieutenant in Middlesex, and was granted a pension of £200 p.a., which he was still receiving in 1718. His final removal from the commission of the peace in 1721 was presumably because of advanced age. Colt died on 25 Apr. 1731, in his 85th year, and was succeeded by a great-nephew.11

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Howard, Vis. Suff. ii. 36; Mar. Lic. Fac. Off. (Brit. Rec. Soc. xxxiii), 205; Mar. Lic. Vicar-Gen. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 232; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 317.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1673, p. 414; 1673–5, p. 603; 1679–80, pp. 324, 349; 1685, p. 35; 1686–7, p. 113; HMC Ormonde, ii. 212.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1686–7, pp. 90–91, 385; 1687–9, p. 347; 1690–1, p. 27; 1694–5, p. 9; 1695, p. 247; Letters from the Living to the Living . . . (1703), p. 24; Hearne Colls. ii. 110; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1697–1702, p. 261; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 289; Bodl. Carte 79, ff. 521–2; Poems on Affairs of State ed. Ellis, vii. 480–6.
  • 4. HMC Astley, 93; Add. 17677 QQ, f. 229; Portledge Pprs. 219; CSP Dom. 1696, p. 17; Luttrell, iv. 5, 7.
  • 5. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 66–67, 69; J. Oldmixon, Hist. England (1735), p.152; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 1050.
  • 6. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Bentinck) mss PwA 1264, 1468a, 1471, Sunderland to [Portland], 20 July [1697], Vernon to same, 3, 14 Sept. 1697; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 268–70, 306, 314–15, 319, 322–4, 328–9, 332–3, 337, 350, 352, 361, 385, 405; CSP Dom. 1697, pp. 202, 235, 239, 252, 291, 297, 326, 337, 344, 350, 355, 359, 362, 367, 380, 389, 391, 396–7, 472; Shrewsbury Corresp. 172, 491, 493; HMC Buccleuch, ii. 451–2, 539–40, 549; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/78–79, 81–82, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 11, 14, 15 Mar. 1698.
  • 7. Recusant Hist. xv. 276; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 435; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1697–1702, p. 359.
  • 8. Montagu (Boughton) mss 47/21, 59–60, 122–3, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 28 Apr., 21, 23 July, 20 Dec. 1698; Luttrell, iv. 400, 465; Ranke, v. 184; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, ii. 138–40, 142, 230; CSP Dom. 1698, pp. 365–6, 368, 430, 434; HMC Astley, 94; Cam. Misc. xxix. 368–9; Add. 30000 B, f. 182; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 130–1.
  • 9. Bodl. Ballard 6, f. 35; Carte 228, f. 356; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 160–1; Glassey, 149.
  • 10. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 223; Luttrell, v. 204; Verney Letters 18th Cent. i. 167; Stowe 222, f. 189; HMC Portland, viii. 225; Add. 70038, Colt to [Harley], 2 May 1706.
  • 11. Luttrell, vi. 324; Boyer, Anne Annals, vii. 272; Addison Letters, 124; Lockhart Pprs. i. 297, 517, 531; Boyer, Pol. State, i–ii. 13, 160; Brit. Mercury, 6–9 Oct. 1710; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxix. 674; xxx. 229; xxxii. 545; HMC Laing, ii. 213; Hist. Reg. Chron. 1731, p. 21.