DAVY, Robert (c.1657-1703), of Ditchingham, Norf.

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



1698 - 25 Oct. 1703

Family and Education

b. c.1657, o. s. of Robert Davy of Ditchingham by Margaret, da. of Philip Paine of Halesworth, Suff.  educ. Exeter, Oxf. matric. 1659; St. John’s, Oxf. BA 1662; I. Temple 1663, called 1673.  m. by 1682, Anne (d. 1701), da. and h. of Francis Bacon (d. 1692) of St. Gregory’s, Norwich, 1s. 1da.  suc. fa. 1679.1

Offices Held

Steward, Norwich 1683–8, recorder 1688–d.2


Davy was returned for Norwich in 1698, having already held the recordership of the town for ten years. A Tory, he was classed in a list of the new Parliament as a Country party supporter, and it was forecast in October that he would vote against the standing army. In early 1699 the provisions of a private bill for the repair and maintenance of Great Yarmouth harbour concerned him, and (although not specifically appointed to any committee on this measure) he was involved in suggesting changes to it. But a prediction by Sir William Cook, 2nd Bt.*, that a clause devised by Davy would ‘cause the bill to be recommitted’ proved unfounded. Davy’s only recorded parliamentary activity in the Journals was the management of a private bill on behalf of Norwich city corporation in February–March 1700. He was listed in February 1701 among those thought likely to support the Court party in continuing the ‘Great Mortgage’. He was granted leave of absence for three weeks on 15 Mar. to attend his dying wife. In April 1701 it was reported by a Norfolk Whig that Davy and Thomas Blofield*, having ‘voted for the peace of Europe’, had ‘mightily lost the good opinion’ of their Norwich constituents, and he was included in the black list of those who had opposed preparations for war with France. Davy was re-elected in November, but only after a close contest. He voted on 26 Feb. 1702 for the resolution vindicating the conduct of the Commons in the previous year’s impeachments, and in the 1702 election headed the poll at Norwich. Dean Prideaux, whom he had sometimes opposed, described him then as ‘a hot-headed, weak man’.3

Given leave of absence for three weeks on 22 Dec. 1702, ‘for recovery of his health’, Davy died on 25 Oct. 1703 and was buried with his wife and her family in St. Gregory’s church, Norwich. His son Robert, also a lawyer, figured in 1721 in the Jacobite Christopher Layer’s list of the ‘loyal gentlemen of Norfolk’, with an estate of £800 a year.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. IGI, Norf.; E. Anglian Peds. (Harl. Soc. xci), 55; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. lxxxv), 9; Blomefield, Norf. iv. 276–7.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1683–4, pp. 119–20, 204; 1687–9, p. 270; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 127–8.
  • 3. Add. 27448, f. 78; CSP Dom. 1683–4, pp. 119–20; 1702–3, p. 237; Norf. Rec. Soc. xxx. 89; Egerton 2719, f. 98; Suff. RO (Ipswich), Gurdon mss mic. M142(1), Cook to Thornhagh Gurdon, 19 Jan. 1698[–9]; Camb. Univ. Lib. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss, Charles Turner to Robert Walpole II*, 9 Apr. 1701.
  • 4. E. Anglian Peds. 55; Blomefield, 276–7; P. S. Fritz, Ministers and Jacobitism 1715–45, p. 144.