GRAHME, Henry (aft.1676-1707).

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



Feb. 1701 - 7 Jan. 1707

Family and Education

b. aft. 1676, 1st s. of James Grahme* by his 1st w.  m. 23 May 1705, Mary Tudor (d. 1726), illegit. da. of Charles II by Mary Davies, wid. of Edward Radcliffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater, s.p.1

Offices Held

Groom of bedchamber to Prince of Denmark 1702–6.2

Freeman, Appleby 1704.3


At the Revolution Grahme, whose father had served as James II’s keeper of the privy purse, was sent to France, possibly to stay with his uncle Fergus, who held office at the court of St. Germain. He returned to England in 1698, and when in the summer of 1700 William Fleming was forced to vacate his Westmorland seat due to place legislation Grahme entered the lists with the support of his father and Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Bt.* Musgrave wrote to the freeholders describing Grahme as ‘a most ingenious person’ who ‘would serve you with all integrity and industry’, but by September Grahme and his father had been accused of disaffection and Catholicism. Grahme’s father was forced to write to the freeholders to deny these claims, and the dean of Carlisle, William Nicolson, wrote to the Westmorland clergy calling the rumours an ‘impudent slander’. The dissolution of December 1700 meant that the by-election was not held, but in January 1701 Grahme stood in alliance with Musgrave for the county and was returned after a bitter contest, during which he was accused of being ‘a Scotch rogue and a Papist’, an accusation which led him to embark on a legal case to clear his name which would eventually cost £1,500. An inactive Member, Grahme was listed as likely to support the Court over continuing the ‘Great Mortgage’, and was subsequently included on the black list of those who had lately opposed the preparations for war. Grahme was nevertheless successful for the county in December 1701, and was classed as a Tory in Robert Harley’s* analysis of the new House. In February 1702 Grahme was sent the petition of Kendal’s weavers complaining of the employment of those who had not served a full apprenticeship, the petition being presented to the House on 18 Feb. His Tory loyalties were confirmed when he supported the motion of 26 Feb. 1702 vindicating the Commons’ impeachment of the Junto lords in the previous Parliament.4

Grahme presented the Westmorland address to Queen Anne on her accession, and in June he was given a post worth £400 p.a. in the Prince of Denmark’s household, a place probably obtained through the auspices of his uncle, Dean William Graham, who had served as chaplain to Anne in the 1690s and who was to be clerk of the closet from her accession until 1713. Successful in the 1702 Westmorland election, Grahme was more or less inactive in the 1702 Parliament. His loyalty to the Court was evident in his forecast on 30 Oct. 1704 as a probable opponent of the Tack, and on 28 Nov. he did not vote for this measure. On 18 Dec. he was appointed to his only drafting committee, to prepare a bill for an alternative punishment for theft to cheek-burning (18 Dec.). In 1705 he was included in a list of placemen.5

In 1705 Grahme’s finances were reported to be in such a poor state that he was ‘under great apprehension of being torn apieces with his creditors and thrown in gaol’, but such problems did not prevent his marrying the recently widowed Lady Derwentwater in May. The marriage took place despite the disapproval of Grahme’s father, and Henry St. John II* described the marriage as ‘so irretrievable a folly’ and that ‘his fault carries its own punishment along with it, and if he gets rid of this lady he must be forever redeemed’. Grahme secured re-election for Westmorland in June 1705 and, somewhat surprisingly, given his stance on the Tack, was classed as a ‘Churchman’ in an analysis of the new Parliament. His Tory allegiances proved stronger than the ties of office in the division of 25 Oct. on the Speaker, however, as Grahme voted against the Court candidate and was consequently dismissed in July 1706 from his place in Prince George’s household. Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†) wrote to Grahme’s father the following October that, ‘as to the mortification of your son, you have nobody to charge it upon so much as him and yourself’. By the end of the year Grahme had fallen gravely ill, and he died on 7 Jan. 1707. Although an inactive parliamentarian, his social and political connexions were evidenced by the attendance at his funeral, at St. James’s, Westminster, of such luminaries as the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Clarendon (Henry Hyde†), Henry St. John, George Granville*, Matthew Prior*, Christopher Musgrave* and Thomas Coke*.6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. Scots Peerage ed. Paul, vii. 99.
  • 2. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 189; vi. 66.
  • 3. Cumbria RO (Kendal), Appleby bor. recs. WSMB/A, min. bk. 3, 18 Oct. 1704.
  • 4. Hopkinson thesis, 61; Bagot mss at Levens Hall, Musgrave to James Grahme, 15 July 1700, Nicolson to [clergy of Westmorland], [14 Oct. 1700]; Cumbria RO (Kendal), Le Fleming mss WD/Ry 5548, James Grahme to Mr Battersby, 9 Sept. 1700; SRO, Hamilton mss GD406/1/4657, Gavin Mason to Duke of Hamilton, 2 Jan 1700[–1]; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. ser. 2, lxxxv. 132.
  • 5. Bagot mss, Timothy Banks to James Grahme, 5 Feb. 1701[–2]; Luttrell, v. 189; R. O. Bucholz, Augustan Court, 297.
  • 6. Bagot mss, John Ward III* to same, 11 Apr. 1705, Godolphin to same, 26 Oct. 1706; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. ser. 2, lxviii. 123–4; Nicolson Diaries ed. Jones and Holmes, 405, 408, 689; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1, 53; Luttrell, vi. 66, 126.