GRUBBE, Walter (1655-1715), of Eastwell House, Potterne, Wilts.

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



1685 - 1687
1689 - 1695

Family and Education

bap. 11 Aug. 1655, 2nd s. of Thomas Grubbe of Potterne by Thomasine, da. of Walter Bourchier of Barnsley, Glos.  educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1672; G. Inn 1673.  m. lic. 7 Feb. 1678, Rebecca (d. 1713), da. of Randolph Brereton of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, s.psuc. fa. 1670.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Devizes by 1685–Dec. 1687, 1692–d.; capital burgess and common councilman 1692–d.2


Grubbe’s family first settled in Wiltshire in the 15th century. During Elizabeth I’s reign his grandfather, Henry Grubbe†, purchased property in the town, while his father subsequently bought land and a house in neighbouring Potterne. Grubbe himself, perhaps then a lawyer, was an active speculator in local properties, and from at least 1685 until a month before his death he leased and exchanged numerous farms, messuages and orchards in neighbouring parishes as well as in New and Old Port, Devizes.3

In 1690 Grubbe was re-elected with the backing of Lord Abingdon. Having voted in the Convention against the vacancy of the throne, he was classed as a Tory in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list. He was as inactive in this as he had been in his earlier Parliament. He was granted leave of absence for a fortnight on 17 Jan. 1694 and again for three weeks on 28 Feb. 1695. He did not put up again. On one occasion, at a by-election in 1706, he was reported to be ‘very active and zealous’ on the Tory side, but otherwise he seems to have taken no part in the factional struggles in the borough in Anne’s reign. In December 1707 he petitioned against a bill for improving the London to Bath road, which it was thought would affect the interests of local landowners and traders and lead to increased charges for its maintenance; and in June 1714 he petitioned for a private Act to allow the sale of his cousin’s lands to cover the latter’s debts amounting to £5,500.4

Grubbe’s inactivity in Parliament was mirrored in his duties as a member of the Devizes corporation; having been removed from the council in 1687 he was restored in Oct. 1692 but no attendance by him at subsequent courts is recorded. He made his will on 2 Sept. 1715, and asked to be ‘decently but not pompously buried’ near to his wife in Potterne church. He left £100 each to three nieces and his household goods to his brother and sisters. Most of his estates had already been settled on his nephew. Grubbe died four days later and was buried at Potterne, where a memorial was erected to him.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: D. W. Hayton / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. PCC 36 Penn; London Mar. Lic. ed Foster, 595; Wilts. RO, 1172/2.
  • 2. B. H. Cunnington, Annals of Devizes, 181; Wilts. RO, Devizes bor. recs. G20/1/19, min. bk.
  • 3. Vis. Glos. eds. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 21; Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv–cvi), 76; PCC 36 Penn; Wilts. RO, 212B/112, 1607, 1611, 2403, 2427, 2458, 2464, 3370; 445/1, 2.
  • 4. Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 12, f. 97; 25, f. 428; Devizes bor. recs. G20/1/19; HMC Lords, n.s. x. 353.
  • 5. PCC 49 Fox; Wilts. RO, 1172/2.