LEACH, Sir Simon (c.1652-1708), of Cadleigh, Devon
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Family and Education
b. c.1652, o. s. of Simon Leach of Cadleigh by Bridget, da. of Sir Bevill Granville† of Stowe, Cornw. m. 18 June 1673, Mary, da. of Thomas Clifford†, 1st Baron Clifford of Chudleigh. s.p. suc. fa. 1660; KB 23 Apr. 1661. 1
Capt. ind. tp. 1685, Earl of Peterborough’s horse 1687–Dec. 1688.
Freeman, Exeter 1676.2
A kinsman of the Granvilles, the leading Cavalier family in the west, and the son-in-law of Charles II’s chief minister, Leach was a High Tory. He was said by the King’s agents in 1688 to have ‘the greatest interest’ in Okehampton, but he did not stand for Parliament in William’s reign. In May 1692 he was arrested as a Jacobite suspect together with his brother-in-law the 2nd Lord Clifford, but was released without trial. He won in a writ of error process before the Lords in December, with Sir Bartholomew Shower* and Edward Northey* as his counsel, by which he gained possession of the manor of Bulkworthy and other substantial Devon estates. The judgment was affirmed after further litigation. In 1694 he was regarded as one of the leading Jacobites in Devon. The following year he was removed from the Devon commission of the peace.3
Returned unopposed for Okehampton at the election after the accession of Queen Anne, Leach was listed as a probable supporter of the Tack in the autumn of 1704, but voted against it, or was absent, on 28 Nov. After a bitterly contested election in 1705 he could not take his seat owing to a double return, but was nevertheless listed as having voted against the Court candidate as Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705. Reflecting his behaviour in the division on the Tack, a published list of the new Parliament described him as ‘Low Church’. On 20 Dec., however, the House declared him not duly elected. He died in June 1708 and was buried at Chudleigh on the 30th.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 526; C. Hartmann, Clifford of the Cabals, 276.
- 2. Exeter Freemen (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. ex. ser. i), 167.
- 3. Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 459, 648; HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 135; CSP Dom. 1691–2, p. 146; 1698, p. 85; R. Kingston, True Hist. 85; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Harley) mss Pw2 Hy 486, ‘Justices out’ .
- 4. Luttrell, v. 619, 626.