MEAD, John (c.1662-1727), of the ‘Black Lion’, Temple Bar, London

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



1710 - 1713

Family and Education

b. c.1662, 1st s. of John Mead, goldsmith, of the Strand, London and Isleworth, Mdx.  m. lic. 28 July 1686 (aged 24), Jane Duke of St. Mary’s, Salisbury, Wilts., ?2s. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. 1712.1

Offices Held

Livery, Goldsmiths’ Co. 1704.2


Mead’s father was a goldsmith and banker, one of whose clients was the Jacobite Lord Ailesbury (Thomas, Lord Bruce†). In 1704, on Lord Ailesbury’s behalf, he made a vain attempt to deliver a clandestine message to the Duchess of Marlborough at Windsor Castle. He also acted as an agent for the army contractor Richard Harnage*. Mead himself had been made a partner in his father’s business by 1710, when both men were listed as owning at least £4,000 worth of Bank stock each. Returned for Sudbury in 1710 after a contest, he was described by one contemporary observer of the election as a ‘Canary merchant’. He was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, and also as a ‘Tory patriot’ who opposed the continuation of the war and a ‘worthy patriot’ who exposed the mismanagements of the old ministry. It was probably Mead rather than his father who invested over £7,000 in the South Sea Company in 1711, in an unsuccessful attempt to become a director. He is not known to have spoken in debate, though he did report a shipowners’ petition on 10 June 1712, and carried up a private estate bill on 14 July 1713. On the French commerce bill he had voted with the Court on 18 June, being also noted in the printed division list as a Member concerned in trade. This vote might have made him unpopular in Sudbury, but he did not stand for re-election in 1713.3

Mead died of a fever on 5 Dec. 1727, when he was described as ‘an eminent banker of Temple Bar’.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. F. G. Hilton Price, London Bankers, 114; PCC 74 Barnes; Mar. Lic. Vicar-Gen. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 241.
  • 2. Wardens and Members of Ct. of Goldsmiths’ Co. 44.
  • 3. Hilton Price, 114; Ailesbury Mems. 570–1; Chandler, v. 82–83; BL, Trumbull Alphab. mss 54, Ralph Bridges to Sir William Trumbull*, 23 Oct. 1710; P. G. M. Dickson, Financial Revol. 449; Hist. Jnl. iv. 196.
  • 4. The Gen. n.s. vii. 112; Boyer, Pol. State, xxxiv. 612.