MEDLYCOTT, James (c.1657-1731), of Ven House, nr. Milborne Port, Som.

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 - 1722

Family and Education

b. c.1658, 1st s. of Thomas Medlycott† of Abingdon, Berks. by Anne, da. of John Whickers, merchant, of London and Kirtlington, Oxon.; bro. of Thomas Medlycott*.  educ. M. Temple 1679, called 1685.  m. lic. 21 June 1695, Anne Howard of St. Clement Danes, London, 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 6da.  suc. fa. 1716.1

Offices Held

Master in Chancery 1706–16.2


Medlycott, a successful lawyer, bought the manors of Toomer and Ven in Somerset from Sir Charles Carteret* in 1696, and acquired an electoral interest in the neighbouring borough of Milborne Port. At first he found it difficult to exert himself against the entrenched interest of the rival patron, Sir Thomas Travell*, but by buying up burgages within the borough he gradually achieved a position of parity, and by 1705 had reached an agreement with Travell to share the interest. Thereafter he was able to control one seat, and in 1705 and 1708 he returned his brother Thomas. In 1710, when his brother transferred to Westminster, Medlycott took the seat himself. On the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament he was wrongly assumed to be a Tory, apparently on the premise that this was his brother Thomas’ party, but he was in fact a Whig and voted in support of the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion in December 1711. The same misunderstanding led to his being included on the printed list of ‘worthy patriots’ who during the 1710–11 session participated in the campaign to expose the mismanagements of the previous administration. On 18 June 1713 he voted against the French commerce bill. Classed as a Whig in the 1713 Worsley list, he retained his seat in the next Parliament, voting on 18 Mar. 1714 against the expulsion of Richard Steele. He continued to sit as a Whig in the first of George I’s parliaments. He died a bankrupt on 2 May 1731, aged 73, and was buried at St John’s church at Milborne Port.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Collinson, Som. ii. 354; Burke, Peerage (1957), 1683; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 912.
  • 2. Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 74; T. D. Hardy, Cat. Lds Chancellors, 97.
  • 3. Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. Procs. xvi. 45; Gent. Mag. 1731, p. 177; Collinson, 354.