MITFORD, Michael (c.1655-1707), of London and Clapham, Surr.

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



Dec. 1701 - 1702

Family and Education

b. c.1655, prob. o. s. of Thomas Mitford of Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. by Mary, da. of one Anderson of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  m. c.1687 (with £1,200), Margaret, s.p.s.  ?suc. fa. 1672.1

Offices Held

Member, eastland co. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1681, merchant adventurers’ co. of Newcastle 1684, Russia Co. 1704–d.; dir. New E. I. Co. 1703–4.2

Freeman, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1686.3


Mitford, whose father was a younger son of the Mitford family of Seghill, Northumberland, was apprenticed to a mercer and boothman of Newcastle, and was himself described as a ‘boothman’ on his admission as a freeman of the borough. He had almost certainly migrated to London by 1698, when he subscribed £2,000 to the first New East India Company loan (£1,250 of it through Samuel Ogle*): the return to the 1701–2 Parliament gave London as his address. A Baltic merchant and shipowner, of some ‘eminence’ according to one contemporary observer, he may have been connected with (Sir) Joseph Martin*, who was similarly active in both the Russia and New East India companies. Returned as an outsider at Great Bedwyn, his election was considered a ‘gain’ for the Whigs by Lord Spencer (Charles*), and he was classed with the Whigs in Robert Harley’s* list of this Parliament. Mitford’s one recorded speech occurred on 9 Apr. 1702 when he seconded Lord William Powlett’s motion to place Sir Rowland Gwynne in the chair of the committee on the ‘Scotch union bill’.4

Excluded by the Bruce interest at Bedwyn in 1702, Mitford did not stand again. ‘In an ill state of health’ by the time he made his will in February 1707, he died on 27 Aug. of that year, aged 52, and was buried at Clapham, where he leased a house. Besides annuities of £150, and further sums totalling about £1,500, he left £4,000 for the purchase of an estate of £200 a year in the north of England, within 60 miles of his birthplace Newcastle, the profits of which were to be divided between his widow and his sisters for their lives, and which was to descend eventually to the children of two nieces.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. New Hist. Northumb. ix. 66; PCC 209 Poley.
  • 2. Newcastle Merchant Adventurers (Surtees Soc. ci.), 301; info. from Prof. H. G. Horwitz; Bodl. Rawl. A.303, f. 58.
  • 3. Reg. Newcastle Freemen (Newcastle Rec. Soc. iii), 107.
  • 4. Info. from Prof. R. R. Walcott; Cal. Treas. Bks. xix. 190; xx. 145, 448; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W2/2/5, James* to Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. I*, 31 Mar. 1702; Cocks Diary, 265.
  • 5. PCC 209 Poley; Manning and Bray, Surr. iii. 367.