NAYLOR, William (d. ?c.1713), of the Manor House, Offord Darcy, Hunts.

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



1702 - 1705

Family and Education

1st s. of Richard Naylor of the Manor House, Offord Darcy by his w., da. of one Chishull of Dunton, Beds.  educ. Offord Darcy (Mr Mitchell); Huntingdon (Mr Taylor); Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1663.  m. by 1678, Frances, da. and coh. of Samuel Jackson, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da.  suc. fa. by 1691.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Godmanchester 1699–1700; freeman, Huntingdon by 1702.2


The Offord Darcy estate had been purchased in 1606, with the Manor House being built shortly afterwards, by Naylor’s great-grandfather, a son of one of the six clerks in Chancery. Naylor’s father inherited in 1643. Of his conduct during the Civil War and Interregnum little has been discovered except that he may possibly have been the Royalist Major Naylor captured at Leicester in 1645. At the Restoration he was nominated for the proposed Order of the Royal Oak, when his estate was valued at a mere £600 p.a. The fact that both his younger sons went into trade in London, as a fishmonger and grocer respectively, confirms that the family’s landed wealth was not considerable. Nor does the eldest son, this Member, seem greatly to have extended it. His own younger son was left £100 by an uncle in 1691 to be apprenticed, though he himself was able to bequeath legacies of £500 to both his daughters.3

Naylor’s appointment to the Huntingdonshire commission of the peace in February 1681, and his father’s nomination as a deputy-lieutenant at King James’s accession, imply the persistence of loyalist sentiments, and both men were included among the local commissioners named in December 1687 to inquire into the fines levied on recusants and Dissenters. On the other hand, their replies to King James’s questions on the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act suggest a stiff-necked Anglicanism. William in particular answered

with all submission . . . that in case he be elected knight or burgess, that he cannot be for taking off the . . . laws and tests, without he hears better reasons offered for taking them off, than ever yet heard. Neither can he contribute to the election of such Members as will be for the taking them off except he can be satisfied by good and solid reasons that it will be for the better preservation of his Majesty’s royal person and government, and the Church, as by law established.

He added, however, that he would support the Declaration of Indulgence ‘by living friendly with those of all persuasions and as subjects of the same prince and good Christians ought to do’.4

After the Revolution Naylor was soon active again in local office, as a commissioner for assessment and on the bench, where he carried out his duties conscientiously. He was returned unopposed as knight of the shire in 1702, in place of John Proby*, and probably as a Tory, since he had voted for the Tory candidates in the borough election. As his niece had married into the Sandwich family, he may well also have enjoyed Lady Sandwich’s assistance. He remains an obscure Member, credited with few committee appointments and no recorded speeches. To some extent he belied his own political past by not voting for the Tack on 28 Nov. 1704. He was granted a month’s leave of absence on 5 Feb. 1705, perhaps to contend against electoral difficulties in Huntingdonshire, where his position was being undermined by the vigorous canvassing of the Whig John Pocklington*. At any event he did not put up for re-election that year; nor did he stand for Parliament again.5

The date of Naylor’s death has not been established. He made his will on 12 Oct. 1713 and the same year was dropped from the Huntingdonshire land tax commission. Certainly the manor of Offord Darcy was in other hands by 1722. After his son’s death, s.p., the estate, comprising Offord Darcy and property in Lincolnshire, passed to a grandson, Francis Blundell, offspring of Naylor’s daughter Sarah and her first husband George Blundell of Brampton, Huntingdonshire, who on inheriting adopted the additional name of Naylor.6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Lansd. 921, f. 42; VCH Hunts. ii. 324; CSP Dom. 1677–8, pp. 315–16; PCC 84 Vere; Cambs. RO (Huntingdon), 148/1/130.
  • 2. R. Fox, Hist. Godmanchester, 175.
  • 3. VCH Hunts. 322, 324; P. R. Newman, Royalist Officers in Eng. and Wales, 271; Fenland N. and Q. i. 314; PCC 40, 84 Vere; Cambs. RO, 148/1/130.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1680–1, p. 174; 1685, p. 119; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1696; Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Act (1883), 69–70.
  • 5. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1470; VCH Hunts. 36; Cambs. RO (Huntingdon), Huntingdon bor. recs. H26/19, pollbk. 1702; Camb. Univ. Lib. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss, corresp. 405, John Turner* to Robert Walpole II*, 19 Feb. 1704–5.
  • 6. Cambs. RO, 148/1/130; Statutes, ix. 288, 827; Trans. Cambs. and Hunts. Arch. Soc. iii. 161; VCH Hunts. 324, 327.