PELHAM, Sir John, 3rd Bt. (c.1623-1703), of Halland, Laughton, Suss.

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



3 Oct. 1645 - 6 Dec. 1648
1654 - 1655
1656 - 1658
1660 - Jan. 1681
1689 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1623, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Pelham, 2nd Bt.†, of Halland by his 1st w. Mary, da. and coh. of Sir Roger Wilbraham† of Nantwich, Cheshire; half-bro. of Sir Nicholas Pelham*.  educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1640.  m. 20 Jan. 1647 (with £40,000), Lady Lucy (d. 1685), da. of Robert Sidney†, 2nd Earl of Leicester, 3s. 3da. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 28 Aug. 1654.1

Offices Held

V.-adm. Suss. 1660–d.; commr. loyal and indigent officers 1662, recusants 1675, enclosure, Ashdown forest 1692.2


A wealthy Sussex landowner with an income of over £2,000 p.a. drawn partly from iron mining, Pelham had a great influence in Sussex – with the exception of James II’s reign, he had represented Hastings and then the county since 1645. A supporter of the Revolution of 1688, he was returned again for the county in 1690 when he was classed as a Whig in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list of the new Parliament. His advanced age is probably sufficient to explain his inactivity in the House in this period. He lent money to the new regime in 1690 and 1694 and sold iron shot to the Ordnance. In April 1691 he was listed by Robert Harley* as a Country party supporter, although in Grascome’s lists of 1693–5 he was noted as a placeman and Court supporter. He was given leave from the House on 27 Feb. 1695 for 14 days. Successful for Sussex in 1695, he was forecast as likely to support the government in the division on the proposed council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696 and signed the Association in February but appears to have been absent from the division on fixing the price of guineas in March. In the following session, he, unlike his son Thomas I, voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick† on 25 Nov. 1696. On 11 Apr. 1698 he was given leave of absence for 21 days. In a list of about September 1698, Pelham was classed as a Court supporter, but he did not stand for Parliament again and died in 1703 in his 80th year as a result of a fall from his carriage. He was buried on 20 Jan. at Laughton.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. J. Comber, Suss. Geneal. Lewes, 208.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 697; Suss. Arch. Colls. xiv. 59.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 608, 743–4, 833; x. 910; Herts. RO, Panshanger mss D/EP F30, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 15; Comber, 208.