VINCENT, Shadrach (1643-1700), of Roselyon, nr. Fowey, Cornw.

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



1689 - 1695

Family and Education

bap. 14 May 1643, 3rd s. of Henry Vincent of Tresimple, Cornw. by his 2nd w. Susannah, da. of Richard Launce of Penair, St. Clement, Cornw.; half-bro. of Walter Vincent†.  educ. I. Temple 1666.  m. (1) Catherine, da. and h. of Richard Kelliowe of Roselyon, s.p.; (2) aft. 1677, Mary, da. of John Rashleigh† of Menabilly, Cornw., wid. of John Harris† of Radford, Devon and sis. of Jonathan Rashleigh*, s.p.1

Offices Held

Ensign, Admiralty regt. 1667; capt. Dutch army 1676–8; capt. 4 Ft. 1680; maj. of horse by 1689.2

Riding surveyor of customs, Cornw. 1682; collector of customs, Fowey 1684–7; alderman, Fowey 1690–?d.3


Vincent, who should not be confused with his nephew, Rev. Shadrack Vincent (b. 1664), acquired an estate near Fowey by his first marriage, and strengthened his interest in the borough by later marrying into the Rashleigh family. His interest no doubt benefited from his former position as a local customs collector. In the new Parliament he was classed as a Court supporter and Whig by the Marquess of Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). As ‘Major Vincent’ he was among those appointed to draft the bill to draw up the oath of abjuration on 29 Apr. 1690. In a debate on preserving the peace of the nation on 14 May he declared: ‘since I see it is now the fashion to name Privy Councillors, I will name another, who I desire may be turned out: he that delivered the charters in Cornwall, I mean the Earl of Bath’. On 20 May he was given leave of absence, although two days later he was named to thank Dr Stanhope for a sermon to the House. He must have departed shortly afterwards being urgently required in Cornwall, where the Cornish tinners were reported to be ‘disaffected to our government’. Vincent assured the tinners that the Treasury would buy ‘good quantity of their tin’, and Carmarthen was able to report to the King that ‘Mr Shadrach Vincent has taken pains among the tinners in Cornwall and has done you good service there. They have signed a loyal address and have offered to secure the county against any invasion or insurrections.’ Vincent was rewarded with almost £450 out of secret service money ‘in consideration of his service and charges in two journeys into Cornwall, made in pursuance of the King’s immediate commands’. In December 1690 he was listed as likely to defend Carmarthen from parliamentary attack. On 27 Dec. he presented a bill to prevent trade with France which he managed through the Commons. In the following session he was named on 30 Oct. 1691 to thank Dr Janes for his sermon to the House. He was also appointed to draft three other bills. On 12 Feb. 1692, in the debate on the bill for vesting Irish forfeited estates in the crown, he tendered a clause on behalf of the bishop of Cloyne, which was voted down. At this time, he engaged the French-speaking master of a boat from Milford to procure information for Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) of ‘all the ships of the navy of France’ together with a list of ships burnt at La Hogue, a feat which earned him the nickname of ‘the intelligencer general’. In the 1692–3 session he was present on 4 Nov. 1692 to move a new writ for Grampound following the death of his nephew, Walter Vincent. He was nominated on 18 Nov. to draft a bill for extending the patent for convex lights. On 2 Dec. he presented a bill to speed the enlistment of seamen for the fleet. On 3 Feb. 1693 he was given leave of absence to go into the country for four days to recover his health. Classed as a placeman in 1693, he was ordered to prepare a bill for increasing the number of seamen on 30 Dec., which he presented on 4 Jan. 1694. In the 1694–5 session he was named on 21 Dec. to draft a bill to encourage privateers. In January 1695 he subscribed £500 as a loan to the crown.4

Defeated at Fowey in 1695 and 1698, Vincent died in 1700 and was buried at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, on 3 Jan. His will, dated 31 Dec. 1699, mentioned £700 which he had lent to the government. He left £500 to provide for the maintenance of a ‘sober and pious’ schoolmaster in Fowey to instruct 30 boys ‘to read the Holy Bible in the English tongue and to catechise them once every week in the principles of the Christian religion’. As an appendix he listed the regulations to be followed in what was to become the local grammar school.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley


  • 1. IGI, Cornw.; G. C. Boase, Collectanea Cornubiensia, 1147–8; Polsue, Complete Paroch. Hist. Cornw. i. 62; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 273, 392.
  • 2. J. Childs, Army of Chas. II, 243.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 478, 1343; viii. 1599; CSP Dom. 1689–90, p. 518.
  • 4. Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 644–5; CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 43; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 69; HMC Finch, ii. 300, 410, 444; iv. 409, 433; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1418; x. 914; Luttrell Diary, 183, 214.
  • 5. St. Margaret’s, Westminster par. reg.; PCC 16 Noel.