DISTON, Josiah (c.1667-1737), of Bakewell Hall, Basinghall St., London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 Dec. 1706 - 1710
1715 - 1722

Family and Education

b. c.1667, prob. 2nd s. of Josiah Diston of Chipping Norton, Oxon., a Dissenter.1

Offices Held

Director, Bank of England 1701-21 (with statutory intervals), dep. gov. 1721-3; receiver gen. of taxes for Westminster and Mdx. 1721-6.


Josiah Diston was for many years a leading factor in the cloth trade at Bakewell Hall, the London cloth market.2 Under Queen Anne he represented Devizes in two Parliaments, and was reported by Sir James Long to spare ‘no pains or cost to support’ the interest of the low churchmen there.3 He was again returned as a Whig in 1715 but lost his seat in 1722, when he only polled two votes, and did not stand again. In Parliament he voted for the septennial bill and the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, but against the peerage bill in 1719. As receiver general he failed in 1726, having incurred the large debt of £23,446, of which his sureties had paid up only £17,574 by August 1730.4 He was in receipt of royal bounty from that year till his death,5 on 7 Nov. 1737.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Phillipps, Collectanea, 374, 399; Crosby, Hist. Baptists, ii. 258-9.
  • 2. Bd. Trade Jnl. 1715-18, pp. 95-96.
  • 3. HMC Portland, iv. 175.
  • 4. W. R. Ward, English Land Tax in 18th Cent., 111; Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1729-30, pp. 194, 428.
  • 5. Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1729-30, p. 329; 1735-8, p. 435; Diston to Walpole, 13 Oct. 1734, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.