VINCENT, Shadrach (1643-1700), of Roselyon, St. Blazey, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

bap. 14 May 1643, 3rd s. of Henry Vincent, attorney, of Tresimple, St. Clement, being 2nd s. by 2nd w. Susannah, da. of Richard Launce of Penair, St. Clement; half-bro. of Walter Vincent I. educ. I. Temple 1666. m. Catherine, da. and h. of Richard Kelliowe of Roselyon, s.p.1

Offices Held

Capt. of horse (Dutch army) 1676, ?maj. by 1678; capt. 2 Tangier Regt. (later 4 Ft.) 1680.2

Riding surveyor of customs, Truro 1682-4; collector of customs, Fowey 1684-7; commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1689-90; alderman, Fowey 1690-?d.3


According to family tradition Vincent ‘signalized himself whilst serving as a volunteer in the navy under the Earl of Ossory [Thomas Butler]’ in the third Dutch war, and ‘afterwards as a major of horse in Flanders under Sir John Fenwick’. He was commissioned in the Earl of Plymouth’s new regiment in 1680 and sent down to the west country to recruit for the Tangier garrison, but promptly resigned, presumably because he had married a Cornish heiress. In 1682 he petitioned ‘for a gift of the office of surveyor of the tin blowing houses in Cornwall’, and later in the month it was reported that

on the petition of Capt. Shadrach Vincent, his Majesty, having assured him of his favour the next employment he is capable of executing in Cornwall or the ports of Falmouth or Plymouth, as soon as it should fall void, directs this petition to be transmitted to the lords of the Treasury, that they may take care that the petitioner receive effectually the benefit of his Majesty’s gracious intentions on the first vacancy of any such employment.

He was appointed surveyor of customs in Cornwall, based on Truro, and was commended for having ‘in great measure prevented abuses by seizing uncoined tin’. Two years later, he became collector of customs at Fowey. From his subsequent criticisms of the conduct of the Earl of Bath, then the government’s electoral manager in Cornwall, he was probably opposed to the remodelling of the charters, and unlike his nephews he was not appointed a member of any of the new corporations in 1685. In he was dismissed from his customs post at Fowey on a charge of embezzling ‘goods of extraordinary value (as being presents going from the Emperor to the King and Queen of Spain) out of a vessel of Ostend lately wrecked upon that coast’.4

Vincent joined the Prince of Orange soon after his landing at Torbay, and was employed as an intermediary with Lord Bath and the Cornish gentlemen. He collected subscriptions to the Association in all the principal towns of Cornwall, and was returned for Fowey, four miles from Roselyon, at the general election of 1689. A moderately active Member of the Convention and a court Tory, he did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. As ‘Major Vincent’ he was named to 18 committees, including those to consider an address on the danger of a French attack on Pendennis and Falmouth, to inquire into the sale of offices, to reverse Titus Oates’s conviction, to provide for security against Jacobites, and to examine prisoners of state. After the Christmas recess, he was among those appointed to reverse the judgments de scandalis magnatum obtained by the Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset), to impose a general oath of allegiance, and to consider the estate bill promoted by the Earl of Radnor (Charles Bodvile Robartes). He was re-elected in 1690 as a government supporter. He was buried at St. Margaret’s, Westminster on 3 Jan. 1700.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Truro Par. Reg. (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc.), i. 193; Boase, Coll. Cornub. 1147-8; Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. i. 62.
  • 2. J. Childs, Army of Charles II, 243; Boase, 1148; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 22.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 478, 1343; viii. 1599; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 518.
  • 4. Boase, 1148; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 22; 1682, pp. 15, 43; Grey, x. 145; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1308, 1599; PC2/71/290, 390.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 371; English Currant, 9 Jan. 1689; Westminster St. Margaret par. reg.