CHETWYND, John (1643-1702), of Ingestre, Maer and Rudge, Standon, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. 1643, 1st s. of John Chetwynd of Rudge by Susan, da. of John Broughton of Withington, Staffs. m. 27 Jan. 1676, Lucy (d. 1738), da. of Robert Roane of Tullesworth, Chaldon, Surr., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1674, Walter Chetwynd I* 1693.1
?Capt. of ft. [I] 1674–8.2
Freeman, Stafford 1689; sheriff, Staffs. 1695–6.3
Chetwynd came from a cadet branch of the Chetwynds of Ingestre, his great-grandfather, Anthony, having settled at Rudge. The main Staffordshire estates of the family descended to him by virtue of an entail after the death in 1693 of his third cousin, Walter Chetwynd I*. It seems probable that he owed his seat to his cousin’s decision not to contest Stafford in the election to the Convention of 1689, and subsequent decision to stand for knight of the shire in 1690. At the election for the borough of Stafford in 1690 the corporation appears to have backed him unanimously, leading to his election after a three-cornered contest. The Marquess of Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) listed him as a Tory supporter of the Court. Chetwynd’s name also appears on a list drawn up in December 1690, probably indicating his support for Carmarthen should he be attacked in the Commons. On Robert Harley’s* list drawn up in about April 1691 he was marked as a Court supporter although this was qualified with a ‘d’, probably meaning doubtful. It is not possible to differentiate his activity in the House from that of his cousin, Walter Chetwynd I, until the latter’s death in 1693.4
At the county by-election of 1693, called on the death of Walter Chetwynd I, John signed a circular letter in support of Sir Walter Bagot, 3rd Bt.*, which was intended to discourage the pretensions of Hon. Henry Paget*. Indeed, shortly before his death in 1702, Chetwynd was described as Paget’s ‘greatest enemy in the county’ and ‘no less’ to the Foleys. Thus, it was not surprising that at a by-election for Stafford in 1694 the Foleys and Chetwynds were the main competitors. In the event, Chetwynd’s cousin, John of Grendon, withdrew in the face of the superior strength of Thomas Foley III*. At the 1695 election he found himself ousted at Stafford by the Foleys. One report suggested that Chetwynd would then switch to the county, but since the gentry had already agreed upon candidates this was not a serious option. Instead of sitting in Parliament, Chetwynd served as sheriff for the ensuing year.5
With the Foleys facing opposition in 1698 at Stafford, and Chetwynd having agreed as early as February of that year to abide by the decision of a gentry meeting for the county, he again faced the possibility of being without a seat. He may well have been the John Chetwynd elected at Tamworth in 1698, but this may equally well have been his cousin and namesake of Grendon, whose seat lay only a few miles from the borough. John of Grendon was the son of Charles Chetwynd of London, the deputy-auditor of the crown revenues in Wales, who was deputy-keeper of the wardrobe at Ludlow Castle. He had acquired the reversionary interest in the Grendon estate by the will of William Chetwynd†, who left it to his sister. Her date of death is unknown but Chetwynd seems to have been residing at Grendon by 1694. In addition, Walter Chetwynd I, by his will, had left him the mortgages on the land and tenements of Edward Slaney, in Baxterley and Bently, just to the south of Grendon. This John Chetwynd was active in local affairs, being a land tax commissioner from 1694 to 1695 for Hemlingford, the northernmost hundred in Warwickshire, sheriff of the county in 1703–4, when he used his position to try to make an interest at Tamworth, and a Whig supporter of George Lucy in the Warwickshire election of 1705. Whichever of the namesakes had been elected in 1698, was unseated on petition in March 1699. During this brief tenure, the Member was classed as a Court supporter on a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments, although this was subsequently queried. He voted on 18 Jan. 1699 against the third reading of the disbanding bill. Both John Chetwynds had plausible reasons for supporting the Court: Chetwynd of Ingestre because of his local battles with the Foleys and the aspirations of his second son, John†, to enter the diplomatic service (realized later in 1699 when he was named private secretary to the Duke of Manchester, ambassador in Paris); and Chetwynd of Grendon because his father’s office was held at the pleasure of Ralph Grey*, a noted Whig who had forestalled Treasury attempts to oust him in 1694.6
By 1700 Chetwynd of Ingestre was as acceptable to the Pagets as a deputy-lieutenant for the county as his son was to the court as a diplomat. With the retirement from politics of Philip Foley, Chetwynd was able to regain a seat at Stafford in January 1701, even though the burgesses ‘had no great kindness’ for him. However, in 1700 he had given £100 to the borough to endow almshouses. A John Chetwynd also stood at Tamworth at the same election, being easily defeated. The absence of a petition may suggest that John of Ingestre was the candidate and was using the borough as insurance against possible failure at Stafford. In the new Parliament his name appeared on a list of supporters of the Court in February 1701 over the ‘Great Mortgage’. He does not seem to have put up in November 1701, but regained his seat at Stafford in the 1702 election. However, on 9 Dec. 1702,
being an immodest taker of snuff, and indulging himself even to excess, in his fashionable mode (though he had no visible distemper upon him, and was not an old man and in other things very temperate yet) he died . . . of a fit of sneezing, which was so violent that it could not be allayed by any remedies that were applied to him.7
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Stuart Handley
- 1. IGI, Staffs, London; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), ii. 168–9; H. E. Chetwynd-Stapylton, Chetwynds of Ingestre, 224, 226.
- 2. HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 84.
- 3. Staffs. RO, D1323/A/1, p. 355.
- 4. Chetwynd-Stapylton, 219, 225, ped.; Harl. 7001, f. 396.
- 5. Hereford and Worcester RO (Hereford), Foley mss E12/F/IV, ‘Gents. letter to the country’, 4 Oct. 1693; E12/F/IV/BE, John Pershall* to Philip Foley*, 7 Nov. 1702; Add. 70114, [Philip Foley] to Robert Harley*, 29 Sept. 1694; 70018, f. 185.
- 6. Wm. Salt Lib. (Stafford), Bagot mss D1721/3/291, John Chetwynd to Edward Bagot*, 11 Feb. 1697[–8]; Chetwynd-Stapylton, ped.; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1547–1696, p. 480; PCC 45 Vere, 44 Coker; BL, Dept. of Printed Bks. 816 m.16(36); Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 28, ff. 228–9; Add. 61496, ff. 86–87; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 623, 704.
- 7. CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 250; HMC Portland, iii. 638; VCH Staffs. vi. 266; Chetwynd-Stapylton, 226; Add. 27440, f. 141.