TAYLOR, Richard (c.1649-99), of Wallingwells, Notts.

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



16 Oct. 1690 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1649, o. s. of Maj. Samuel Taylor of Wallingwells by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Nathaniel or Stephen Arlush of Howden, Yorks.  m. (settlement 5 May 1677), Bridget (d. 1734), da. of Sir Ralph Knight† of Langold and Warsop, Notts., 1s. d.v.p. 1da.  suc. fa. 29 Mar. 1679.1

Offices Held

Commr. to inquire into recusancy fines Derbys., Lincs., Notts. 1688; sheriff, Notts. 1689–90.2


Taylor’s father was often styled ‘Major’ but his main connexion with the military after the Restoration appears to have been his involvement in the civil administration of Tangier, first as deputy-surveyor of the mole being built to protect the harbour, then as an alderman and, subsequently, mayor of the colony. In England, he purchased land in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, including the old nunnery at Wallingwells, just to the north of East Retford. Taylor, like his father, seems to have been a Nonconformist; Eliezer Heywood, son of the Presbyterian diarist, Thomas, spent over 20 years as chaplain at Wallingwells, an association which was only terminated by Taylor’s death. Furthermore, he married a daughter of Sir Ralph Knight, a Parliamentarian and associate of General George Monck†, and after the Revolution certified both his house at Carburton, Nottinghamshire, and Wallingwells as places for Nonconformist worship.3

Little is known about Taylor’s early life, although he subscribed to the election expenses of the Whig candidates for Nottinghamshire in September 1679. Taylor’s entry into the political arena was signalled by his appointment as a deputy-lieutenant and justice in February 1688, followed by his appointment a month later as a commissioner to inquire into the money raised from recusants and Dissenters. In August the Earl of Sunderland recommended him to the Duke of Newcastle (Henry Cavendish†) as a Court candidate for East Retford along with John Thornhagh*. His role in the Revolution of 1688 is unclear, but he had little difficulty in adapting to the changed circumstances, being appointed sheriff in November 1689 and acting zealously against persons disaffected to the government.4

Taylor was returned for East Retford at a by-election in October 1690 in place of Evelyn Pierrepont*. Almost immediately, his name appeared on an annotated list by the Marquess of Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) possibly denoting his support for the Court. In April 1691 Robert Harley* classed him as a Country supporter. On 2 Jan. 1692 Taylor was given leave to go into the country to recover his health, ‘having been lately very ill’, apparently from smallpox. Grascome’s assessment of 1693 classed him as a Court supporter. He was given leave of absence on 8 Feb. 1694 for three weeks. However, he was also active outside the Commons, especially in the lieutenancy. In 1695, he received depositions on Jacobite activity in the Worksop area, including a possible sighting of the Duke of Berwick. At about the same time he probably lent the government £50 on the security of the 4s. aid.5

Re-elected unopposed in 1695, Taylor’s activities in the Commons are difficult to differentiate from those of John Taylor, Member for Sandwich. Taylor was forecast as a likely supporter of the Court in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade. He was probably the ‘Mr Taylor’ given leave for ten days on 3 Feb. 1696, but he signed the voluntary Association later that month. In the following session, he voted on 25 Nov. 1696 for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, but was probably not the man appointed to audit the East India Company accounts on 13 Mar. 1697. During 1696 Taylor was involved in a Chancery case as a trustee for a settlement made for Sir Ralph Knight’s granddaughter, Hannah, who, he claimed, was being forced by her mother into an unsuitable marriage while still an infant in order to gain access to the funds provided for her. He was also busy in 1696 in forwarding depositions to Sir William Trumbull* of treasonable words and practices, and by 1697 was a captain in the militia. On 30 Apr. 1698 he was given leave to go into the country to recover his health. A comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments classed him as a Court supporter.6

It was probably ill-health that deterred Taylor from standing in 1698, although he voted for both Whig candidates in the Nottinghamshire contest. He died on 20 Apr. 1699, aged 50, and was buried at Carlton on the 22nd. Thomas Heywood gave some idea of his character, observing the ‘serious spirit of Mr Taylor’. His political interest was inherited by his son-in-law, Thomas White II*, another staunch Whig.7

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Stuart Handley


  • 1. M. H. White, Mems. House of White of Wallingwells, 22, 28; Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 10; Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xl), 1260.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1806.
  • 3. E. M. G. Routh, Tangier, 120, 126, 346; White, 21, 29; Heywood Diary ed. Turner, i. 92; iv. 179, 162; H. H. Copnall, Notts. County Recs. 17th Cent. 142.
  • 4. [Bull. I] HR, lxix. 230; Heywood Diary, iv. 83; ii. 209; CSP Dom. 1687–9, pp. 141, 273; 1690–1, pp. 56, 63; Copnall, 10; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1806.
  • 5. Heywood Diary, iv. 141; HMC Portland, ii. 170–2; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 914.
  • 6. The Case of Richard Taylor; CSP Dom. 1696, p. 209; HMC Downshire, i. 626; Egerton 2616, f. 33.
  • 7. Harl. 6846, f. 340; Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xxxviii), 578; White, 22; Heywood Diary, iv. 152.