SALUSBURY, John (c.1592-?1685), of Bachegraig, Tremeirchion (formerly Dimeirchion), Flints.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1592,1 1st s. of Roger Salusbury of Bachegraig and Anne, da. and coh. of Richard Clough, Mercer and Merchant Adventurer of London, Antwerp, Hamburg and Bachegraig.2 educ. L. Inn 1610.3 m. 18 June 1599, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Ravenscroft of Bretton, Flints. 1s.4 suc. fa. 1623.5 d. ?1685. sig. Jo[hn] Salusbury.

Offices Held

Capt. militia ft. Flints. by 1619-at least 1642,6 j.p. 1621-42, 1648-53,7 commr. subsidy 1621-2, 1625, 1628, 1641, subsidy arrears 1626, 1635-6, Poll Tax 1641, ?1660, assessment 1642, 1647-53, ?1657, ?1660, Irish aid 1642, 1648;8 freeman, Denbigh, Denb. 1635, Chester, Cheshire 1637;9 common cllr. Denbigh 1638-57, alderman [i.e. mayor] (jt.) 1650-1;10 commr. N. Wales Assoc. Denb. 1648, militia, Flints. 1648.11


The Salusburys, who settled at Lleweni, Denbighshire in the fourteenth century, were undoubtedly English in origin, but they soon intermarried with their Welsh neighbours. By the time of the 1536 Union they were the leading family in the vale of Clwyd, dominating the parliamentary representation of the new county of Denbighshire until 1558. The local influence of the senior branch of the family dwindled during Elizabeth’s reign, partly because of their association with the earl of Leicester’s unpopular regime in Denbigh lordship, and partly because the head of the family, Thomas Salusbury, was executed as an accomplice to the Babington Plot in 1586.12 The latter’s uncle Roger, father of the 1626 MP, compensated for his modest expectations as a seventh son by marrying a woman whose father made his fortune as factor to Sir Thomas Gresham; this included an estate at Bachegraig, only two miles from Lleweni, later valued at £500 a year.13 The couple probably married shortly before Salusbury was appointed to the Flintshire bench in 1589, as it was undoubtedly his wife’s estates which gave him the requisite local standing for the post.14

The Hawarden parish register noted that John Salusbury was an ‘infant’ at his marriage in 1599; he was probably around seven years old. The match was presumably intended to cement an alliance with the Ravenscrofts, an influential Flintshire family with connections to the lord keeper, Sir Thomas Egerton†, but it is difficult to explain why the ceremony was not postponed until the parties were older.15 Salusbury took over partial responsibility for his family’s estates in 1620, when he was assigned lands to raise portions for two of his sisters, and before his father’s death in 1623 he was buying land on his own account.16

While his father had no known parliamentary ambitions, Salusbury was the successful contender in the most keenly fought Flintshire election of the early Stuart period, winning the county seat in 1626 in a contest with Sir Thomas Hanmer†, 2nd bt. At the preceding election in April 1625 Salusbury had signed the indenture returning Hanmer’s uncle Sir John Trevor II, which suggests that he then supported Trevor against a challenge from Sir Thomas Mostyn.17 Salusbury’s decision to put himself forward only nine months later requires some explanation. There is little surviving evidence about factional alignment prior to the election, but when the Parliament was first called it is likely that Trevor proposed to stand again, whereas Mostyn, whose father Sir Roger* had disapproved of his previous candidacy, did not. Salusbury is unlikely to have welcomed the prospect of the Flintshire seat becoming a sinecure of the Trevors, as there had been tension between the two families since the hard-fought Denbighshire election of 1601, when his father had supported Sir John Salusbury† of Lleweni in a contest with Trevor’s uncle Sir Richard Trevor†.18

Having decided to stand, Salusbury doubtless counted upon the support of his wife’s family, the Ravenscrofts, and his neighbours, particularly Sir Peter Mutton*. He may even have hoped that Sir Thomas Mostyn could bring the Mostyn freeholders over to his side, although it seems that Sir Roger ultimately threw in his lot with Trevor and Hanmer. The key factor may well have been the support of the sheriff, Thomas Evans, who allegedly boasted at the county court ‘that how many soever here, yet is the election in my power. I may choose whom I will’. The prospect of defeat may have panicked Salusbury’s opponents, who probably only substituted the 13-year old Hanmer as their candidate on the eve of the election to save Trevor from the embarassment of defeat. On the day of the election itself Salusbury’s supporters allegedly claimed ‘that their master would have it by the sword if he could not otherwise have it’, but they were not required to carry out their threat, as the sheriff held a two-day poll, presumably using the time to disqualify a sufficient number of Hanmer’s freeholders to ensure Salusbury’s return.19

Salusbury received only a single mention in the records of the Parliament, which, predictably, concerned the conduct of the Flintshire election. His opponents petitioned about the sheriff’s misconduct, but the case, probably delayed by the proceedings against the duke of Buckingham, was not reported until 5 May. The committee had originally proposed to give sheriff Evans a month’s notice to attend the House to answer the charges brought against him but, apparently at Salusbury’s suggestion, it was agreed he should appear before the committee somewhat earlier, on 23 May. The case is not known to have proceeded any further before the dissolution of 15 June.20 The bruising experience of this election appears to have dissuaded the protagonists from standing again in 1628, when the knighthood of the shire went to an outsider.

Salusbury played a relatively modest part in local affairs during the 1630s, perhaps largely because of his involvement in the management of the Lleweni estate after the death of his nephew Sir Henry Salusbury, 1st bt. in 1632.21 The one extraneous issue with which he was involved was the investigation of a complaint to the Privy Council by Sir William Norreys of Speke, Lancashire, whose daughter Elizabeth subsequently married his heir.22 During the election for the Short Parliament Salusbury and the Mostyns apparently joined forces to propose John Mostyn* and Salusbury’s heir for the Flintshire county and borough seats respectively. The younger Salusbury was defeated by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but was returned for Denbigh Boroughs on the Lleweni interest, probably through his father’s intercession.23 He represented Flint Boroughs in the Long Parliament and at the royalist Parliament at Oxford in 1644, where he surrendered to the parliamentarian forces in May 1646.24 Salusbury himself kept a low profile during this period, and in a predominantly royalist area this was sufficient to qualify him for nomination as an assessment commissioner from 1647 until the ejection of the Rump in 1653; either he or his son was the ‘John Salusbury senior’ named as an assessment comissioner in 1657 and 1660.25 He gradually relinquished control of his estates to his heirs, which presumably explains why he left no will or administration after his death. The family pedigrees state that he died in 1685, but no burial is recorded in the Tremeirchion parish register. Bachegraig passed away through the female line at the end of the eighteenth century.26

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. Age calculated from date of admiss. to Lincoln’s Inn.
  • 2. PROB 11/52, f. 265; C142/156/5.
  • 3. LI Admiss.
  • 4. Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, 315-16; Flints. RO, P28/1/1, p. 6.
  • 5. Cal. Salusbury Corresp. ed. W.J. Smith (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studs. Hist. and Law ser. xiv), ped. III.
  • 6. NLW, 6285E, ff. 5, 41, 48; HEHL, EL7443.
  • 7. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 105-9, 111-12.
  • 8. C212/22/20-2; E179/221/227; 179/224/598; 179/264/43; 179/265/24; SR, v. 68, 91, 107, 141, 157, 222; A. and O. i. 979, 1097; ii. 47, 313, 483, 679, 1086, 1383.
  • 9. J. Williams, Recs. Denbigh Lordship, 131; Cal. Salusbury Corresp. 98.
  • 10. Williams, 131, 134.
  • 11. A. and O. i. 1184, 1247.
  • 12. DWB; Cal. Salusbury Corresp. 1-17; HMC Kenyon, 611-16.
  • 13. PROB 11/52, ff. 162, 265-8; C142/156/5; C2/Chas.I/W55/46; Cal. Salusbury Corresp. (peds. at end of vol.)
  • 14. JPs of Wales and Monm. 98-101; List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 254-5.
  • 15. LI Admiss.; Flints. RO, P28/1/1, p. 6.
  • 16. JRL, Ry. Ch. 965-6, 1145-6, 1150, 1157-61, 1207.
  • 17. C219/38/290; JRL, Ry. Ch. 1200.
  • 18. STAC 5/T15/33.
  • 19. NLW, 9061E/1359, ex inf. Lloyd Bowen; Procs. 1626, iii. 171; P. Roberts, Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd ed. D.R. Thomas, 111.
  • 20. Procs. 1626, iii. 167, 171, 175.
  • 21. Cal. Salusbury Corresp. 80-1, 84, 91-2, 94-8, 100-2; NLW, Ruthin 149.
  • 22. CSP Dom. 1633-4, pp. 445, 491; JRL, Ry. Ch. 983, 1205.
  • 23. Flints. RO, D/GW/2119.
  • 24. CJ, iii. 389b; CCC, 1534.
  • 25. A. and O. i. 979, 1097; ii. 483, 1086, 1383.
  • 26. JRL, Ry. Ch. 988; Denb. RO, DD/WY/4293; Cal. Salusbury Corresp. ped. III.