UVEDALE, Sir William (1581-1652), of Wickham, Hants and Whitehall

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



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.)

Family and Education

bap. 18 Dec. 1581,2 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Uvedale of Wickham and Mary, da. of (Sir) Richard Norton† of Tisted, Hants.3 educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1598; M. Temple 1600; embassy, Brussels 1605.4 m. (1) c.1607 (with £2,000),5 Anne (bur. 5 Sept. 1627),6 da. of Sir Edmund Carey* of Culham, Oxon., 2s. d.v.p. 4da. (1 d.v.p.);7 (2) 29 Feb. 1640,8 (with £4,000),9 Victoria (d.1694), da. of Sir Henry Carey I*, 1st Visct. Falkland [S], 1s. 2da.10 kntd. 9 Apr. 1605;11 suc. fa. 1616.12 bur. 3 Dec. 1652.13 sig. Will[iam] Vuedale.

Offices Held

Gent. of the privy chamber by 1612-18;14 commr. ploughing fines [I] 1612-23;15 treas. of the Chamber 1618-42;16 clerk of Star Chamber 1630-8;17 commr. preservation of game 1635-40;18 treas.-at-war 1639-42;19 member, Council of War 1640-2.20

Gamekeeper, West Bere forest, Hants 1622;21 j.p. Hants 1625-d., Westminster 1629-?49;22 dep. lt. Hants 1625-?44,23 commr. to disarm recusants 1625,24 martial law 1626-8,25 Forced Loan 1626-7,26 oyer and terminer 1628-42,27 knighthood fines 1630;28 constable of Porchester Castle and lt. of South Bere forest, Hants 1630-49;29 commr. sewers, Hants and Wilts. 1630, I.o.W. 1631;30 lt. of New Forest, Hants by 1634-at least 1642;31 commr. piracy, Hants and I.o.W. 1635-6,32 maltsters, Hants 1636,33 assessment 1641, 1644-50,34 array 1642,35 contributions (roy.) 1643,36 defence (parl.) 1643,37 levying money 1645;38 gov. of Covent Garden precinct, Mdx. 1646.39

Capt. of ft. 1639, col. 1640.40


Uvedale’s family originated in Norfolk, moving to Surrey in 1305, and finally settling at Wickham in Hampshire in 1381.41 His ancestor Sir William† (d. 1525) became prominent among the Hampshire gentry under the early Tudors and acquired a position in the royal Household.42 Uvedale, too, made his career at Court, succeeding partly through his winning looks and easy going personality, as reputedly ‘one of the finest courtiers for figure and personage’.43 In 1605 he accompanied the 1st earl of Hertford’s ceremonial mission to the Spanish Netherlands on the conclusion of peace with Spain.44 He does not appear to have stood for election to James I’s first Parliament in 1604, but following his return to England in 1605 he did attempt to obtain a seat at a by-election ahead of the second session, unsuccessfully approaching Sir Edward Hoby* for a seat at Queenborough.45 Financial difficulties may explain Uvedale’s wish to enter Parliament, but these were ended in about 1607, when he married into one of the leading courtly families of the day. He shrewdly attached himself to the rising Scottish favourite Robert Carr (later earl of Somerset), and in 1609 was granted a second reversion to the lucrative clerkship of Star Chamber after his brother-in-law Humphrey May*.46 In 1612 he was granted a patent to regulate the barbaric Irish practice of attaching ploughs to horses’ tails, which brought him around £800 a year.47

As Somerset’s ‘chief favourite’, Uvedale was recommended, along with Sir Richard Tichborne*, to the Hampshire gentry by the county’s lord lieutenant, the 3rd earl of Southampton, in the contested general election of 1614.48 He polled 1,657 votes, only a few less than Tichborne, and was returned in second place. However, on 31 May William Beecher informed the Commons that Sir Henry Wallop*, an unsuccessful candidate in the county election, had begun proceedings in Star Chamber against both the sheriff (Uvedale’s cousin Sir Richard Norton*) and Uvedale’s servants.49 On the same day Uvedale was named to his only committee, for an estate bill.50 The Parliament abruptly came to an end before the committee for privileges was able to make its report concerning the Hampshire election. The outcome of Wallop’s lawsuit is unknown.

Uvedale used his influence at Court to secure the appointment of (Sir) Dudley Carleton* as ambassador to The Hague in August 1614.51 However, he failed to obtain a patent for himself to farm small writs out of Chancery, despite the support of both Sir George More* and the earl of Somerset, who informed Lord Chancellor Ellesmere (Thomas Egerton†) that Uvedale had ‘a priority of my affections and of my care, so much as I will account it done to myself whatsoever good he shall receive from your lordship’.52 In 1615 Somerset obtained the treasurership of the Chamber in reversion for Uvedale at a cost of £2,000.53 Universally popular, and with his wife a lady in waiting to Anne of Denmark, Uvedale easily survived the fall of Somerset soon afterwards.54 Consequently, at the beginning of 1618 he was well placed to be able to negotiate with Lord Stanhope (Sir John Stanhope I*) the surrender by the latter of the treasurership of the Chamber.55 It was presumably to finance this transaction that Uvedale was obliged to sell some of his outlying estates at this time.56

Uvedale was nominated by the 3rd earl of Southampton for the Isle of Wight borough of Newport in 1621. Named to the committee for privileges on 5 Feb. 1621,57 he was among those appointed to a conference on the petition against recusancy (15 Feb.), and to consider a bill against collusive leases of recusants’ lands (2 March).58 Uvedale’s ploughing patent was mentioned as a grievance in the Commons on 30 Apr., but by keeping a low profile he escaped the fate of some other monopolists, who were expelled from the House.59 In the following year it was rumoured that the king intended to make Uvedale an Irish viscount, perhaps on condition that he surrender his patent.60 The latter was finally suspended in 1623, whereupon he received £1,250 in compensation.61

At the 1624 general election Uvedale was returned to Parliament for Portsmouth on the interest of his superior, Lord Chamberlain Pembroke, the town’s governor. Uvedale was named to only four committees, two of which were for private bills; the others were to consider the navigation of the river Lea from Amwell (22 Mar.), and the levy on Tyneside coal (29 April).62

Uvedale became a deputy lieutenant of Hampshire in 1625. He stood for election to Charles I’s first parliament at Lymington, but was rejected.63 He was instead returned for Petersfield with the support of his cousin Norton, and he represented the borough for the remainder of his parliamentary career. He left no trace on the records in 1625, but in 1626 he was appointed to four committees, including one to consider all points concerning religion (10 February), and a bill against secret offices (14 February).64 On 23 Feb. he was granted a fortnight’s leave of absence because his wife was ill, but he had presumably returned by 4 Mar., when he was one of those named to help manage a conference about the Commons’ message to Buckingham.65 In the following year his mother’s half-brother, Sir Daniel Norton*, asked him to make representations to the Privy Council about the grievance of billeting in Hampshire;66 he was by this time evidently found more at Court than in the country, and he accordingly made his contribution to the Forced Loan in Westminster.67 In the 1628 Parliament Norton was appointed to a conference on 21 Mar. on the fast, and he was one of the six Members sent on 3 May to ask the king for an audience for the Speaker and the House.68 The assassination of Buckingham in his former constituency must have been peculiarly embarrassing to Uvedale, who had been responsible for recommending the murderer, Felton, for a commission.69 Uvedale played no known part in the second session.

As Charles’s long-serving treasurer of the Chamber Uvedale was appointed treasurer-at-war when hostilities broke out with Scotland, although by then he was plagued with ill health, including gout in his right hand so severe he was unable to write.70 He performed his duties conscientiously but lacked enthusiasm for a civil war in England. In August 1642, when Charles sent him from Nottingham to London with an answer to the Long Parliament’s Nineteen Propositions, it was therefore with the tacit understanding that he would ‘intend the business of his own fortune’.71 Under the stress of increasing financial embarrassment, Uvedale eventually became a passive Parliamentarian and remained a local magistrate under the Rump.72 He made his will in December 1651, a year before he died.73 He was buried at Wickham on 3 Dec. 1652, the last of the family to sit in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. Inf. from Mrs. S. Tappenden; Soc. Gen., Baigent notes.
  • 3. Surr. Arch. Colls. iii. 125-32.
  • 4. Al. Ox., M. Temple Admiss.; HMC Bath, iv. 200.
  • 5. C2/Jas.I/U3/48.
  • 6. St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxvi), 231.
  • 7. Surr. Arch. Colls. iii. 187-8.
  • 8. N and Q, cc. 406-7.
  • 9. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, ii. 180.
  • 10. N and Q, cc. 406-7.
  • 11. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 137.
  • 12. C142/354/122; PROB 11/127, f. 180.
  • 13. Her. and Gen. iii. 49.
  • 14. CPR Ire. Jas. I, 250a; HEHL, EL2945.
  • 15. CSP Ire. 1611-14, p. 305; APC, 1623-5, p. 164.
  • 16. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 291; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 125; G.E. Aylmer, King’s Sevants, 83.
  • 17. CSP Dom. 1631-3, p. 68; C66/2567; SO1/3/104.
  • 18. CSP Dom. 1635, pp. 531, 549.
  • 19. Ibid. 1638-9, p. 581; 1641-3, p. 492; Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 368.
  • 20. CSP Dom. 1639-40, p. 332.
  • 21. Ibid. 1619-23, p. 453.
  • 22. C231/4, f. 192v; C193/13/3.
  • 23. E401/2586, p. 57; Add. 21922, f. 8, passim.
  • 24. Add. 21922, f. 38.
  • 25. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 120.
  • 26. Hants RO, 44M69/G4/1/44; Rymer, viii. pt. 2, p. 145.
  • 27. C181/3, f. 241, 181/5, ff. 58, 170v, 221; APC, 1627-8, p. 318; CSP Dom. 1635, p. 319.
  • 28. Hants RO, 44M69/G4/1/78.
  • 29. Rymer, viii. pt. 3, p. 223; CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 333.
  • 30. C181/4, ff. 49v, 89.
  • 31. Cal. New Forest Docs. ed. D.J. Stagg (Hants Rec. ser. v), 39; CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 363.
  • 32. C181/5, ff. 24, 58.
  • 33. PC2/46, p. 373.
  • 34. SR, v. 88, 155; A. and O. i. 540, 974, 1092; ii. 42, 308, 477.
  • 35. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 36. Docquets of Letters Patent, 68.
  • 37. A. and O. i. 335.
  • 38. Ibid. 696.
  • 39. Ibid. 814-15.
  • 40. CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 505; 1640, p. 462.
  • 41. Surr. Arch. Colls. iii. 65, 69, 74, 76, 83, 127; VCH Hants, iii. 234; iv. 153; VCH Surr. iv. 270, 331.
  • 42. Oxford DNB sub Uvedale, Sir William.
  • 43. B. Jonson, Poems (1975), p. 72.
  • 44. HMC Bath, iv. 200.
  • 45. HMC Hatfield, xvii. 335.
  • 46. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 530.
  • 47. CSP Ire. 1611-14, pp. 305, 448.
  • 48. STAC8/293/11; Whithed Letter Bk. (Hants Rec. ser. i), 114; Chamberlain Letters, i. 518.
  • 49. CJ, i. 502b.
  • 50. Ibid. 503b.
  • 51. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 251.
  • 52. HEHL, EL85, 2944-8.
  • 53. Aylmer, 83.
  • 54. Chamberlain Letters, i. 606; J. Nichols, Progs. Jas. I, iii. 541.
  • 55. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 125.
  • 56. VCH Hants, iv. 232.
  • 57. CJ, i. 507b.
  • 58. Ibid. 523a, 534a.
  • 59. CD 1621, v. 118.
  • 60. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 437.
  • 61. CSP Ire. 1615-25, p. 572; APC, 1621-3, p. 409; 1623-5, pp. 152, 164.
  • 62. CJ, i. 745a, 754b, 778b.
  • 63. Hants RO, 27M74A/DBC 1, p. 137.
  • 64. Procs. 1626, ii. 13, 33.
  • 65. Ibid. 104, 195.
  • 66. CSP Dom. 1627-8, pp. 166, 223.
  • 67. J. Stevens, St. Mary Bourne, 257.
  • 68. CD 1628, ii. 42; iii. 233.
  • 69. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 238.
  • 70. Ibid. 1638-9, p. 505; 1640, p. 462; 1640-1, p. 316.
  • 71. Clarendon, Hist. of the Rebellion ed. W.D. Macray, ii. 304; R.H. Ashton, Eng. Civil War, 164-6; CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 385.
  • 72. M. Keeler, Long Parl. 369-70; Aylmer, 391-2.
  • 73. PROB 11/241, f. 36.