BALE, Christopher (d.1708), of the Cathedral Close, Exeter, Devon.

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



4 June 1689

Family and Education

1st s. of Paul Bale, fuller, of Exeter by Mary Hooper of Exeter. m. (1) Margaret (d. 21 Mar. 1675), da. of William Bruerton of Heavitree, 1s. d.v.p. 4da.; (2) lic. 21 Feb. 1677, Elizabeth, da. of William Stawell of Herebear, Bickington, 1s. suc. fa. c.1677.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Exeter 1675, common councilman 1675-84, receiver 1683-4, alderman 1684-7, Nov. 1688-d., mayor Nov. 1688-9, 1696-7; freeman, Salisbury 1681; commr. for assessment, Devon and Exeter 1690, receiver of taxes 1691-4.2


Bale’s father took the Protestation in Exeter in 1640, but never took out his freedom or accepted municipal office, and managed to avoid commitment in the Civil War. Bale was a merchant, though he married into the gentry, and at the time of his father’s death was living at Barley just outside the city. Under the new charter of 1684 he was promoted from the common council to the bench. A follower of Edward Seymour, he was removed from the corporation by order-in-council in 1687, but when the old charter was restored he was elected mayor. He trounced the Whig candidates at a by-election in 1689 and survived two petitions. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to eight committees, including those for the second mutiny bill and the bill for restoring corporations. Although he had not entered the House till four months after the resolution against agreeing with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, he was blacklisted by Anthony Rowe, but he was re-elected nevertheless, and made receiver of taxes. He died overseas between 16 June 1707, when he made his will, and 2 Dec. 1708, when it was proved. He was the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Trans. Devon Assoc. lxii. 210; J. L. Vivian, Exeter Mar. Lic. 120; PCC 61 Reeve; Soc. of Genealogists, Exeter mar. lic.; G. D. Stawell, Quantock Fam. 175.
  • 2. Exeter Freemen (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. extra ser. i), 167; Trans. Devon Assoc. lxii. 210; Hoare, Wilts. Salisbury 477; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 975; x. 465.
  • 3. Devon Protestation Returns ed. Howard, 326; Exeter corp. act bk. 11, f. 5; A. Jenkins, Exeter, 177, 188; PC2/72/561; PCC 279 Barrett.