BLOIS, Sir Charles, 1st Bt. (1657-1738), of Grundisburgh Hall, Suff.
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Family and Education
bap. 14 Sept. 1657, o. surv. s. of Sir William Blois of Grundisburgh Hall by 1st w. Martha, da. of Sir Robert Brooke; of Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, and coh. to her bro. (Sir) Robert Brooke. m. (1) 11 May 1680, Mary (d. 18 Jan. 1693), da. of Sir Robert Kemp, 2nd Bt., of Gissing, Norf., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) lic. 18 Apr. 1694, Anne, da. of Ralph Hawtrey of Eastcote House, Ruislip, Mdx., 2s. (2 d.v.p) 1da. suc. fa. 1675; cr. Bt. 15 Apr. 1686; suc. to Cockfield Hall 1693.1
Alderman, Dunwich 1685-June 1688, Nov. 1688-?d., bailiff 1708, 1711-12; j.p. Suff. 1685-?d.; commr. for inquiry into recusancy fines, Cambs., Norf. and Suff. Mar. 1688, assessment, Suff. 1689-90, Dunwich and Ipswich 1689; ?common councilman, Orford by 1698, ?portman 1709.2
Blois’s father, probably a Presbyterian like his grandfather William Blois, had been made a justice of the peace in 1657, but held no other local offices until 1660 when he was on the Suffolk militia commission. He signed the Suffolk petition to George Monck for a free Parliament and was knighted after the Restoration.3
Blois himself, ‘every way a gentleman’ was clearly an Anglican and a Tory, since he was nominated alderman in the Dunwich charter and appointed to the commission of the peace in 1685. He presumably opposed James 11’s ecclesiastical policy, since he was removed from the Dunwich corporation in June 1688. He was first returned for Ipswich, five miles from Grundisburgh, when he defeated the Whig Sir Samuel Barnardiston at a by-election in May 1689. A very active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to 36 committees, of which the most important before the recess were to consider the succession clause in the bill of rights and to inquire into the delays in relieving Londonderry and the charges against William Harbord. In the second session he was added to the committee of elections and privileges. He was among those appointed to bring in a bill for restoring corporations, to inquire into the miscarriages and expenses of the war, and to consider the second mutiny bill. Although he was named to the committee on the corporations bill when it was introduced, on the same day he was given leave to go into the country for three weeks, and presumably missed the debate on the disabling clause. When he returned he was among those appointed to consider imposing a general oath of allegiance. He continued to sit as a Tory under William III and Anne. He died on 10 Apr. 1738 and was buried at Grundisburgh, the last of the family to sit in Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. Add. 19185, ff. 192-3; Copinger, Suff. Manors, ii. 15, 220.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 15; HMC Var. vii. 104; CJ, xvi. 10; T. Gardner, Dunwich (1754), 86, 142-3; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1805; W. Suss. RO, Shillinglee mss, Gooding to Turnor, 18 July 1698, Hooke to Turnor, 28 Sept. 1709.
- 3. Suff, and the Gt. Rebellion (Suff. Rec. Soc. iii), 128.
- 4. HMC Egmont, ii. 197; PC2/72/689; CJ, x. 312; Add. 19185, ff. 192-3.