BORLASE, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (c.1640-89), of Bockmer, Medmenham, Bucks.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Freeman, Chipping Wycombe 1672; j.p. Bucks. 1673-81; commr. for assessment, Bucks. 1673-80, Oxon. 1679-80, recusants, Bucks. 1675.2
Borlase succeeded his father as Member for Wycombe in 1673. Like his friend, John Lovelace, he abandoned the loyalist tradition of his family, and owed his success to the aid of the dissenting vote. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he made no recorded speeches and was appointed to only seven committees, none of much political importance. In 1676 Sir Richard Wiseman wrote, ‘I can say little of him at present, but I hope to be able shortly to give your lordship an account of him’. The account cannot have been satisfactory, for Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’ in 1677, and he appears on no further lists of the court party.3
Again marked ‘worthy’ in 1679, Borlase was returned as a country Member to all the Exclusion Parliaments. Similarly inactive, his sole committee in the first Exclusion Parliament was to bring in a bill against cursing and swearing. He voted for exclusion. He was named to the committee of elections and privileges in the second Exclusion Parliament, but was totally inactive in the Oxford Parliament. Removed from the commission of the peace in 1681, he was arrested after the Rye House Plot, but discharged after a few days. Nevertheless, he apparently found it expedient to go to France for some time.4
Borlase did not stand for Wycombe in 1685, where the corporation had been remodelled under a new charter, but the family interest at Marlow, three miles from his home, was impregnable, and he was one of the few Whigs returned to James II’s Parliament. He served only on the committee to consider the bill for the relief of the Earl of Cleveland’s creditors. He was noted among the opponents of James II as considerable for interest and estates. He was re-elected to the Convention, but died on 1 Feb. 1689, aged 48, without making any mark on its records, and was buried at Stratton Audley. His estate, diminished by legacies totalling some £20,000, passed eventually to his nephew Borlase Warren, who sat as a Tory for Nottingham in four Parliaments between 1713 and 1747.5