CHISENHALL, Sir Edward (1646-1727), of Chisnall Hall, Coppull, Lancs.

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



5 Dec. 1690

Family and Education

b. 14 Oct. 1646, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Edward Chisenhall of Chisnall and Gray’s Inn by Elizabeth, da. of Alexander Rigby of Layton. m. (1) bef. Apr. 1665, Anne, da. of Thomas Adkinson of Blew Hall, Essex, 1da.; (2) 25 Apr. 1671, Elizabeth, illegit. da. of Sir William Playters, 2nd Bt., of Sotterley, Suff., 2s. 1da.; (3) 21 Sept. 1683, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Hon. Richard Spencer of Orpington, Kent, s.p. suc. fa. 1654; kntd. 24 Apr. 1671.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Lancs. 1673-80, Lancs. and Norf. 1689-90, recusants, Lancs. 1675, j.p. 1672-Apr. 1688, 1689-95, 1702-15, dep. lt. 1689-1715.2


Chisenhall’s ancestors had held the manor from which they took their name since the 13th century. His father obtained a post in the Prince of Wales’s household, and fought for the King in both wars. He petitioned to compound in 1648 for property valued at £120 p.a., including Chisenhall Buildings in Gray’s Inn, and, upon proof that he had never practised as a barrister, was fined £480, which he had paid off by 1651. He retired to Chisnall, where he wrote a defence of the Church of England published shortly before his death under the title Catholike History. Little is known of Chisenhall’s early life. He acquired property in Norfolk by his second marriage which he wished to dispose of to purchase an estate at Preston, but two private bills for this purpose failed in 1678 and 1680. He took a lively interest in the affairs of Wigan, four miles from Chisnall, opposing the surrender of the charter in 1681. In 1685 he was persuaded to withdraw his candidacy in favour of Lord Charles Murray. A convinced Anglican like his father, he was omitted from the commission of the peace in 1688. At the mayoral election of September 1688 in Wigan, he and William Banks II actively supported the successful candidate, a strong Whig, who duly signed their return to the Convention four months later. But according to Anthony Rowe Chisenhall voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and he declared the comprehension bill ‘so destructive to the Church of England [that] he desired it [to] lie on the table till Doomsday’. He was appointed to the committees to consider the bill for disarming Papists and the Wye and Lugg navigation bill, but was given leave to go into the country on 4 June, and may not have returned. He lost his seat at the general election, but came in for Preston later in the year. He was buried at Standish on 1 Apr. 1727, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Reg. of Standish (Lancs. Par. Reg. Soc. xliv), 104; Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxiv), 79; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 247-8; St. Dunstan in the East (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxxxiv), 63; St. Margaret’s Westminster (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxiv), 182; VCH Lancs. vi. 227.
  • 2. Croxton, Lancs. iv. 237; Lancs. RO, QSC 81 et seqq.
  • 3. Cal. Comm. Comp. 1860; Royalist Comp. Pprs. (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xxvi), 35-38; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 101; CJ, ix. 684; HMC Le Fleming, 181-2; HMC Kenyon, 178, 196; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxiii), 128; Lancs. RO, Standish par. reg.