CHIVERS, Henry (c.1653-1720), of Fiddington, Ashchurch, Glos. and Quemerford, nr. Calne, Wilts.

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



23 Mar. 1702

Family and Education

b. c.1653, o.s. of Seacole Chivers of Quemerford by Eleanor, da. and coh. of John Roberts of Fiddington. m. Bridget (d.1724), da. of Duke Stonehouse of Great Bedwyn, Wilts., 1da. suc. fa. 1657.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1677-80, 1689-90, sheriff 1677-8; j.p. Glos. 1683-?96, Wilts. June 1688-96, 1700-5; dep. lt. Wilts. 1683-?96, 1701-?d.; alderman, Malmesbury 1685-7; col. of militia ft. Wilts. by June 1688-at least 1697.2

Capt. of ft. regt. of Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset) 1685-7, Queen Dowager’s Ft. (later 2 Ft.) 1687-9; lt.-col. R. Ft. Gds. (later Grenadier Gds.) 1689-90.


Chivers came of a prosperous family of clothiers which had been settled in Calne since the mid-16th century, and had acquired considerable property in the county. His father was probably a Royalist at the outset of the Civil War, but, together with Henry Bayntun I and George Lowe he gave himself up to the parliamentary forces at Calne in 1644, and escaped financial penalty. Chivers succeeded in early childhood to an estate of £1,000 p.a., and his wardship was contested between William Duckett and James Ashe, the case eventually reaching the House of Lords in 1668.3

Chivers stood for Calne, one mile from Quemerford, in the first election of 1679 against his cousin Walter Norborne, but his petition was not reported from the committee of elections. It is not known whether he stood in the next three elections, but he probably opposed exclusion. In 1685 he was nominated ‘capital burgess’ of Malmesbury in the new charter and commissioned in one of the new regiments formed to resist Monmouth’s rebellion. He transferred to ‘Kirke’s Lambs’ two years later. He was removed from the Malmesbury corporation in December 1687, but a few months later the King’s agents reported that he enjoyed one of the principal interests at Calne, and recommended him as a j.p. Lord Yarmouth (William Paston), the joint lord lieutenant, described how

with great entreaties and persuasions I prevailed with Mr Chivers to be for the taking off the Penal Laws and Tests, and [he] will rely solely upon his Majesty. His chiefest scruple was that he should be hanged hereafter for what he does at present, and [he] desired great security.

In 1689 he was returned for Calne. Anthony Rowe listed him among those who voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. Nevertheless he was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards under Henry Sidney. His only committee in the Convention was on the estate bill promoted by the Earl of Radnor (Charles Bodvile Robartes) on 21 Jan. 1690. He was returned for Calne to four more Parliaments and voted with the Tories. He died on 30 Apr. 1720, aged 67, and was buried at Leigh Delamere, the only member of his family to enter Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxiv. 218; Sir T. Phillipps, Monumental Inscriptions, pt. 2, p. 41.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 297.
  • 3. VCH Wilts. iv. 149; A. E. W. Marsh, Calne, 119; H. Bull, Hist. Devizes, 200; C5/45/2; LJ, xii. 232; Aubrey and Jackson, Wilts. Colls. 38.
  • 4. PC2/72, f. 555; SP44/165/222.