CLARGES, Sir Walter, 1st Bt. (c.1654-1706), of Piccadilly, Westminster.
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Family and Education
b. c.1654, o.s. of Thomas Clarges. educ. Merton, Oxf. matric. 3 Feb. 1671, aged 17. m. (1) Jane, da. of Sir Dawes Wymondsold of Putney, Surr., 1da.; (2) by 1682, Jane (d. 17 Sept. 1690), da. of Hon. James Herbert of Tythrop House, Kingsey, Bucks., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.; (3) 15 Dec. 1690, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Gould, Draper, of Aldermanbury, London, wid. of Sir Robert Wymondsold of Putney, 6s. 3da. cr. Bt. 30 Oct. 1674; suc. fa. 1695.1
Commr. for assessment, Westminster 1677-80, Colchester 1679-80, Bucks. and Westminster 1689-90, Lincs. and Mdx. 1690; freeman, Maldon 1679, Oxford 1687-Feb. 1688; j.p. Essex 1683-Apr. 1688, Westminster ?1690-6, Mdx. by 1701-d.; dep. lt. Mdx. 1692-6, 1701-d., Surr. 1702-d.2
Capt. Duke of Monmouth’s Ft. 1678-9, R. Dgns. 1679-81; maj. 1 Horse Gds. 1681-5.
As soon as Clarges came of age his father sought a seat for him at a by-election at Clitheroe; but his cousin, the 2nd Duke of Albemarle (Christopher Monck) ordered him to make way for Sir Thomas Stringer. He became an army officer in 1678, and in the following year was returned for Colchester, where Albemarle also enjoyed an interest. considered him ‘doubtful’, but Huntingdon marked him as country. He was an inactive Member of the first Exclusion Parliament, in which he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges and to that for the bill to disable those who had not taken the oaths from sitting in Convocation. He voted against the committal of the first exclusion bill. Re-elected in August, he was totally inactive in the second Exclusion Parliament, and lost his seat in 1681 through the intervention of Titus Oates, who told the Colchester electors that he was a Papist. In the following year he seconded Albemarle in his duel with Lord Grey of Warke, but he was wounded and disarmed by Charles Godfrey, ‘so here the Whigs had the better of it’.3
Clarges regained his seat in 1685, but his only committee in James II’s Parliament was on the bill for the new parish of St. James Piccadilly. Listed among the Opposition by Danby, he had laid down his commission by October, presumably as a protest against the employment of Roman Catholic officers. When the lord lieutenant asked about his attitude to the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, he said that he had already given his answer and thought a repetition needless. He was removed from the Essex commission of the peace, and was sent by his father ‘at great expense’ to attend the Prince of Orange at Exeter during the Revolution. Nevertheless he was defeated at Colchester at the general election of 1689, and his petition was rejected. He sat for Westminster as a Tory from 1690 to 1695 and again from 1702 to 1705, but died in March 1706. The second baronet sat for Lostwithiel in Anne’s last Parliament, and a younger son represented Reading under George I.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Gillian Hampson
- 1. Trinity Coll. Dublin, 749/2/189, 4/414; Prob. 10/1401.
- 2. Essex RO, DB3/12/13; C18/17/37; Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 191, 196; Luttrell, iv. 89.
- 3. HMC Kenyon, 100, Bodl. Carte 223, f. 256; HMC 7th Rep. 371, 429.
- 4. Bramston Autobiog. (Cam. Soc. xxxii), 307; Grey, ix. 459; CJ, x. 11; Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1700-15, p. 106; Luttrell, vi. 33.