COATES, Thomas (d.1686), of Reading, Berks.

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



13 Mar. - 23 June 1685
27 June 1685 - c. June 1686

Family and Education

m. (1) 10 Apr. 1655, Elizabeth Johnson of Reading, 1da.; (2) by 1669, Mary (d. May 1701), da. of John Millingate of the Grange, Dummer, Hants, wid. of Henry Doyley of Turville, Bucks., s.p.1

Offices Held

Asst. Reading 1659, alderman 1662-d., mayor 1666-7, freeman 1681.2


Coates was an innkeeper who acted as postmaster of Reading under the Protectorate, and later provided a coach service to London. Presumably a Royalist in the first Civil War, he declared in 1656 that ‘he had drawn his sword these 13 years against the Presbyterians and would not sheath it yet’. He was appointed to the bench by the commissioners for corporations, and was active in the government interest during the exclusion crisis. He was court candidate in 1681, but gave up the contest owing to ‘the great disparity of votes’. In 1683 when he had ‘the reputation of a loyal man’, he took part in dispersing a Whig meeting called by Lord Lovelace (John Lovelace) and attended by John Blagrave and Nathan Knights. He stood again in 1685 and was returned with John Breedon. However, the Whig candidates Sir Henry Fane and Sir William Rich petitioned, and the House declared the election void. At the ensuing by-election Coates headed the poll, but he left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. In March 1686 Coates, as senior alderman, together with the recorder, brought down the new charter, but he died soon afterwards, letters of administration being granted to his daughter on 8 July.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Berks. RO, Reading, St. Lawrence par. reg.; VCH Hants, iii. 370; W. D. Bayley, House of D’Oyly, 75;
  • 2. Thurloe, v. 314; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 98, July-Sept. 1683, p. 389; Berks. RO, Reading corp. diary, 14 Feb. 1659, 27 May 1662; freedoms reg. f. 385.
  • 3. Thurloe, v. 314; information from Miss Maplesden, Reading; CSP Dom. 1680-1, pp. 136-7, 166-7; July-Sept. 1683, p. 389; corp. diary, 9 Feb. 1681, 8 Mar. 1686; CJ, ix. 716, 746; HMC 11th Rep. VII, 199; Prob. 6/62/116.