CORDELL, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (1646-90), of Long Melford, nr. Sudbury, Suff.

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



Family and Education

b. 10 Nov. 1646, 1st s. of Sir Robert Cordell, 1st Bt. educ. Bury St. Edmunds g.s. 1656; travelled abroad 1663-6. m. by 1674, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Waldegrave of Smallbridge, Suff., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. Jan. 1680.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Suff. 1673-80, 1689-d., maj. of militia ft. 1677-?Apr. 1688, j.p. 1683-July 1688, 1689-d., Sudbury 1684; dep. lt. Suff. 1685-?Apr. 1688, 1689-d.; alderman, Sudbury 1685-Mar. 1688.2


Cordell, unlike his father, was a Tory. In June 1680 he and his brother-in-law, Thomas Waldegrave, whose father had represented Sudbury in the Cavalier Parliament, were instructed to search the house of the mayor of Sudbury, the electoral agent of Sir Gervase Elwes, 1st Bt. for seditious letters and papers. When shortly afterwards a quo warranto was issued against the corporation, Cordell and Waldegrave petitioned the King that no new charter should be issued until they had been heard, since they had been informed that the corporation intended to surrender their charter and obtain a new one with the aim of continuing the government of the town in the same hands. He appears to have achieved some success, since when the new charter was granted in March 1685 he was appointed one of the aldermen and at the subsequent parliamentary election he was returned for the borough. But he was not active in James II’s Parliament. He was appointed only to the committee on the bill for the repair of Yarmouth harbour before being given leave to go into the country in June.3

Cordell probably opposed James II’s religious policy, being removed from the Sudbury corporation in March 1688. He represented the county in the Convention and, according to Anthony Rowe, voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. An inactive Member, he was appointed only to the committees to hear a petition from army creditors and to consider a bill to develop the grounds of Arundel House. He twice obtained leave to go into the country, no doubt for his health, for he was buried on 9 Sept. 1690 at Long Melford. The baronetcy passed to his eldest son, who was returned for Sudbury in 1701.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 226; Bury St. Edmunds G.S. List (Suff. Green Bks. xiii), 86.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1676-7, p. 587; 1685, pp. 68, 166.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1684-5, pp. 48, 269; F.C.D. Sperling, Hist. Sudbury , 174; Leeds Central Library, Marlborough mss 12/79.
  • 4. PC2/72/627.