CORYTON, William (1650-1711), of Newton Ferrers, Cornw. and the Middle Temple.

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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
18 Sept. - 12 Dec. 1689
Feb. 1701
30 Nov. 1703
1710 - 6 Dec. 1711

Family and Education

bap. 24 May 1650, 2nd s. of John Coryton I, and bro. of John Coryton II. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1666; M. Temple 1669, called 1675. m. (1) lic. 11 Dec. 1688, Susanna (d. 6 Aug. 1695), da. of Sir Edward Littleton, 2nd Bt. of Pillaton, Staffs., 1s.; (2) Sarah, wid. of Thomas Williams, banker, of London, s.p. suc. bro. as 3rd Bt. July 1690.

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1679-80, 1689-90, Kent 1690; freeman, Saltash 1683, Bodmin and Callington 1685; alderman, Lostwithiel 1685-Oct. 1688; j.p. and dep. lt. Cornw. by 1701-d.1


Coryton, a younger son, became a professional lawyer and clearly more of a committed politician than his brother. For the first general election of 1679 he may have relied on an old family interest at Bossiney, of which his grandfather had twice been mayor. He was marked ‘base’ on Shaftesbury’s list. An inactive Member of the first Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges and probably to two committees for private bills. He voted against exclusion, and at the next election he was defeated at his father’s borough of Callington, but replaced his elder brother at Newport. He was moderately active in the second Exclusion Parliament, being appointed to the committees to hear complaints against the ecclesiastical courts, to provide relief against arbitrary fines, and to repeal the Corporations Act. At the general election of 1681 he was returned for Callington, but left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. In 1682 he was granted the reversion of some duchy of Cornwall property, at a fine reduced from £380 to £100 in consideration of his father’s loyalty and service.2

Coryton was re-elected with his brother, the mayor, in 1685, and became a very active Member of James II’s Parliament, being named to 17 committees. On 30 May he was given leave to bring in a bill to revive the ‘coinage’ of tin, which passed both Houses. He was appointed to the committee to recommend expunctions from the Journals, and acted as chairman on the bill to provide carriages for the navy and ordnance, which he carried to the Lords on 15 June. The lord lieutenant of Cornwall noted that the questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws were to be put to him, as a lawyer, by Lord Chancellor Jeffreys. Presumably he refused, unlike Nicholas Courtney, as he was not included among the Templars who concurred. He is not known to have stood at the general election of 1689, but was returned for Mitchell at the by-election caused by the discharge of Charles Fanshawe, Viscount Fanshawe, as a non-juror. He was named to the elections committee for the second session of the Convention, and also to that for the reversal of the attainder of Sir Thomas Armstrong. But on 12 Dec. he was unseated in favour of Humphrey Courtney. After succeeding to the baronetcy, he sat for the family borough of Callington as a Tory, refusing the Association in 1696. He died on 6 Dec. 1711. His son sat for Callington as a Tory (with one break) from 1713 to 1734.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Gillian Hampson


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 256; HMC Var. i. 328; J. Wallis, Bodmin Reg. 169.
  • 2. CJ, ix. 641; Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 418, 473.
  • 3. CJ, ix. 735.