DEANE, Sir Anthony (1633-1721), of Crutched Friars, London.

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



24 Oct. 1678
Mar. 1679

Family and Education

b. 3 Dec. 1633, 2nd s. of Anthony Deane of London by (?)Elizabeth, da. of William Wright, Barber Surgeon, of London. educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1646. m. (1) Anne (d.1677), 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) 23 July 1678, ‘aged 40’, Christian (d.1687), da. and h. of William Lyons of Bocking, Essex, wid. of Sir John Dawes, 1st Bt., of Putney, Surr., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da. Kntd. 3 July 1675.1

Offices Held

Asst. shipwright, Woolwich by Nov. 1660; master shipwright, Harwich 1664, Portsmouth 1668-75; commr. resident at Portsmouth 1672-5, comptroller of victualling 1675-80, stores Mar. June 1680; member, R. Fisheries Co. 1677; special commr. of the navy 1685-Oct. 1688; elder bro. Trinity House 1685-9.2

Capt. of ft. Harwich 1667.3

Freeman, Harwich 1673, Portsmouth 1675; alderman, Harwich 1674-?89, mayor 1675-6, 1681-2; j.p. Essex 1676-80, Essex, Hants, Kent, Mdx., Suff., Surr., Suss. and Westminster 1687-9; commr. for assessment, Harwich 1677-9; member of shipwrights’ co. Rotherhithe, Surr. 1686.4

FRS 1681-d.


Deane, who was born in Gloucestershire, was probably a cousin of Richard Deane, the regicide and Commonwealth admiral; but nothing is known of his father’s career or of his own before the Restoration, though Clarendon, in a moment of pardonable exasperation, called him ‘the veriest fanatic that is in England’. He is first heard of in government service as a shipwright at Woolwich, and in 1664 he was put in charge of Harwich dockyard. He owed his promotion to Samuel Pepys, who described him as ‘a conceited fellow, and one that means the King a great deal of service, [and] more of disservice to other people that go away with profits he cannot make’. Even after his transfer to Portsmouth in 1668, and his appointment as navy commissioner, he maintained his interest at Harwich, presenting a pulpit-cloth to the parish church and taking out the freedom of the borough in 1673. He contributed about £60 in money and timber (presumably not his own) to build a new town hall, and was elected to the corporation. In 1677 he accepted from the borough a deposit of £90 to be invested by him at interest.5

However, before the dissolution of the Cavalier Parliament a vacancy occurred at Shoreham, where Deane was known as a purchaser of plank for the Portsmouth dockyard. He was enthusiastically recommended to the borough by the Dukes of York and Monmouth, and Samuel Fortrey, an ordnance official, was ordered to promote his election. He was duly returned, and marked ‘doubly vile’ on Shaftesbury’s list; but he was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament. During the Popish Plot, he was appointed to the committees to investigate noises in Old Palace Yard and to examine Coleman’s papers, but he did not speak.6

Deane was defeated by John Cheale at Shoreham in the first general election of 1679, but was returned unopposed for Harwich together with Pepys. A moderately active Member he was named to the elections committee, but given leave on 9 Apr. to go into the country. On his return he was appointed to the committees to receive proposals concerning the royal fisheries, to inquire into the shipping of artillery from Portsmouth, and to consider the reform of the bankruptcy law. On 20 May he and Pepys were committed to the custody of the serjeant-at-arms on various charges trumped up by William Harbord, ranging from the ‘piratical proceedings’ of the privateer Hunter during the third Dutch war to the betrayal of naval secrets to the French. In his own defence he said that the French

had no need of learning from England, they had got into so excellent a method. ... I have twelve children to take care of, and I to think of a better way than that happy station I was in! ... For these nineteen years I have faithfully served the navy, and more regulations have been under my hand than were ever before.

Roger Morrice alleged that he voted against exclusion on the following day, before being sent to the Tower. On the dissolution of Parliament Deane and Pepys were released on bail, ‘and if my lord chief justice hang 500 Jesuits he will not regain the opinion he hath thereby lost with the populace’. It was reported that they would stand for re-election, ‘but all rational men blame them for it’. Curiously enough, Deane was not included in the black list of the ‘unanimous club’. He remained in office until June 1680, when he resigned, presumably in anticipation of the meeting of the second Exclusion Parliament, and returned to private life. He was granted arms in 1683.7

On the accession of James II Deane accepted the seat on the navy board which was pressed on him by Pepys, but with some reluctance, because in private practice he could earn more than double the offered salary of £500. His imprisonment had only briefly interrupted his favourite leisure activity, and his family had increased (by his own estimate) to 15, ‘not without expectation of more’, he added complacently. He regained his seat at Harwich, and became an active Member of the 1685 Parliament, in which he was appointed to 14 committees, including those to examine the disbandment accounts, to provide carriages for the navy and ordnance offices, to prohibit the import of gunpowder, to encourage ship-building, to finance the construction of St. Paul’s, and to relieve London widows and orphans. The King’s electoral agents reported no opposition to him in Harwich in 1688, but unlike Pepys he decided not to contest the general election of 1689. He was not employed again after the Revolution, and was imprisoned for some months as a Jacobite suspect. Very little is known of the last 30 years of Deane’s life, or of his family, though one of his sons died in Russia working as a shipwright for Peter the Great. He died at his house in Charterhouse Square, London on 11 June 1721, ‘aged 96’, and was buried at St. Olave’s, Hart Street. His will shows him to have been in comfortable, though scarcely opulent circumstances, with no land other than house property in Ipswich.8

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: B. M. Crook


  • 1. Greenwich Par. Reg. 66; Grantees of Arms (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 72; East Anglian, n.s. iii. 147; St. Olave Hart Street (Harl. Soc. Reg. xliv), 82-89, 216-31; St. Martin Outwich (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxxiii), 41; CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 197.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 359; 1664-5, p. 311; 1667-8, p. 492; Sel. Charters (Selden Soc. xxviii), 199; Cat. Pepysian Mss (Navy Recs. Soc. xxvi), 89-90.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1667, p. 43.
  • 4. S. Dale, Harwich and Dovercourt, 221, 223, 224; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 361; CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 478; 1686-7, p. 21.
  • 5. Essex Review, xxxiv. 196-205; Pepys Diary, 6 June 1663, 14 July 1664; Essex Arch. Soc. Trans. n.s. xxii. 395; Dale, 221; Harwich bor. recs. 98/4/133.
  • 6. CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 354; 1678, p. 438; Adm. 2/1746, f. 152; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 830, 854.
  • 7. CJ, ix. 570, 629; Grey, ix. 627; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 187; Newdegate, Cavalier and Puritan, 130.
  • 8. Cat. Pepysian Mss, 75-76; HMC Dartmouth, 1. 155; Bodl. Rawl. mss A179, f. 161; Pepys Corresp. i. 27-28; Luttrell, iv. 535; Pol. State, xxi. 671; Essex Review, xxxiv. 204; PCC 112 Buckingham.