FREEMAN, Ralph (c.1655-86), of East Betchworth, nr. Reigate, Surr.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1655, 1st s. of Sir. George Freeman of East Betchworth by Mary, da. of (Sir) Richard Onslow of West Clandon. educ. M. Temple 1674. m. lic. 21 June 1680, Elizabeth, da. of Edward Silvester, merchant, of Thames Street, London, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1678.1
Commr. for assessment, Surr. 1679-80.
Freeman’s grandfather married a connexion of the first Duke of Buckingham, sat for Winchelsea in 1626 and 1628-9, and bought East Betchworth manor for £1,080. As master of requests he attended the King during the Civil War and was fined £800 on the Oxford articles, compounding for his interest in the coal tax with an additional £530. The family remained under suspicion as royalist sympathizers during the Interregnum, and Freeman’s father was made a knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II. Freeman himself was returned for Reigate, about three miles from his home, at the second general election of 1679, doubtless as a court supporter, for he was unseated in favour of the exclusionist Deane Goodwin on 9 Dec. 1680. He regained his seat in 1681, but was named to no committees and made no speeches in either the second or third Exclusion Parliaments. He was killed in an affray on Hounslow Heath in August 1686. His assailant, an army officer named William Freeman, was found guilty of manslaughter, but pardoned by James II on 14 Mar. 1687. His sons died unmarried without entering Parliament.2