GLYDE, William (d.1710), of Exeter, Devon.

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

Family and Education

1st s. of William Glyde, chandler, of Exeter by 1st w. Elizabeth. m. by 1665, Margaret Hillard (d. 15 Aug. 1704), at least 3s. (2 d.v.p.).1

Offices Held

Capt. of militia ft. Exeter by 1667, maj. by 1697, freeman and common councilman 1667, receiver 1673-4, commr. for assessment 1673-80, 1689-90, sheriff 1674-5, alderman 1675-84, 1687-d., mayor 1676-7, dep. lt. 1701-3.2


Glyde’s father, an Exeter tradesman, ‘trailed a pike for the King’ in the Civil War, and compounded at £15 on the Exeter articles. Glyde himself, ‘a person of turbulent spirit’, was the leader of the nonconformists in the city after the Restoration, but was elected to the corporation by recommendation of the Duke of Albemarle. In 1669 the mayor complained of his ‘important and indiscreet appearance in the council chamber of the city with a pretended message from his Majesty’, which gave ‘affront to the established worship or government of the Church’. Nevertheless he leased the city brewhouse in 1671 for 14 years at the rent of £110 p.a., and became a prominent figure on the corporation. After laying down office as mayor in 1677 he ‘made it his labour per fas aut nefas to be elected’ to Parliament.3

Glyde defeated the court candidate at the first general election of 1679, with the support, it was alleged, of ‘factious nonconformist ministers’ and the rabble. A hostile account describes how during the election Glyde ‘gets on the table among the clerks that took the poll, seizes some of the poll books, kicks the mayor on the shins, and assaults the sheriff’. Despite these credentials, Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubtful’. His only committee in the first Exclusion Parliament was to inquire into miscarriages in the navy, and he voted against the bill. Re-elected in the autumn, he organized a petition for the assembly of Parliament, but when it met he took no active part in its proceedings. He was given leave on 2 Nov. 1680 to go into the country ‘for recovery of his health’, and apparently never returned to Westminster, for in January 1681 he was absent at a call of the House, and he was not re-elected to the Oxford Parliament.4

Glyde was expelled from the bench in 1684 for ‘opprobrious language and abuse of the mayor and justices in open court’. Restored as alderman by James II in 1687, he started an action against the corporation for his parliamentary wages. Orders were given for his arrest as a Jacobite in June 1690, but he appears to have accepted the new regime. He died on 20 Aug. 1710 and was buried in Exeter Cathedral, the only member of his family to enter Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Exeter Cath. Reg. (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. v), 32, 69, 155; Al. Ox. 572, 573; Som. Wills, iii. 36.
  • 2. Exeter corp. act bk. 11, f. 65; Eg. 1626, f. 12; R. Izacke, Exeter, 176, 177; A. Jenkins, Exeter, 181; Trans. Devon Assoc. lxi. 213; HMC Montagu, 174.
  • 3. Cal. Comm. Comp. 1416; Exeter corp. act bk. 11, ff. 71, 115; HMC Montagu, 174, 175; CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 550; 1679-80, p. 567.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1679-80, pp. 566-7; PC2/67/123.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 31; HMC Finch, ii. 294; EHR, lxvi. 48; R. Polwhele, Hist. Devon, ii. 26.