GOODRICKE, Francis (c.1621-73), of Manby, Lincs.

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



1661 - 18 Aug. 1673

Family and Education

b. c.1621, 9th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston, Yorks., v.-pres. of the council in the north, by Jane, da. of Sir John Savile of Methley, Yorks., baron of the Exchequer 1598-1607; bro. of Sir John Goodricke, 1st Bt. educ. Aberdeen c.1638; L. Inn 1641, called 1649. m. Hester, da. of Peter Warburton, j.c.p. 1649-55, of Hefferston Grange, Cheshire, s.p. Kntd. 3 Mar. 1662.1

Offices Held

J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Yorks. (W. Riding) Aug. 1660-d., Lindsey Aug. 1660-1, Lincs. 1661-d., co. Dur. 1666-d., for oyer and terminer, Lincoln, 1661, corporations, Yorks. 1662-3; temporal chancellor, Durham dioc. 1664-d.; bencher, L. Inn 1670, reader 1672, treasurer Feb. 1673-d.2

Solicitor-gen. to Duke of York 1670-2, attorney-gen. 1672-d.; KC 1671.3


Goodricke, a practising lawyer, took no part in the Civil War and held no offices during the Interregnum. He was first returned for Aldborough, on the interest of his royalist brother, to Richard Cromwell’s Parliament. He represented the same constituency in the Convention, when he was marked as a friend by Lord Wharton. An active Member, he was appointed to 50 committees, including the drafting committee, from which he reported to the House a bill to require the great seal to be issued in the King’s name from 5 May 1660. Some 22 of his speeches have been recorded, which show him a firm Anglican, but a political moderate, with a strong sense of professional solidarity. On 18 June he moved to lay aside a motion to exclude from the indemnity bill all members of the high courts of justice and all who had made the instrument of government, and on 2 July he opposed the proposal of William Prynne to disable decimators, major-generals and abjurors on the grounds that ‘’twas as dangerous as a hand-grenade in a barrel of gunpowder’. He also spoke against provisos not to pardon any who had enriched themselves from church lands or goods, to force all protectorate officials to refund their salaries, and to question lawyers who had prosecuted for the Commonwealth. During the debate on religion on 6 July he spoke in favour of referring the settlement to a committee of the whole House with the advice of a synod of divines. Three days later he supported the Anglican contention that the settlement should be based on the 39 Articles as well as the Old and New Testaments. On 11 July he favoured committing the bill of sales with modification in favour of ‘all old tenants that were forced to buy or be turned out’. On 30 July during the debate on settling ministers he suggested a short bill to acquit the present possessors of all mean profits at Michaelmas, and was appointed to the committee. On 17 Aug. he brought in a bill for indemnifying officials in the courts of justice. In the second session he served on the committees for the attainder and excise bills, and spoke twice on the militia bill, describing it as ‘one of the best and worst bills that could be made’. On 22 Nov. he moved to restrain the unlimited power of the deputy lieutenants. He took the chair for two estate bills. On 11 Dec. he was instructed to bring in a clause on behalf of the customs farmers for the indemnity bill. He spoke in support of a reward of £500 to the sister of John Lane for her part in helping the escape of Charles II.4

Goodricke was re-elected in 1661, when his brother was returned for Yorkshire, and became a very active Member of the Cavalier Parliament. He was appointed to 259 committees and took the chair in 17, mostly for estate bills, including that promoted by Sir Edward Mosley. He also acted as teller in nine divisions. In the first session he was named to the committees for the security, corporations and uniformity bills, and to those for the execution of those under attainder and to prepare reasons for a conference on the uniformity bill. Goodricke had married the daughter of the obliging Commonwealth judge before whom had been levied in 1651 the fine extorted from the dying Lady Powell by her husband and nephew (William Powell), and he acted as teller for the adjournment of the great debate about annulling the fine on 28 Jan. 1662. He was one of five Members sent to intercede with the bishop of Ely on 15 Feb. 1662 on behalf of one of his tenants. He took the chair in grand committee on the militia bill, and acted as teller against an amendment from the Upper House requiring peers to be specially assessed. His committee on the alnage bill failed to report. With four other Members he was ordered to attend the King on the last day of the session with a resolution concerning the Mines Royal. On 10 July 1663 he carried up to the Lords an order for a day of national humiliation, and reminded them of legislation pending against Papists and nonconformists. He was teller on 16 May 1664 for retaining the reference to suits in ecclesiastical courts in the proviso to the conventicles bill. Before the next session he had become temporal chancellor of Durham, and in the supply debate of 15 Dec. he was teller for reducing the charge on that county and against reducing that on Norfolk, in both cases successfully. He acted as chairman on the bill for repairing Bridlington pier and as teller on its third reading, but it was rejected. In the 1666 session, he took the chair for the bills to enable the bishop of Durham to lease his lead mines to Humphrey Wharton and to prevent theft and rapine on the northern borders. He was also nominated one of the managers of Lord Mordaunt’s impeachment. After the fall of Clarendon he was appointed to the committees of inquiry into restraints on juries, the miscarriages of the Dutch war and the sale of Dunkirk, and he again took the chair for the bishop of Durham’s bill. On 29 Oct. 1667, although he had already spoken in Clarendon’s defence, he was nominated to the committee which drew up the accusations against the chancellor. On 6 Nov. when the committee reported, he moved that the articles should be referred back ‘to see how far they were true, because fame is too slender a ground to bring a man upon the stage’. Later in the same debate he opposed attempts to consider them without calling witnesses. On 9 Nov. he argued that the first article did not constitute treason, saying:

the matter concerns life, therefore we should be wary in the exercise of legislative power. You are not tied to rules, but you are now a step towards judicature; the common law is jus non scriptum, and though every treason includes felony, yet not every felony treason. ... There is a declaratory power whether a thing be treason or other felony, not whether it be treason, and could not be declared treason if not felony before. ... So that I cannot think the article before you is treason, it not coming within the words of the statute.

He was appointed to the committee on the bill banishing Clarendon on 16 Dec. As a follower of Ormonde, he naturally agreed that the charges brought against Lord Orrery (Roger Boyle) in 1669 constituted treason. He was appointed to the committee for punishing the assault on Sir John Coventry, although he opposed a motion to lay aside all other business until it had passed. He agreed, however, that for the future assaults on Members of Parliament should be classed as felony and treason. This was his last recorded speech. His name appeared on both lists of the court party among those who usually voted for supply, and he became legal adviser to the Duke of York. He died on 18 Aug. 1673 and was buried at Ribston. In his will he left the manor of Walton Head and other estates in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to his widow.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Paula Watson


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 55; C.A. Goodricke, Hist. Goodricke Fam. 15; CSP Dom. 1638-9, pp. 543-4.
  • 2. HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), 275; Hutchinson, Durham, i. 553.
  • 3. HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), 230; CSP Dom. 1671-2, p. 58.
  • 4. Bowman diary, ff. 4v, 42v, 46, 50v, 56, 57, 67v, 72, 110; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 14, 22, 37, 42, 53, 59.
  • 5. Milward, 86, 120; Dering, 45; Goodricke, 15; Clarendon Impeachment, 18, 19, 30; Grey, i. 183, 325, 336; Harl. 7020, f. 47.