GRUBBE, Walter (1655-1715), of Eastwell House, Potterne, Wilts.

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



Family and Education

bap. 11 Aug. 1655, 2nd s. and h. of Thomas Grubbe of Potterne by Thomasine, da. of Walter Bourchier of Barnsley, Glos. educ. Trinity, Oxf. matric. 3 July 1672, aged 17; G. Inn 1673. m. lic. 7 Feb. 1678, Rebecca, da. of Randolph Brereton of London, s.p. suc. fa. c.1669.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1679-80, 1689, j.p. 1680-June 1688, Oct. 1688-?d., major of militia by 1688; freeman, Devizes to 1687.2


Grubbe’s ancestors had been associated with Potterne since the 15th century, probably as tenants of the manor under the bishops of Salisbury. One of them sat for Devizes, two miles away, under Elizabeth, but they were not a regular parliamentary family, nor did they register their pedigree with the heralds before 1623. Neither Grubbe’s grandfather nor father is known to have taken any part in the Civil War, though the latter served briefly on the commission of the peace during the Interregnum. Grubbe must have opposed exclusion, for he was made a j.p. in 1680, and returned for Devizes under the new charter in 1685. He left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. He was displaced as freeman of Devizes by order in council on 23 Dec. 1687. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, he replied:

He will not declare his opinion till he comes into Parliament, and upon the debate of the House will govern himself to the best of his judgment to serve the King and kingdom. He will be for such [candidates] as are undoubtedly loyal.

Grubbe’s confidence in re-election proved to be fully justified. In the Convention he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. An inactive Member, he was appointed to six committees, none of much political importance. He was re-elected in 1690, but this was the last appearance of his family in Parliament. He was buried at Potterne on 13 Sept. 1715.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Wilts. RO, Potterne par. reg.; Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwicke and Metcalf, 21; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 596; information from Mr P. Montagu-Smith; PCC 36 Penn, 49 Fox.
  • 2. HMC Lords, i. 192; PC2/72/562.
  • 3. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xvi. 268-70; Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv), 76; B. H. Cunnington, Annals of Devizes, ii. 195; information from Miss E. Crittall.