MAYNARD, John I (1604-90), of Gunnersbury and Lincoln's Inn Fields, Mdx.

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



Apr. 1640
Nov. 1640
27 Apr. - 9 June 1660
4 June 1660
16 May 1661
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
11 Mar. - 8 Oct. 1690

Family and Education

b. 18 July 1604, 1st s. of Alexander Maynard, counsellor at law, of Tavistock, Devon and the Middle Temple by Honora, da. of Arthur Arscott of Tetcott, Devon. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1618, BA 1621; New Inn; M. Temple 1619, called 1626. m. (1) by 1631, Elizabeth (bur. 4 Jan. 1655), da. of Andrew Henley of Taunton, Som., 4s. d.v.p. 3da.; (2) Jane (d.1668), da. and h. of Cheney Selhurst of Tenterden, Kent, wid. of Edward Austen of Heronden, Kent, s.p.; (3) by 1671, Margaret (d.1679), da. of Edward, 1st Baron Gorges of Dundalk [I], wid. of Thomas Fleming of North Stoneham, Hants, and of Sir Francis Prujean, MD, of Hornchurch, Essex, s.p.; (4) 2 June 1680, Mary (d.1721), da. of Ambrose Upton, canon of Christ Church, Oxf., wid. of Charles Vermuyden, MD, of London, s.p. suc. fa. aft 1625; kntd. 16 Nov. 1660.3

Offices Held

Standing counsel, Exeter 1638; recorder, Plymouth 1640-84, Oct. 1688-d., Totnes 1645-84, Oct. 1688-d.; commr. of array, Devon 1642, execution of ordinances 1644, assessment, Devon 1644-8, 1657, 1673-80, Mdx. Aug. 1660-3, 1664-80, Devon and Mdx. 1689-90, chapter, Westminster Abbey 1645; bencher, M. Temple 1648; commr. for drainage of the fens 1649, militia, Devon, Cornw. and Mdx. Mar. 1660; j.p. Devon Mar. 1660-87, Mdx. Mar. 1660-85, Cornw. 1662-87, Hants, Som. and Wilts. 1680-7; commr. for pre-emption of tin, Devon and Cornw. 1662.4

Commr. for Westminster Assembly 1643-8, propositions for relief of Ireland 1645, abuses in heraldry 1646, exclusion from sacrament 1646, indemnity 1647-9, scandalous offences 1648; serjeant-at-law 1654, Protector’s serjeant 1658-9, King’s serjeant Nov. 1660-?d.; solicitor-gen. 1658-9; Councillor of State 23 Feb.-29 May 1660; commr. for great seal 1689-90.


Maynard came from a minor Devonshire family. His father was a barrister and Maynard followed the same profession, becoming the foremost advocate and most learned ‘book lawyer’ of his age, with ‘such a relish of the old year books that he carried one in his coach to divert him in travel, and said that he chose it before any comedy’. ‘Tall of stature, large and bulky and big-boned’, he remained an impressive figure even in extreme old age, assisted by ‘a very manly countenance, a bold presence, a sharp eye, a most voluble tongue, a strong memory, and an accurate wit’. A Presbyterian in his youth, in 1640 he became the first of his family to enter Parliament, and his role in the prosecution of Strafford was never forgiven or forgotten. ‘In legal murder none so deeply read’, wrote Strafford’s nephew, Roscommon, forty years later. He abstained from the Rump, but took the engagement to the Commonwealth, and his earnings on circuit aroused the envy of his colleague Bulstrode Whitelocke. By 1654 he had bought from the Cavalier Earl of Newport the manor of Bere Ferrers, which gave him control of one seat at Bere Alston, and by 1658 the most prominent architect of the day, John Webbe, was engaged in designing for him a new house on the bishop of London’s estate at Gunnersbury. He held legal office under the Protectorate; but after the fall of Richard Cromwell he supported the restoration of the Stuarts, and on the return of the secluded Members he was appointed to the Council of State.5

At the general election of 1660 Maynard stood for Plymouth on his corporation interest, and for Exeter, where he disposed of considerable funds as trustee of the Hele charity. There were double returns in both constituencies, but on 27 Apr. he was seated for Plymouth on the merits of the return. An active Member of the Convention, with 41 committees and fourteen recorded speeches, he was marked as a friend on Lord Wharton’s list. He was named to the committee for drafting bills to give effect to the declaration of Breda, and ordered to take care of the bill for the continuation of Parliament, which he reported on the same day. He was also appointed to the committees to confer with the Lords about the King’s reception and to consider the bill for continuing judicial proceedings, though an ‘ambiguous clause’ had to be corrected by Heneage Finch. On 26 May he reported a bill for putting the assessment ordinance into execution, and with Finch, Matthew Hale and Arthur Annesley he drafted the acceptance of the King’s offer of pardon. The Exeter election was decided in his favour on 4 June, whereupon he dropped his claim at Plymouth. It was reported that the main indemnity bill would be left in his hands, and as a member of the bill committee, he advised the House that all provisos should be tabled. He was appointed to the revenue committee, but objected to a far-reaching inquiry into the embezzlement of public funds. On 6 Aug. he ‘moved that out of the impropriations of bishops, deans and chapters there might be an augmentation of allowances to the ministers that served the cures (which in many places, he said, wanted shoes and stockings)’. In view of his heavy investment at Gunnersbury, it is not surprising to find him the first Member named to bring in a bill freezing ecclesiastical leases until a decision had been reached on the confirmation of land purchases. He was added to the committee to consider the navigation bill, and wished to agree with the Lords in abandoning double taxation for recusants. He helped to manage the conference on the regicides who had given themselves up in response to the proclamation. After the recess he was appointed to the committee for the attainder bill, knighted, and made King’s serjeant, although many regarded him as a despicable time-server, and it was later alleged that the honour and his pardon together cost him £2,000. He served on the committee to bring in a bill on the lines of the Worcester House declaration for modified episcopacy. But he wound up the debate on the first reading by saying that ‘he was against passing the bill because it gave too great a liberty, yet would not seem to reject it by a vote, because the King’s declaration on which the bill was built was pleasing to every one’. He moved accordingly for a second reading, which was rejected by 183 to 157. He helped to prepare reasons for a conference on the Lords’ proviso to the college leases bill to preclude the intruded fellows from claiming their places.6

At the general election of 1661 Maynard stood only for his pocket borough of Bere Alston. There was again a double return, but his name appeared on both indentures, and he took his seat at once. An active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, so long as attendance did not conflict with his professional engagements, he was appointed to 263 committees and made over 100 recorded speeches. A court supporter under the Clarendon administration, though regarded by Cavaliers as one of ‘the old Parliament gang’, he was named to the committee for the security bill, and ordered with four other Members to pen a proviso for inclusion in the engrossed bill after the third reading. He was added to the Commons managers for the second conference on the bill on 5 June. He was among those appointed to consider the bill for restoring bishops to the House of Lords and to prepare bills for the regulation of printing, the 18 months’ assessment, and settling the militia. He took the chair in the committee of the Whole House on 21 Feb. 1662 to consider advancing the excise to £400,000 p.a.; but no conclusions were reached. He was among those ordered to draw up the impeachment of George Wither for his poem about the ‘prevaricating Members’ of the House of Commons, and to prepare reasons for a conference on the poor bill. During the second session he reported that the commission for swearing in Members was still in force, and with John Vaughan he was given special responsibility for bringing in provisos to the bill for preventing the growth of Popery. He was named to the committee to consider the bill for punishing abuses in the sale of offices, and chaired the committee to inspect the subsidy rolls. Listed as a court dependant in 1664, he took no part in the debate on the triennial bill. He was among those charged with bringing in bills for setting up a registry of conveyances, and for preventing delays in legal proceedings and in executions for debt, none of which reached the statute book. In the Oxford session he was ordered, with Richard Dowdeswell I and Richard Colman, to bring in a bill for the easier recovery of tithe. He was appointed to the committees to consider the five mile bill and to report on the defects in the laws concerning English fugitives in enemy service. He was among those ordered to bring in a poll bill on 17 Nov. 1666, and to prepare reasons for a conference. On 10 Jan. 1667 he reported a bill to empower justices to commit prisoners on remand to the workhouse, ‘particularly for the county of Devon, where there was a stock of £2,000 and an house to set people on work within a mile or less of Exeter’. Two days later he brought into the House on his son’s behalf a bill concerning the estate of Sir Edward Mosley, but failed to secure a second reading. He was the first Member named as a manager of the evidence at the hearing of Mordaunt’s impeachment.7

Maynard was Clarendon’s strongest, ablest, and most persistent defender after his fall. He opposed the vote of thanks for his dismissal, saying:

You condemn this great lord before you hear him. Although you take not from him by this vote life, limb nor estate, yet you wound reputation. You bar yourselves of a liberty, if an impeachment be brought against him and he prove not guilty, to acquit him.

He told the House that ‘common fame is no ground to condemn a man when matter of fact is not clear. To say an evil is done, therefore this man has done it, is strange in morality, more in logic’. To advise the assumption of arbitrary power would be a great crime, yet it ‘ought not, because great, to be made treason’. Even on the final charge of betraying the King’s counsels he fought on, pointing out that it would be necessary to prove that it was done without the King’s knowledge, and to produce more than one witness. Together with Vaughan and William Prynne, he was recommended after the Christmas recess to take special care of the inquiry into precedents for the exercise of jurisdiction by the House of Lords. He was far from condoning all the errors of the Clarendon administration; in a debate on the navy on 28 Feb. 1668

Sir John Maynard made a very good and severe speech against payment by tickets, and that to defraud by that and the like deceits was no less than traitorous; and that those who are guilty of such deceits deserve to suffer accordingly.

He was among those appointed to consider the bill to prevent the refusal of writs of habeas corpus. On 25 Apr. he was teller for the only occasion in this period, for striking out a reference to ‘brandy’ in an amendment to the supply bill. When the East India Company were sued in the House of Lords by the interloper Skinner, Maynard said that no question of privilege was involved, even though several of the committee were MPs, and he helped to manage a conference. In 1669-71 he was on both lists of the court party among those who usually voted for supply. In a hostile account he was described ironically as ‘a true patriot, who, when any dispute comes about canting the law, stoutly runs away’. A Devonshire clergyman remarked that he ‘never failed to conform to all things required of him in public, as oaths and tests, etc.’, but he employed a series of nonconformist chaplains, the most eminent of whom was Roger Morrice, and he allowed the Tavistock Presbyterians to hold their services in the Abbey House, which he owned. As the landlord of a conventicle he would have been penalized under the conventicles bill of 1670, and he complained that it gave too much power to a single j.p. On 16 Mar. he reported the bill against the stealing and transporting of children, and a fortnight later he helped to manage a conference on a naturalization bill. On 16 Nov. he was appointed to a committee to draw up reasons for a conference on regulating juries, which never reported. He helped to bring in the bill to punish those who had assailed Sir John Coventry and to prepare reasons for a conference. His attempt to re-open the silver workings at Bere Ferrers entitled him to speak feelingly of the ‘great charge’ involved in such developments, and to deplore any attempt to tax them as ‘a great discouragement to the country’.8

In the debates on the Declaration of Indulgence in February 1673 Maynard agreed ’that the King cannot suspend so as to repeal’; but he defended the dispensing power. He was named to the committee that brought in the test bill. He became more active in 1675, veering towards the Opposition, especially on the religious issue. In the spring session he was appointed to the committees on the bills to prevent illegal exactions and the growth of Popery. His vast learning in precedents convinced him that there was ‘much to say on both sides’ in the dispute over the jurisdiction of the Lords, but he helped to prepare reasons for four conferences, and attended one. On the list of officials in the House he was marked ‘bad’, but his name appeared on the working lists among those to be influenced by Lord Keeper Finch and on the list of government speakers. In the autumn session he was named to the committees to consider the bill for preventing illegal imprisonment and to bring in a bill for regulating parliamentary elections. In the debate he observed:

By law every man that serves here must have his wages from the county or borough he serves for, but now generally there are none taken. ... What do men give hogs drink for? To be carried on the shoulders of drunken fellows? Thinks it a good limitation that none be capacitated to be chosen but such as have estates, or reside in the county. Exclude them that have no estates from being trusted in what they give; who to serve a turn will be made free of the borough, and it may be never live nor trade in the borough hereafter.

During the long recess Sir Richard Wiseman wrote of him: ‘He has sometimes done very well; I guess prepared to it when he has done so’. He was included among the Members ‘to be fixed’, but it is not known what inducement was contemplated, and the authors of Flagellum Parliamentarium and A Seasonable Argument suggest none. He had little doubt of the legality of the long prorogation; nevertheless Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly worthy’ in 1677, and he was among those to whom the bill recalling British subjects from the French service was committed. On 7 Mar. the House was informed that Maynard had departed without leave to ride the lucrative western circuit, and he was sent for in custody. He escaped this humiliation thanks to a timely warning from his son, and on 15 Mar. he was added to the committee to prepare reasons for a conference on foreign policy. Later in the month he reported a bill to prevent simoniacal contracts, by which Presbyterian patrons took bonds from clergymen to resign their livings on demand. He helped to manage a conference on the Lords’ amendments to the supply bill for building thirty warships.9

Maynard’s strength and weakness were well demonstrated in the earlier sessions of 1678. In the debates on the irregular adjournments of Parliament he said:

The power of pronouncing the adjournment is certainly not in the Speaker. If it were so, black may be made white, and white black.
May not the House, in great humility, after the King has signified his pleasure of adjournment, offer him reasons for sitting a longer time? And how can you do that, if adjournment must be made ‘immediately’ upon signification of the King’s pleasure? ... I am bound, as I am the King’s serjeant, by oath to maintain the prerogative, and I am under another obligation here as a Member of this House to maintain your privileges. ... I have sat here in several tormenting debates, and never so unnecessary as when started between the King’s prerogative and the people’s liberty, which I take not to be the true state of the question before you.

He denied opposition to a land registry, but disliked the bill introduced by John Birch because it compelled landholders to register leases for lives and other claims. As a parishioner since 1667 of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, where ‘scarce the fifth part can come to church, and they must be of no religion at last’, he supported a tax on new buildings. On 26 June he was added to the committee to prepare reasons for a conference on the disbandment bill, and he remained on the government list of court supporters. In the final session he was appointed to the committees to prepare an address for the removal of Papists from the London area, to consider the bill to hinder them from sitting in Parliament, to examine the Duchess of York’s secretary, Coleman, to draw up reasons for belief in the Popish Plot, to prepare the impeachment of Lord Arundell of Wardour, and to ask for the more effectual disarmament of Papists. He was quick to realize that measures against the Duke of York might produce a breach with the Lords, and suggested on 4 Nov. that the Commons should be satisfied with his promise to absent himself from the Privy Council. He was therefore a tactful choice to remind the Lords a week later of the bill to hinder Papists from sitting in Parliament, the only occasion during the period in which he acted as messenger. He supported the imprisonment of (Sir) Joseph Williamson for countersigning commissions for Roman Catholic officers and helped to draft the address asking the King not to release his secretary of state from the Tower. In his experienced assessment the evidence of Coleman’s letters matched Oates’s information as exactly as a pair of Exchequer tallies. He helped to draw up reasons for disagreeing with the Lords about exempting the servants of the Queen and the Duchess of York from the measures proposed against Papists, and was one of the five Members given special responsibility for impeaching the five Popish lords. The attack on Danby he at first considered likely only to confuse the issue: ‘while you hunt one hare, you will lose five’. Nevertheless he was prepared to go beyond the Statute of Treasons in impeaching the lord treasurer, and was named to the committee; but he was excluded from its meetings and moved unsuccessfully for the recommittal of its report.10

In the Exclusion Parliaments Maynard represented Plymouth, where his interest had been strengthened by his control of half the income from the Hele charity. Moderately active in 1679, he was named to twelve committees and made 23 speeches. Although Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’ and he was not blacklisted in the ‘unanimous club’, he brought in the court supporter Sir John Trevor at Bere Alston, and took a conciliatory line on the selection of the Speaker. The royal veto on legislation was a greater prerogative than the rejection of the Commons nominee for the chair, he argued: ‘lay aside your right to choose a Speaker rather than hazard the kingdom’. He was appointed to the committees to receive information about the Plot and to bring in a bill for security against Popery. Danby’s pardon, he admitted, ‘does discharge him in point of law; yet you may inquire into it, and it is in the power of Parliament to take off that pardon’, though not by impeachment alone. His attitude to the Plot was unchanged, though ‘we are called fools, and knaves, and rogues, and madmen, for believing it’. He was the first Member named to the committee that produced the only positive achievement of the first Exclusion Parliament, the extension of habeas corpus, and helped to consider the Lords’ amendments. He admitted that he had been wrong in describing Irish cattle as a common nuisance, since ‘one half of us are not of opinion that these cattle coming in do hurt us’, and he described the prohibition of imports as ‘unjust to our fellow-subjects, and an impolitic Act’. If it were renewed it would reduce Irish economic dependence on England. Nevertheless he was appointed to the committee. He responded enthusiastically to the King’s gracious condescension in promising anything to secure religion short of altering the succession; but he abstained from the division on the exclusion bill. A member of the committee of secrecy to receive further evidence against Danby, he was outraged by the suggestion that a pardon might be necessary as protection against suborned evidence; ‘by that, he lays an imputation upon you’, he told the House. But he could not circumvent the minister’s plea that he had acted by the King’s command: ‘I do not deny that in these cases no issue can be joined, when the matter is laid upon the King, and there is no contradiction’. The opposition lawyers, Sir Francis Winnington and William Williams, were anxious to demonstrate that he differed from them only over points of detail, and he was named to the committee to draw up reasons for the illegality of Danby’s pardon. He was also among those appointed to a joint committee of both Houses on the trial of the lords in the Tower. He was eager to prevent the bishops from voting on the pardon, having heard one lord say that they would acquit Danby.11

Maynard was very active in the second Exclusion Parliament, being appointed to 18 committees and speaking on 25 occasions. He helped to draw up the address of 11 Nov. 1680 promising a more perfect discovery of the Plot, and on the following day he was added to the committee to prepare evidence against the lords in the Tower. He took part in the conference of 27 Nov. on the trial of Lord Stafford, opened the charge against him, and was chiefly responsible, with Winnington and his new colleague at Plymouth, Sir William Jones, for marshalling the evidence. He was named to the committee that drew up the address insisting on exclusion. As one of those ordered to bring in a bill for uniting Protestants he was not pleased with the result. On the second reading debate:

Serjeant Maynard saw a gown turned into a cloak, that into a cassock, then into a jump, thence into a rag. Would not have people at liberty to come in what habit they pleased, nor to use what prayers they please, and we had better lose the bill than our liturgy.

In private conversation he said of the Prayer Book: ‘I was born under it, christened with it, made use of it, and I hope to be buried by it’. Nevertheless he was named to the committee to consider the comprehension bill. He assured the House that those detained by its orders could not claim a writ of habeas corpus, and in the debate on Lord Chief Justice Scroggs he ended a long speech, not perfectly heard by the diarist, with the words: ‘Take that power away of declaring treason in Parliament, and you may have all your throats cut’. At the general election of 1681 Maynard substituted his son-in-law Sir Duncombe Colchester for Trevor at Bere Alston. His only committee in the Oxford Parliament was to prepare for a conference on the loss of the bill to repeal the Elizabethan law against nonconformists. On the refusal of the Lords to proceed with the impeachment of Fitzharris he said:

This damnable Popish Plot is still on foot in England, and I am sure in Ireland too; and what arts and crafts have been used to hide this plot! ... The same day we impeach Fitzharris, they vote we shall not prosecute him. ... This is a strange breach of the privilege of Parliament, and tends to the danger of the King’s person and the destruction of the Protestant religion, and I hope you will vote it so.

Although the House resolved that for any inferior court to proceed against Fitzharris would infringe their privilege, he appeared for the crown at his trial in the King’s bench. When the foreman of the jury mentioned the resolution, Maynard replied that they were concerned only with the prisoner’s offence.12

Maynard led the unsuccessful defence of Plymouth’s charter, and was replaced as recorder, though he was reappointed King’s serjeant by James II. Called as witness for the defence by Oates at his trial for perjury, he mumbled that he could remember nothing of Strafford’s trial, an excuse which had to be admitted in an octogenarian. He was returned for Bere Alston in 1685. An active Member, he was appointed to thirteen committees, being the first named to the committees to consider the bill for the suppression of simony, and to bring in a clause forbidding any proposal in either House of Parliament to alter the succession. After the recess he moved into open opposition. He reminded the House in the supply debate that

there is already a law that no man shall, on any occasion whatsoever, rise against the King. Lord lieutenants and deputy lieutenants have power to disarm the disaffected. If you give thus a supply, it is for an army; and then, may not this army be made of those that will not take the Test? Which Act was not designed a punishment for the Papists but a protection for ourselves; and giving this money is for an army. I am against it.

He was among those ordered to draw up the address against the employment of Roman Catholic officers. In 1688 the royal electoral agents expected him to retain his seat, and, doubtless at the instance of his former son-in-law Edward Nosworthy II, hoped that he might prove ‘right’ on the King’s ecclesiastical policy. On the flight of James he was summoned to advise the Lords on calling a Parliament; when William of Orange congratulated him on having outlived all the professional rivals of his own generation, he proved that, if age had impaired his ‘strong memory’, it had not blunted his ‘accurate wit’ by his smart reply: ‘And I had like to have outlived the law itself, had not your highness come over’. At the Boxing Day meeting of Members of Charles II’s Parliaments he helped to draft the address of thanks to William, and, according to Morrice, baffled the attempt of (Sir) Robert Sawyer to entangle the proceedings in constitutional niceties.13

At the general election of 1689 Maynard was returned for Bere Alston and Plymouth, choosing to sit for the latter. He had also acquired from Nosworthy control of one seat at St. Ives. A moderately active committeeman in the Convention, with only twelve appointments, his ‘most voluble tongue’ was still at his service; lame and toothless, he delivered 35 recorded speeches, many of them only partly audible. On the constitutional issue he declared:

I am of opinion that the King has deposed himself. ... All government had at first its foundation from a pact with the people; and here no one can say but that pact has apparently been broken by the King’s invading and violating our laws, property, liberty, and religion by his putting Papists into all places of trust in the Government as fast as he could find Papists for them. I remember very well the occasion of dissolving the last Parliament. We desired only that some Popish officers might be removed, 2nd we were removed ourselves. ... This has long been creeping upon us. There is no Popish prince in Europe but would destroy all Protestants, as in Spain, France and Hungary.

But he disagreed with those who gave priority to imposing restrictions on the power of the crown:

Would not delay to supply the throne, lest, instead of an arbitrary government, we should have none. ... Some gross grievance for which we are beholden to a Parliament, who cared not what was done, so their pensions were paid. Militia Act: an abominable thing to disarm the nation, to set up a standing army. Corporation Act carried into execution with a high hand. If any man offered to stir, to remonstrate, to complain, it was cried out by some [that] the Act of Oblivion [was] too large. ... But we must so take care for the future as not to be lost at present. The army has been corrupted formerly, may be again. Let us not delay to set the government in motion, under whatever fair pretence, lest we give occasion to moles, who work underground, to destroy the foundations you laid yesterday.

He was the second Member named to the committee to prepare reasons for insisting that the throne was vacant; but when Anthony Rowe introduced ‘a petition from great numbers of persons’ for crowning the Prince and Princess of Orange King and Queen, Maynard dismissed it contemptuously: ‘Here’s a petition proffered you from you know not whom, nor for what; if you read it, the Parliament is without doors, and not here’. He denied that it was the intention of the Commons to establish an elective monarchy, but pointed out that Mary could not inherit the crown while her father was alive. He was again the second Member named to the committee that produced the declaration of rights. He spoke forcefully in favour of the Lords’ bill declaring the Convention to be a Parliament, adding: ‘there is a great danger in sending out writs at this time, if you consider what a ferment the nation is in; and I think the clergy are out of their wits; and I believe if the clergy should have their way few or none of us should be here again’. On 5 Mar. he was sworn in as chief commissioner of the great seal, an office which did not require attendance in the House of Lords, and later in the month he moved successfully for measures to confine and disarm Roman Catholics:

We are so mealy-mouthed and soft-handed to the Papists that it occasions their insolence. ... I would not imitate their cruelty; I am far from it. I would let them have their religion in their private houses, but no harbouring priests and Jesuits. You’ll pardon my boldness, but I hope I have done my duty.

In the debate of 11 June on the refusal of the Lords to reverse Oates’s conviction for perjury, he said: ‘Whether true or false, Oates was an enemy to the Popish religion’, and he wanted the Commons to complain of the action of the Upper House as a grievance, and ‘a stab to our liberties’. On the arrest of Jacobite propagandists, he said: ‘one man tried and condemned at common law will work more with the people than ten impeachments’, much to the annoyance of John Birch, who moved that he should carry the articles to the Lords ‘because never any man did argue better in the impeachment of Lord Strafford’. He helped to draw up the address for access to the Privy Council records relating to Ireland, to prepare reasons for disagreeing with the Lords about Oates, to consider the bill to restore the London charter, and to manage a conference about attainting Jacobites in arms in Ireland. After the recess he supported the address to ask who was responsible for recommending Commissary Shales, and was named to the committee to reverse the attainder of Sir Thomas Armstrong. Though he was not listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, the proposal to strike it out made his ears tingle:

It has been committed, and ordered to be engrossed, and a gentleman comes and prays that it may be thrown out; certainly he is but a young Parliament man. To move to cast out the whole clause, you put it on an everlasting debate ... and formerly he that should have moved such a thing should not have come to the bar, but gone to the Tower. Why may they not as well move to cast out another and another clause, till they have left none in the bill?14

At the general election of 1690 Maynard received only a derisory vote in Middlesex, thanks to the well-earned hostility of the clergy, but he was reelected for Plymouth. He was removed from the commission of the great seal in June, and died on 8 Oct. at Gunnersbury. He was buried at Ealing, mourned by his admirers as ‘the greatest man of his profession that had been in this or any other age’ and extolled by the Presbyterians for ‘his wonderful charities and other good works’. He was the last of his family, and his property was divided by the two daughters of his son Joseph.15

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. Excluded.
  • 3. R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 3, p. 212; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 561; DNB; Wood, Athenae, iv. 292-6; CSP Dom. 1671, p. 90; Berry, Hants Genealogies, 126; M. Temple Recs. 701.
  • 4. Keeler, Long Parl. 271; Cal. Plymouth Mun. Recs. ed. Worth, 85; Trans. Devon Assoc. lvi. 222, 227; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 411.
  • 5. Plymouth City Lib., J. Prince, Devon Worthies; Trans. Devon Assoc. lxviii. 52; Whitelocke Mems. ii. 219. North, Lives, i. 148-9; H. M. Colvin, Biog. Dict. British Architects, 873; Cal. Comm. Comp. 3212.
  • 6. Trans. Devon Assoc. xxi. 493-4; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 406; HMC Exeter, 333; CJ, viii. 11, 128, 219; Cal. Cl. SP, v. 7, 20; Voyce from the Watch Tower, 111; Bowman diary, ff. 34v, 114, 123v, 140; Harl. 7020, f. 43; Aubrey, Lives, i. 137; Pepys Diary, 23 Apr. 1661; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 30.
  • 7. CJ, viii. 251, 450, 479, 506, 669; Milward, 16, 59, 62.
  • 8. Milward, 201, 288, 328; Clarendon Impeachment, 12, 37, 47, 49; CJ, ix. 55, 94; North, i. 149; D. R. Lacey, Dissent and Parl. Pols. 422-4; Grey, i. 227, 365; Lysons, Devon, 41.
  • 9. Grey, ii. 23; iii. 207; iv. 1-2, 86, 216; CJ, ix. 339, 374, 405, 418.
  • 10. Grey, vi. 146, 237, 295, 363, 371, 381; Survey of London, iii. 55; CJ, ix. 542, 553, 560.
  • 11. Lysons, 405; Grey, vi. 423, 431; vii. 29-30, 51, 90-91, 162, 179-80, 281-2; CJ, ix. 592, 612.
  • 12. HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 512, 518; HMC 12th Rep. IX, 102; Prince; CJ, ix. 645, 687; Grey, viii. 229, 239, 336-7; State Trials, viii. 388.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1683-4, p. 128; State Trials, x. 1162; Grey, viii. 359; Luttrell, i. 490; A. Boyer, Hist. Wm. III, i. 307; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 2, p. 430.
  • 14. Lysons, Cornw. 169; CJ, x. 20; HMC Bath, iii. 192; IHR Bull. xlix. 258-9; Hardwick SP, ii. 417; Grey, ix. 12, 45, 57, 98, 169, 290, 305, 368, 463, 513-14.
  • 15. HMC Portland, iii. 444, 445; Luttrell, ii. 52; Wood, iv. 294; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 3, p. 212; North, Lives, i. 149; Lincs. AO, ANC15/3/4/148.