MILBORNE, William (c.1633-60), of Wonastow, Mon. and the Middle Temple.

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



3 Apr. - 12 July 1660

Family and Education

b. c.1633, 1st s. of John Milborne (d.1661) of Wonastow by 1st w. Katherine, da. of John Dennis of Pucklechurch, Glos.; half-bro. of Clayton Milborne. educ. M. Temple 1658. unm.

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Mon. Jan. 1660, militia Mar. 1660.


Milborne’s ancestors had been small freeholders in Somerset in the 14th century, and greatly enlarged their estates under Henry VIII, but his grandfather married a Monmouthshire heiress in 1597 and took up residence at Wonastow. Though owners of a large monastic estate, the family had strong Roman Catholic inclinations. Milborne’s father remained neutral in the Civil War, though his house was used as a garrison for parliamentary forces in 1644. An accusation of delinquency was referred to the county committee in 1648, but they did not report. Milborne was on bad terms with his stepmother, the daughter of Thomas Clayton, and her family; in 1654, presumably when he came of age, his father conveyed to him, under his own mother’s marriage settlement, the bulk of the estate, worth £1,200 p.a. (subject to an annuity of £350 p.a. to himself), and including the manor of Milborne Port and a capital messuage there. Milborne’s sisters and youngest brother were recusants, and his uncle Henry (whose chambers at the Middle Temple he entered in 1658) was a crypto-Papist. The family had no parliamentary tradition, and Milborne may have stood at the general election of 1660 at the suggestion of his fellow-Templar, Michael Malet, who occupied the other seat. During his short time in the Convention he showed himself moderately active as a committeeman. He was appointed to the committees for the assessment ordinance, the poll bill and the queen mother’s jointure. He was teller, apparently for the Cavalier party in the House, in two divisions regarding the excepting of Bulstrode Whitelock and Major-General William Boteler from the bill of indemnity, and against reading the bill on purchases of forfeited lands. He was one of the Members appointed to hear the petition from the intruded dons at Oxford and to consider two complaints of unauthorized publications. On 6 July, rather surprisingly, he spoke against the proviso to the indemnity bill excepting prosecuting counsel and attorneys of the high court of justice. Six days later he died in his uncle’s chambers. Henry Milborne, his executor, was unable to make good the family interest at Milborne Port, and no later member of the Wonastow family entered Parliament; but his half-brother, Clayton Milborne, was elected for Monmouth as a Tory in 1708.

Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), iii. 130, 197, 239; iv. 63, 65, 66-69, 137, 166-7, 176; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 977; CJ, viii. 64, 72; Bowman diary, f. 58.

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy