MOYLE, Walter (1627-1701), of Bake, St. Germans, Cornw.

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



4 June 1660

Family and Education

bap. 9 Mar. 1627, 5th but 1st surv. s. of John Moyle of Bake by Admonition, da. of Sir Edmund Prideaux, 1st Bt., of Netherton, Devon; bro. of John Moyle. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1650; I. Temple 1653, called 1661. m. 1663, Thomasine, da. of William Morice I of Werrington, Devon, 7s. 5da. suc. fa. 1661; kntd. 4 Feb. 1664.2

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1657, 1661-80, 1689-90, militia 1659, Mar. 1660, j.p. Mar. 1660-?2, June 1688-d.; sub-commr. of prizes and storekeeper, Plymouth 1666-7; receiver of taxes, Cornw. 1667-9, sheriff 1670-1, commr. for recusants 1675; freeman, East Looe 1678; dep. lt. Cornw. June 1688-?d.3


Moyle belonged to one of the leading families in Cornwall, a branch of which was established in Bodmin and represented that borough in the 15th century. His family acquired Bake by marriage in the reign of Edward IV. One of the leaders of the parliamentary party in Cornwall, Moyle’s father entered the Long Parliament as a recruiter for East Looe, but abstained from the House after Pride’s Purge. Moyle himself sat in the Protectorate Parliaments as a moderate Presbyterian rather than as an Independent, and he signed the declaration of the Cornish gentlemen at Truro in December 1659 for a free Parliament. He controlled 14 out of 24 votes at Lostwithiel, where he stood jointly in 1660 with John Clayton. After a double return, he was seated on the merits of the election two months later. Classed as a friend by Lord Wharton, he was appointed only to the committees to consider the marital separation bill and to supply defects in the poll-tax; but he probably voted with the Presbyterian opposition.4

During the second Dutch war, Moyle was appointed receiver of taxes in Cornwall and sub-commissioner of prizes at Plymouth, and in 1669 he was reported to be in arrears of £2,055 on the poll and £8,760 on the 11 months tax. However, in March 1670 he was remitted the 12 per cent interest on his arrears, and was allowed 10 per cent of £16,000 ‘for his extraordinary pains in carrying that sum to Exeter with a guard’. By August 1672 his arrears had been brought down to £950, and this money apparently was not in his possession but was owed because of defalcations of head collectors in the hundreds. At any rate, he does not seem to have been subject to further proceedings. He was mentioned as a possible candidate for East Looe in 1677, when he was described as ‘inclined to Presbytery’. At the first general election of 1679 he apparently stood for Liskeard, when he was classed as ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury, but he was not returned. In June 1688 he was listed among the dissenters to be restored to the commission of the peace. Lord Bath recommended that he should be ‘treated with’ for his interest at Truro, and added that he might be prepared to oppose Daniel Eliot at St. Germans, ‘which he always desires’. During the Revolution Moyle, Hugh Boscawen and Sir John Molesworth drew up an address to the Prince of Orange which was delivered by the Earl of Radnor (Charles Bodvile Robartes), and he was duly returned for St. Germans in the following month.5

In the Convention Moyle was moderately active. His 24 committees included those to reverse the conviction of Titus Oates and the quo warranto against the City of London. He took the chair in two committes for Cornish estate bills, as well as for the bill to repeal a Statute of Henry IV against multiplying gold and silver, and carried them all to the Lords. He is not recorded as speaking or as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations; but he was probably a Whig. On 22 Jan. 1690 he carried up Lord Radnor’s estate bill; but he never stood again. He died on 19 Sept. 1701 and was buried at St. Germans. Two of his sons sat for Saltash as Whigs.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Excluded.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 334-5; Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 63; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), ix. 344-5.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ii. 56, 84, 206; xiv. 135; PRO, 30/24, bdle. 40, ff. 17-18; A. L. Browne, Corp. Chrons. 190.
  • 4. J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, i. 278; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), ix. 344-5; M. Coate, Gt. Civil War in Cornw. 29, 224-5, 282, 307-8; Buller Pprs. ed. Worth, 117-18.
  • 5. Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 264, 555; vi. 694; Eg. 3330, f. 75; English Currant, 12 Dec. 1688.
  • 6. CJ, x. 178, 203, 232, 236, 243; Gilbert, ii. 41.