OSBORNE, Edward, Visct. Latimer (1654-89).

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



5 Apr. 1677
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. 3 Apr. 1654, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Osborne, 2nd Bt., and bro. of Peregrine Osborne. educ. Westminster; travelled abroad (France) 1671. m. 4 May 1674, Elizabeth (d. 1 May 1680), da. of Simon Bennet of Beachampton, Bucks., 1s. 1da. d.v.p. styled Visct. Latimer 27 June 1674.

Offices Held

Gent. of the bedchamber 1674-85.1

Steward, Sherwood forest 1677-85; freeman, Portsmouth 1677; commr. for assessment, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1677-80, Bucks. and Buckingham 1679-80; col. of militia ft. (W. Riding) 1677-d., dep. lt. (N. and W. Ridings) Nov. 1688-d.2


In November 1673, while still under age, Osborne was put up at a by-election for York by his father, but withdrew before the poll. In the following year he was given a Household post worth £1,000 p.a., and accompanied Lord Arlington on an embassy to the Netherlands. He was used as an intermediary to settle the financial claims of the Prince of Orange in negotiations between England and Holland in 1675-6. Despite his lack of legal qualifications he was granted in reversion to Sir Harbottle Grimston the office of master of the rolls, said to be worth £10,000 p.a. He was returned for Corfe Castle in 1677 with the help of Anthony Ettrick, without even standing for the borough. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament he was appointed to five committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in one session, and a committee on an estate bill affecting his brother-in-law, Robert Coke. He was classed as ‘thrice vile’ by Shaftesbury in 1677, and as a member of the court party in both court and opposition lists of 1678. He acted as teller for omitting the word ‘traitorously’ from the first article of his father’s impeachment.3

At the first general election of 1679 Latimer stood for Buckingham, where he had acquired an interest by marriage. After a bitter contest, in which his father’s great enemy, the Duke of Buckingham, campaigned against him, there was a double return, but Latimer was elected by the corporation unopposed. Shaftesbury’s classification is indecipherable, though not beyond conjecture; but Lord Huntingdon marked him as court, and he voted against the exclusion bill. Otherwise he left no trace on the records of the first Exclusion Parliament. Although listed among the ‘unanimous club’ he was re-elected in the autumn, but he was again appointed to no committees in the second Exclusion Parliament. He desisted before the poll in 1681. He was then a member of the ‘Loyal Club’ founded at the time of the Popish Plot to support the Government. Before the meeting of the Oxford Parliament, he had approached every peer thought to be at all well-disposed before his father’s petition for bail was presented to Parliament, and his efforts won the highest praise from Lord Bath. On Grimston’s death in 1685, Latimer claimed his post, but it was given to a lawyer, Sir John Churchill. In that year he stood for Buckingham, giving £200 towards the building of a town hall for the borough, and promising to complete it if he were returned. After a severe contest, in which the Duke of Buckingham again intervened personally, he was defeated, and petitioned without result. He intended to stand there again for the abortive Parliament of 1688. But at the general election of 1689 he was involved in a double return at Knaresborough. He died of syphilis on 16 Feb. without taking his seat.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Eg. 3385B, f. 20.
  • 2. Browning, Danby, i. 68, 136, 400; Blake mss, Dering personal diary 1673-4, f. 62; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 362; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxix. 226; Yale Lib. Osborn mss.
  • 3. Browning, i. 117, 132-3, 137, 142-3, 358; Leeds City Lib. Sheepscar branch, Mexborough mss 6/8; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 572-3, 988, 1180.
  • 4. VCH Bucks. ii. 283; Browning, i. 267, 316, 357, 362; ii. 93-97, 160; Add. 28053, f. 253; 28087, ff. 1-4, 20-33, 76; HMC 13th Rep. VI, 20; Verney Mems. ii. 384-7, 397; BL Loan 29/184, f. 155, Sir Edward to Robert Harley, 16 Feb. 1689; Eg. 3385B, f. 20.