OXENDEN, Henry (1614-86), of Deane, Wingham, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 28 Apr. 1614, 1st s. of Sir James Oxenden of Deane by Margaret, da. of Thomas Nevinson of Eastry. m. (1) Mary (bur. 5 Dec. 1638), da. of Robert Baker of Westminster, 1da.; (2) 14 Aug. 1640, Elizabeth (d. 19 Aug. 1659), da. of Sir William Meredith, 1st Bt., of Leeds Castle, 7s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da.; (3) 18 Feb. 1661, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Mathew Reade of Folkestone, wid. of Mark Dixwell of Broomhouse, s.p. suc. fa. 1657; kntd. 9 June 1660; cr. Bt. 8 May 1678.
Capt. of militia, Kent by 1641, commr. for assessment 1643-8, 1657, Aug. 1660-1, 1664-80, j.p. 1644-?48, 1653-7, Mar.-July 1660, Sept. 1660-2, 1665-d., commr. for scandalous ministers 1654, sewers, E. Kent Sept. 1660, recusants, Kent 1675, dep. lt. by 1680-d.2
Lt.-col. (parliamentary) by 1643-4.
Oxenden was head of one of the two principal branches of a family that had held land in Kent since the reign of Edward III. William Oxenden sat for Hythe in 1553, but their parliamentary record was intermittent before the 17th century. Like his father and the rest of his family Oxenden espoused the cause of Parliament in the Civil War, though not without some agony of mind. Returned as a recruiter for Winchelsea, he was implicated in the Kentish rebellion of 1648 and did not sit after Pride’s Purge. By 1651 he had compounded for the moderate fine of £20, and he represented the county in two Protectorate Parliaments. At the general election of 1660 he was returned for Sandwich, six miles from Deane, as the senior baron, the corporation rejecting the nominee of Edward Montagu I in his favour. He was not an active Member of the Convention; no speeches were recorded, and he was named to only seven committees. He was among those to whom the petition from the intruded dons at Oxford was referred, and he helped to consider the bills for settling ministers, improving the observance of the Sabbath, regulating fees, and fixing an establishment for Dunkirk. He was knighted during the session, but he received from Lord Wharton the case for modified episcopacy ‘with some circumstances’ and there is no evidence that he sought re-election in 1661. He was removed from the commission of the peace in 1662, but restored four years later, and created a baronet in 1678. At the county election of 1681 he campaigned vigorously for the exclusionist, Edward Dering. He died in August 1686, leaving bequests amounting to nearly £4,000. Besides the Kentish estate which he had inherited, he seems to have shared in the mercantile interests of his brother, who was governor of Bombay from 1661 to 1669.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1600.
- 2. Oxenden Letters (1607-42) ed. Gardiner, 308-9; A. M. Everitt, County Committee of Kent in the Civil War, 29; C181/7/56.
- 3. Oxenden Letters (1607-42), pp. 90, 257-8, 308-9, 312; (1642-70), p. 39; Everitt, Community of Kent and the Gt. Rebellion, 313; Stowe 746, f. 48; PCC 123 Lloyd; Hasted, Kent, ix. 230, 239; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 32.