RAYNTON, Nicholas (c.1638-96), of Forty Hall, Enfield, Mdx.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1638, 1st s. of Nicholas Raynton of Washingborough, Lincs. by Rebecca, da. of John Moulson of Nantwich, Cheshire. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1654. m. c.1660, Mary, da. of Michael Harvey, merchant, of Bishops-gate, London, 1da. suc. fa. 1641, gt.-uncle Sir Nicholas Raynton 1646.1

Offices Held

Commr. for militia, Mdx. Mar. 1660, assessment 1665-80, 1689-90; j.p. Mdx. Mar. 1660-82, 1689-d., Herts. 1690-?d.; commr, for oyer and terminer, Mdx. 1662, dep. lt. 1689-d.2


Raynton was the great-nephew and heir of Sir Nicholas Raynton, a wealthy Haberdasher, lord mayor of London 1631-2, who bought a manor in Enfield in 1616 and erected the great house called Forty Hall. By further purchases he acquired a compact estate of over 900 acres. He was the only senior alderman to show any real sympathy with the opposition to Charles I before 1642, though he played little part in the City’s affairs during the Civil War.3

Raynton married the sister of Michael Harvey, probably a dissenter like her brother. He was returned with Sir William Roberts for Middlesex in 1681, and ‘gratefully accepted’ an address from the freeholders demanding exclusion and relief for Protestant dissenters. At Oxford he was appointed only to the committee of elections and privileges. Empanelled by Sheriff Cornish for the Fitzharris trial, he failed to appear. In 1682 orders were given for his removal from the commission of the peace as an exclusionist. Nevertheless in September he presented to the lord mayor, Sir John Moore, a petition from the county asking that John Dubois and Thomas Papillon should be sworn as sheriffs of London. The grand jury of Middlesex, now Tory-dominated, made a presentment condemning the petition which had not been agreed by ‘the representatives of the county, the grand jury or the quarter sessions’, adding that ‘the persons who signed the paper presented to the lord mayor and aldermen are seditious persons, and ought to be inquired after’. His house was searched by Samuel Starkey after the Rye House Plot. He stood unsuccessfully for Middlesex in 1685 and 1690 and was buried at Enfield on 18 Nov. 1696. His only daughter, Mary, brought Forty Hall in marriage to Sir John Wolstenholme 3rd Bt., who sat for Middlesex as a Whig in four Parliaments.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vis. Mdx. ed. Foster, 26; F. A. Taylor, Taylor Fam. 696; information from Dr Juanita Burnby and Mrs Audrey Robinson (Edmonton Hundred Hist. Soc.)
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 73-74; Mdx. RO, MJP/CP5a; Herts. County Recs. vi. 524.
  • 3. VCH Mdx. v. 227. V. Pearl, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution, 304-5.
  • 4. DNB; Smith’s Prot. Intell. 17 Mar. 1681 State Trials, viii. 333; CJ, x. 157; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, pp. 339, 359; EHR, xiii. 103-4; PCC 257 Bond.