RUDD, Sir Rice, 2nd Bt. (c.1643-1701), of Aberglasney, Llangathen, Carm.

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.1643, o.s. of Anthony Rudd (d.1648) Aberglasney by Judith, da. and h. of Thomas Rudd, chief engineer to Charles I, of Castle Yard, Higham Ferrers. m. 7 Dec. 1661, aged 18, Dorothy (d.1682), da. of Charles Cornwallis I of Holborn, Mdx., s.p. suc. gdfa. Sir Rice Rudd, 1st Bt. May 1664, mother in Higham Ferrers property 1682.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment Carm. 1664-80, Northants. 1679-80, 1689, Carm. and Carmarthen 1689-90; j.p. Carm. 1667-82, ?1689-d., dep. lt. 1674-?80; steward, honour of Higham Ferrers 1697-d.2


Rudd was the great-grandson of Anthony Rudd, a Yorkshireman who became bishop of St. Davids in 1594 and bought estates in Carmarthenshire. Both Rudd’s grandfathers (whose blood relationship, if any, was very remote) were Royalists. The first baronet, who had been a ship-money sheriff, was an active commissioner of array, compounding in 1648 for £581 12s.7d. Rudd’s father was added to the Carmarthenshire commission of the peace in 1643, but is not known to have been in arms. His mother was the last of a family which had resided in Higham Ferrers for six generations, and had been prominent in its municipal life. On her re-marriage to a Cavalier colonel, Goddard Pemberton, Rudd became the ward of Charles Cornwallis, whose daughter he married at an early age. After Cornwallis’s death, Rudd and William Wogan discovered among his papers some letters relating to Gunpowder Plot, which were published in 1679, and probably contributed to his defeat of the court candidate, (Sir) Lewis Palmer, at Higham Ferrers in the first election of that year. Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubtful’, perhaps because he had betrayed first-hand knowledge of the informer Bedloe as a brazen confidence-trickster and horse-thief, but he voted for the exclusion bill. His only committee was to hear the complaints against the conduct of John Robinson I as lieutenant of the Tower. He was re-elected to the second and third Exclusion Parliaments, but may not have attended either, being sent for as a defaulter on 4 Jan. 1681 and leaving no trace on the records at Oxford. Nevertheless he was removed from the commission of the peace.3

Rudd probably did not stand in 1685. Though listed by Danby among the country opposition to James II’s religious policy, he was one of the two Protestants suggested by the Earl of Peterborough as sheriff for 1688; but it fell to Thomas Andrew to conduct (or rather to obstruct) the abortive election of that year. At the general election of 1689 Rudd was elected both for Higham Ferrers and for Carmarthenshire, choosing to sit for the county. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was added to the committee to consider an address sent down from the House of Lords on 11 July, and he was among those ordered to investigate the weavers’ riot on 16 Aug. He did not vote for the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, but generally supported the Whigs in the later Parliaments of William III. He died in July 1701, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament. The title went to a cousin, but the property had to be sold to pay his debts.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: E. R. Edwards / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. M. A. Rudd, Recs. Rudd Fam. 65, 106; CSP Dom. 1640-1, p. 329.
  • 2. Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Official Lists, 192.
  • 3. Rudd, 60, 73-76, 102-5; Burnet, i. 13; HMC 6th Rep. 778.
  • 4. Luttrell, v. 78; Carmarthen Antiquary, i. 30.