SOUTHBY, Richard (c.1624-1704), of Somerford Keynes, Wilts. and Carswell, Buckland, Berks.

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



Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1624, 1st. s. of John Southby of Carswell by Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Wiseman of Steventon, Berks. educ. Lincoln, Oxf., matric. 14 May 1641, aged 17; G. Inn 1646. m. settlement 1 June 1648, Katherine (d. 1686) da. of Robert Strange of Somerford Keynes, and coh. to her bro. Robert, 5s. 4da. suc. fa. 1683.1

Offices Held

Capt. of militia ft. Wilts. Apr. 1660; commr. for assessment, Wilts. Aug. 1660-9, Berks. 1673-80, 1689-90; j.p. Berks. July 1688-?d., dep. lt. Mar. 1688-9.2


Southby’s ancestors were established in Berkshire by Tudor times and purchased Carswell in 1584. Though not an active Parliamentarian during the Civil War, his father served on local commissions from 1647 to 1660, represented Berkshire in 1654, and probably stood again as an opponent of the Restoration in 1660. But he remained a j.p., with an income estimated at £1,000 p.a. in 1667. Southby himself, a member of the Green Ribbon Club, replaced the moderate Sir Humphrey Forster as knight of the shire at the autumn election of 1679, but left no trace on the records of the second Exclusion Parliament. He was re-elected unopposed in 1681 with William Barker, and accepted an exclusionist address from his constituents, but he was again inactive in the Oxford Parliament. After the dissolution, he appears to have been kept under observation; in 1683 he and his son John Southby were suspected of disloyalty, and another son lost his fellowship at Oxford for expressing violent Whig opinions.3

Southby was one of the few Whigs who held his seat in 1685, surviving a petition from the court candidate, the Earl of Stirling, but he remained totally inactive in James II’s Parliament. Presumably a Whig collaborator, he was appointed to county office in March 1688.The King’s electoral agents hoped that he would carry the county again, but he is not known to have stood for the Convention. He was not re-appointed to the lieutenancy after the Revolution, and does not seem to have stood again. He was buried at Buckland on 7 Jan. 1704.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 283.
  • 2. Merc. Pub. 12 Apr. 1660; HMC Downshire, i. 562.
  • 3. VCH Berks. iv. 456-7; Cal. Clar. SP, iv. 664; Salisbury Cathedral Lib., Bp. Seth Ward, Liber Notitiae, f. 53; State Tracts (1693) pt. 2, p. 140; Prot. Intell. 3 Mar. 1681; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, pp. 227, 254.
  • 4. CJ, ix. 742; Berry, County Genealogies, 35.