WENMAN, Richard (1657-90), of The Tithe House, Brackley, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. 6 Nov. 1657, 4th but 1st surv. s. of Sir Francis Wenman, 1st Bt., by 1st w. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1673. m. 17 Apr. 1682 (with £15,000), Catherine, da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Chamberlayne, 2nd Bt., of Wickham, Oxon., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 2 Sept. 1680, gt.-uncle Philip, 3rd Visct. Wenman of Tuam [I], in Thame Park estate 1686; cr. Visct. Wenman of Tuam [I] 29 Apr. 1686.1
Commr. for assessment, Oxon. 1679-80, 1689, Northants. 1689, Bucks. 1689-90, j.p. Oxon. 1679-Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., Northants. 1689-d.; dep. lt. Oxon. 1681-Feb. 1688, 1689-d.2
The Wenman family had occupied The Tithe House in Brackley since the Lisles had moved out to Evenley in the reign of James I, and Wenman’s maternal grandfather Thomas, Viscount Wenman, sat for the borough in five Parliaments between 1621 and 1640. Wenman and Sir William Egerton ousted the country Members Sir Thomas Crew and William Lisle at the second general election of 1679. Presumably he was a court supporter, but he left no trace on the records of the second or third Exclusion Parliaments. As signs of royal favour, letters patent were issued on 30 June 1683 granting him the title of Viscount Wenman if his great-uncle should die without male issue, and pressure was put on the rector of Lincoln College to renew his valuable lease of Twyford. He was again returned to James II’s Parliament, and was again totally inactive. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, he replied that ‘he cannot consent to the King’s desires’. In the Convention, he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. But on 27 Feb. 1689 he obtained leave to go into the country for his health. ‘A well-principled man’, according to the Jacobites, he may never have returned, for he died on 21 Mar. 1690 and was buried at Witney. His grandson was returned for Oxford in 1749 before standing for the county as a Tory at the celebrated election of 1754.3