BALDWYN, Charles (c.1652-1707), of Bockleton, Worcs. and Stokesay Castle, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1689 - 1690
1695 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1652, 4th but o. surv. s. of Sir Samuel Baldwyn† of Stokesay Castle by Elizabeth, da. of Richard Walcot, merchant, of London; cos. of George Walcot* and Humphrey Walcot*.  educ. Shrewsbury sch. 1663; Queen’s, Oxf. matric. 13 Dec. 1667, aged 15; I. Temple 1665, called 1674.  m. lic. 11 May 1679, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Nicholas Acton of Bockleton, Worcs., 4s. 1da.  suc. fa. 1683.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Ludlow 1679, common councilman 1681–5, 1690–1701, alderman 1701–d., recorder 1704–d.; freeman, Much Wenlock 1680; sheriff, Herefs. 1690–1; high steward, Leominster 1691–6; chancellor, dioc. of Hereford 1694–d.2


Baldwyn’s marriage brought him a fortune, but his interest at Ludlow was derived from his own family’s property nearby. Both his father and grandfather had sat for Ludlow, and Baldwyn himself, after having stood unsuccessfully in 1679, had been elected there in 1681, probably as an Exclusionist. Certainly he was not included in the Tory corporation named by the charter granted to the borough by James II in 1685. Afterwards he may have been one of the Whigs who ‘collaborated’ with King James II over the relaxation of the penal laws. He was returned to the Convention in January 1689 at an election held under the old charter, but took no part in the disputes between the rival corporations in 1690–2: he did not stand in the 1690 election, nor did he attend meetings of the common council after the old corporation had resumed the government of the borough in December of that year, nor join other members of the old corporation in signing a petition to the King and Queen for a new charter to re-affirm their authority. He began to appear again as a common councilman only a short time before the general election of 1695, when he was returned, probably with Tory support, in a contest with two Whigs.3

Originally marked as ‘doubtful’ in a forecast for the division on the proposed council of trade in January 1696, he was later reclassified as supporting the opposition, but signed the Association promptly and voted with the ministry in March over fixing the price of guineas at 22s. Baldwyn also reported and carried up four private bills in this session. In the same year he was appointed to the lieutenancy of the adjoining county of Herefordshire.4

Next session Baldwyn was a teller three times: on 19 Nov. 1696 against an opposition motion that the House, before going into the committee of ways and means, should first take into consideration the bill to regulate elections; on 17 Dec. against the bill for the relief of creditors; and on 6 Feb. 1697 against a motion to adjourn a debate on a harbour bill so that the House could proceed to the third reading of the bill to restrict the wearing of fabrics from Persia and the East Indies. He had been given a leave of absence on 19 Dec. and in February–March managed a private bill through the Commons from the report stage. In the 1697–8 session, Baldwyn’s main task was the management of a bill for the execution of various judgments which had been saved in a clause in the Act of 1689 abolishing the council in the marches. Having been granted leave of absence for 21 days on 18 Mar. 1698, he appeared again in April to report a private bill and carry it up to the Lords.

In the 1698 election Baldwyn did not stand. Instead, he supported one of the Tory candidates, William Gower*, giving evidence on Gower’s behalf at the hearing of a petition by the defeated Whig candidate, reported to the House on 1 Mar. 1699. Nor, despite being chosen as recorder of Ludlow in 1704, did he stand again. He left his interest in the borough to his eldest son, Acton Baldwyn, who was returned in 1705 not long after having come of age. Baldwyn died 4 Jan. 1707.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. PCC 26 Poley; London Mar. Lics. (Harl. Soc. xxvi), 302; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. ser. 2, vii. 34; ser. 4, ii. 135; vi. 64.
  • 2. Salop RO, Ludlow bor. recs. admissions of freemen, min. bk. 1684–90, 1690–1712; Salop RO, Forester mss, copy of Much Wenlock corp. bk.; G. F. Townsend, Leominster, 291; CSP Dom. 1696, p. 282.
  • 3. Ludlow bor. recs. min. bk. 1690–1712, copy of petition to William and Mary.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1696, p. 488.
  • 5. Ludlow bor. recs. min. bk. 1690–1712; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. 34.