BARNARDISTON, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bt. (c.1646-98), of Kedington, Suff. and Silk Willoughby, Lincs.

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



1685 - 1687
1689 - 1690
14 Oct. 1690 - 7 Oct. 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1646, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, 1st Bt.†, of Kedington by Anne, da. of Sir William Armine, 1st Bt.†, of Osgodby, Lincs. and coh. to her bro. Sir Michael, 3rd Bt.  educ. St. Catharine’s, Camb. 1664; G. Inn 1667.  m. lic. 26 July 1670, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Robert King of Boyle Abbey, co. Roscommon, 6s. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 4 Oct. 1669.

Offices Held

Freeman and alderman, Dunwich 1680–4; recorder, Gt. Grimsby 1686–?Oct. 1688; steward, honor of Clare 1689–91.1


A Whig who had inclined in 1688 towards collaboration with James II, Barnardiston had acted with his party in the Convention, though he had not been listed as voting for the disabling clause of the corporation bill. He supported his uncle, Sir Samuel Barnardiston, 1st Bt.*, and the other Whig candidate, Sir Gervase Elwes, 1st Bt.*, in the Suffolk election of 1690, when he was himself defeated at Grimsby. It was probably Elwes who brought him in for Sudbury at a subsequent by-election, perhaps in return for his having resigned the Clare stewardship. Barnardiston acted as a teller with Elwes on 1 Nov. 1690, for a motion that two men who had been accused of a breach of privilege against the Tory Thomas Christie should be allowed a hearing at the bar of the House, and on 5 Dec. he was again a teller, with a Whig and opposite two Tories, against granting Sir William Ellys, 2nd Bt., a fortnight’s leave of absence. In April 1691 he was listed by Robert Harley* as a doubtful member of the Country party. On 14 Nov. 1691 Barnardiston was granted a fortnight’s leave to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. He told on 16 Dec. for the bill to register servants going to the plantations. On 4 Jan. 1692 he was granted leave ‘to attend the funeral of a near relation’. He had returned to the House by 12 Feb. when he told for a proviso on behalf of Simon Luttrell, to be added to the Irish forfeitures bill, telling again on 16 Feb. in favour of an extra clause to the poll tax bill. On 18 Nov. he was nominated to the drafting committee for a bill to extend the patent on convex lights. He was included in Samuel Grascome’s list of 1693 as a Court supporter. Leave of absence was granted him on 5 Jan. 1694, on health grounds, and again on 26 Feb. 1695, and on 7 Jan. 1696 he was one of six Members ordered into custody for inexcusable absence. He was forecast as an opponent of the Court on the proposed council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696. He signed the Association and voted for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March. On 25 Nov. he voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Further leave of absence was given him on 22 Dec. 1696 and on 1 Mar. 1698, and although he was named with his uncle on 5 Apr. 1698 to prepare a bill for a workhouse and hospital in Sudbury, no such bill was presented.

Re-elected for Sudbury in 1698, Barnardiston was listed as a member of the Country party and as an opponent of a standing army. But he did not live to take his seat, dying on 7 Oct. 1698, aged 52.

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Suff. RO (Ipswich), Dunwich bor. recs. EE6/1114/13; CSP Dom. 1686–7, p. 223; Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Official Lists, 203.