BETHELL, Hugh (c.1648-1717), of Rise, Yorks.

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



3 Dec. 1695 - 1700

Family and Education

b. c.1648, 2nd s. of John Bethell of Skirlaugh, Yorks. by Mary, da. of Richard Hildyard of Ottringham, Yorks.  m. (1) Mary (d. 1684), da. of Edward Skinner of Thornton, Lincs., 3da. (2 d.v.p.); (2) settlement 17 Dec. 1690, Sarah, da. and coh. of William Dickenson of Watton Abbey, Yorks., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. uncle Sir Hugh Bethell† at Rise 1679.1

Offices Held

Mayor, Hedon 1683–4.2


Bethell was the nephew of Sir Hugh Bethell, a Parliamentarian, who represented Hedon in the Convention of 1660 and in the Cavalier Parliament, and founded a charity for the poor of the borough. In August 1688 James II’s agents considered that Bethell would be suitable to serve as a justice for the East Riding. He was returned for Hedon, in which borough his family had an interest, at a by-election in December 1695. However, Bethell was not an active Member, though his name was included in several parliamentary lists. He was classed as doubtful in the forecast of the divisions on the proposed council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696, and he signed the Association promptly. On 7 Apr. he was granted leave of absence. In the following session, on 25 Nov., he voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Although he had initially been classed as a member of the Country party in a comparison of the old and new Commons in 1698, an addendum to the list queried this classification. In an analysis of the House into interests in early 1700 he was classed as an adherent of the Junto. Added to the East Riding lieutenancy in December 1699, he obtained from the crown in 1700 a fresh 99-year lease of the manor of Hempholme, which he had inherited from his uncle. He did not stand for election in 1701, seemingly due to opposition to his candidature from Henry Guy*, who represented the dominant interest in Hedon. Bethell did not sit in Parliament again, though he continued to be active in county commissions. He died on 2 Feb. 1717, aged 68, and was buried at Rise. By his will the sole heir to the estate was his son, Hugh. Apart from token bequests to his three surviving daughters, he left £200 to his cousin Robert Bethell, £500 to the poor of Rise, £5 to the poor of Walton, and, to the poor of 11 other parishes, at £12 per parish.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, iii. 471–2; Poulson, Holderness, i. 409; Borthwick Inst. York, wills, prerog. court, Aug. 1717.
  • 2. G. R. Park, Hedon, 96–97.
  • 3. Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Act (1882), 59; CSP Dom. 1699–1700, p. 310; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Harley) mss Pw2 Hy819, Guy to [Robert Harley*], 9 Aug; HMC Portland, iv. 304; Cal. Treas. Bks. xv. 311, 327, 349; Clay, 472; Borthwick Inst. York, wills, prerog. court, Aug. 1717.