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BLOIS, Sir Charles, 1st Bt. (1657-1738), of Grundisburgh Hall and Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suff.
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Family and Education
bap. 14 Sept. 1657, 5th but o. surv. s. of Sir William Blois of Grundisburgh Hall by his 1st w. Martha, da. of Sir Robert Brooke† of Cockfield Hall and coh. to her bro. Sir Robert Brooke† (d. 1669) of Cockfield Hall and Wanstead House, Essex. m. (1) 11 May 1680, Mary (d. 1693), da. of Sir Robert Kemp, 2nd Bt.†, of Gissing Hall, Norf. and Ubbeston, Suff., sis. of Robert Kemp*, 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) lic. 18 Apr. 1694, Anne, da. of Ralph Hawtrey*, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 1675; cr. Bt. 15 Apr. 1686; suc. aunt Mary Brooke in Yoxford estate 1693.1
Alderman, Dunwich 1685–June 1688, 1692–4, 1700–d., common councilman 1700, bailiff 1708, 1711–12; ?common councilman, Orford by 1698, ?portman 1709.2
Although his father was probably a Presbyterian, Blois himself was an Anglican and a staunch Tory: ‘every way a gentleman’ as a fellow Tory described him. Returned for Ipswich in 1690, he was listed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Tory supporter of the Court. He was appointed on 2 Apr. to examine and prepare a bill upon the East India trade. In the next session he was appointed to the committee to draft the bills for regulating the militia (10 Oct.) and for attainting rebels in England and Ireland (22 Oct. 1690). On 2 Dec. he was a teller for Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Bt.*, in a disputed election for Chester. In December Carmarthen forecast that Blois would support him in the event of an attack on his ministerial position in the Commons. In April 1691 Robert Harley* listed him as a member of the Country party. Named on 28 Oct. to the drafting committee on a bill for the general improvement of highways, he was also nominated on 31 Oct. 1691 to draft bills for securing the rights of corporations, and for regulating abuses in elections. He was given three weeks’ leave of absence on 21 Jan. 1692. On 31 Dec. he told in favour of committing the bill to prevent the exporting of gold and silver. He was again given leave of absence on 13 Jan. 1693, ‘his lady being very ill’. On 14 Nov. he was appointed to a drafting committee for a bill to encourage the clothing trade. He was one of the few Tories to escape the purge of the Suffolk commission of the peace in 1693. In the 1694–5 session he told on 15 Jan. 1695, for the bill to exempt apothecaries from having to serve in parochial offices; on 4 Feb., on the Tory side, against including in the land tax bill the proposed oath for assessors; and on 8 Feb., again with the Tories, for agreeing with clause B of the treason trials bill as amended by the Lords and re-amended by the Commons. He was nominated on 11 Feb. to draft a bill for regulating printing and presses. Granted another three weeks’ leave on 6 Mar., he had returned to the House by 16 Apr., when he told against going into committee on the glass duty bill. He told again on 19 Apr., this time probably for the Court, against putting off until the following Wednesday the hearing of the report on the glass duty bill.3
His succession in 1693 to the Brooke estate at Yoxford, which he thereafter made his principal residence, gave Blois an interest at Dunwich, and he was returned there unopposed at a by-election in 1700. Forecast in February 1701 as a likely supporter of the Court over agreeing to continue the ‘Great Mortgage’, he was later blacklisted as one who in this session had opposed the preparations for war with France. He was a teller on 17 June in favour of hearing the report on the bill for the relief of prisoners for debt. In Harley’s list of the 1701–2 Parliament he was classed with the Tories. He voted on 26 Feb. 1702 for the resolution vindicating the proceedings of the Commons in the previous session over the impeachments of William III’s ministers, and told the following day for the Tories against a motion to adjourn all committees. He was a teller on 16 Apr. against giving leave for a bill for the relief of Sir John Dillon from the effects of the clause for the resumption of the Irish forfeitures. In the 1702 Parliament he was nominated to the drafting committee on 10 Dec. 1702, to revise the Lords’ 7th amendment to the occasional conformity bill. He told on 26 Nov. 1703 for leave for a bill requested by Norwich corporation, to oblige all ‘traders’ in the city to carry their share of the burdens of municipal office. He was again a teller on 24 Jan. 1704, on the Tory side on an adjournment motion concerning the bill to resume James II’s grants, and on 3 Feb. in favour of agreeing with the committee investigating the East Anglian coal trade in a resolution sharply critical of the restrictive practices of Great Yarmouth corporation. Forecast as a likely supporter of the Tack, he voted for it on 28 Nov. 1704, and in consequence was classified as ‘True Church’ in a list of the House of Commons the following year. He voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705. Twice listed as a Tory in 1708, he was successful at the election of that year but was unseated on petition and did not stand for Parliament again. Blois died on 10 Apr. 1738 and was buried at Grundisburgh.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Add. 19185, ff. 192–3; Copinger, Suff. Manors, ii. 220.
- 2. Suff. RO (Ipswich), Dunwich bor. recs. EE6 1144/13, p. 76; 1144/14; T. Gardner, Dunwich (1754), 86, 142–3; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 15; HMC Var. vii. 104; CJ, xvi. 10; W. Suss. RO, Shillinglee mss Ac.454/973, 1083, Nathaniel Gooding to Sir Edward Turnor*, 18 July 1698, John Hooke to same, 28 Sept. 1709.
- 3. HMC Egmont, ii. 197; Diary of Edmund Bohun ed. Wilton Rix, 121.
- 4. Add. 19185, ff. 192–3.