BOKENHAM, Hugh (c.1635-94), of Norwich

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



1690 - 26 Apr. 1694

Family and Education

b. c.1635, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of Wiseman Bokenham of Thornham Magna, Suff. by Grace, da. of Paul D’Ewes of Stow Langtoft Hall, Suff., sis. of Sir Simonds D’Ewes, 1st Bt.†  m. aft. 1664, Elizabeth (d. 1669), da. and h. of Christopher Flowerdew of Norwich and Hethersett, Norf., 1s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Norwich 1661, sheriff 1673–4, alderman 1677, mayor 1681–2.2

Jt. receiver-gen. for poll tax, Norf. 1692.3


Bokenham, who had been apprenticed to a woollen-draper, was described during his mayoralty of Norwich, in 1681, as ‘a gentleman of good family in Suffolk, and a very good estate, being reputed worth above £15,000’. He was also ‘the gentlest and best behaved man in town’. Within days of this estimate of his fortune he came into a further ‘estate of £700 per annum . . . his elder brother’s family being extinct in [a] child which died last week’. As mayor of Norwich he was one of the leaders of the ‘moderate’ party in the city, men who were neither ‘violent Whigs’ nor ‘violent Tories’; ‘who are for the present government both in church and state but go soberly to work’. Together with the Whigs these moderates strongly opposed the surrender of the city’s charter in 1682.4

Classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Whig in a list of the new Parliament in March 1690, Bokenham was also listed by Carmarthen in December as one who would support him in the event of a Commons’ attack on his ministerial position. On 9 May he was nominated to the drafting committee for a bill to regulate wines. On 11 Oct. he was first-named to the committee of inquiry into abuses in the alnage duty, a matter of concern to his constituents. He appears on Robert Harley’s* list of April 1691 and is marked with a ‘d’, which is perhaps a later annotation recording his death. Samuel Grascome classed him as a placeman in 1693 on account of his receivership of taxes. On 14 Feb. 1694 he was appointed to the drafting committee for a bill to regulate the wool trade in Norwich. Bokenham died on 26 Apr. 1694, aged 59. His will mentioned property in Hethersett, ‘late of the Flowerdews’, his wife’s family, ‘and what I bought myself’. It also noted estates in Suffolk, and money lent on the land of Sir Thomas Ogle in Lincolnshire.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. PCC 91 Box, 171 Penn; H. Maudslay, Buckenham Fam. 35, 47, 246, 290, 297, 304–6, 314; Blomefield, Norf. v. 31; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. lxxxv), 76.
  • 2. Norwich Freemen, 153; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 114; Maudslay, 47.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1539.
  • 4. Norwich Freemen, 153; Prideaux Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. xv), 121–2; CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 54, 274.
  • 5. Maudslay, 47; PCC 91 Box.