SHERARD, Bennet, 2nd Baron Sherard of Leitrim [I] (1621-1700), of Stapleford, Leics.

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



Mar. 1679 - Mar. 1681
1685 - 1687
1689 - 1695

Family and Education

bap. 30 Nov. 1621, 1st s. of William, 1st Baron Sherard of Leitrim [I] by Abigail, da. and coh. of Cecil Cave of Greenwich, Kent, wid. of Henry Tresham of Newton, Northants.; bro. of Hon. Philip Sherard†.  educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1639; travelled abroad (Italy) 1641–4.  m. lic. 8 Mar. 1661, Elizabeth (d. 1713), da. and h. of Sir Robert Christopher of Alford, Lincs., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. (2 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. as 2nd Baron Sherard 1 Apr. 1640.1

Offices Held

Ld. lt. and custos rot. Rutland 1690–d.


Lord Sherard’s earlier parliamentary career had been entirely unremarkable. A patron of minor composers and painters, he was dismissed by Hon. Charles Bertie I* in 1687 as ‘an old passionate coxcomb who is lame, crazy and aged’, who, in losing his temper with Bertie’s nephew Hon. John Noel* at a race meeting, made himself ridiculous by threatening a duel. He showed staunch support for William of Orange at the Revolution, and though elected to the Convention it was generally thought unlikely that he would stand again in 1690. Aged nearly 70, however, he confounded electoral rumour-mongers, and was returned once more for his county.2

In the lists compiled by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) and Grascome he was classed as a Whig and a Court supporter. Never an active MP, his name is almost entirely absent from the surviving record of the 1690 Parliament. In the summer, when Lord Rutland (John Manners†, Lord Roos) initially declined renewal of his commission as lord lieutenant of Leicestershire, Sherard offered Carmarthen his services, indicating his willingness to ‘raise a regiment of volunteers . . . besides the militia’; his offer was not taken up, though in August he was given the lord lieutenancy of Rutland. Finally relinquishing parliamentary service in 1695, Sherard died on 15 Jan. 1700 and was buried at Stapleford, an obituarist describing him as ‘a person of great hospitality, and is much lamented by all that had the honour to know him’.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. Nichols, Leics. ii. 335, 346; Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, viii. 129; PC Reg. xii. 106; Recs. Soc. Jesus ed. Foley, vi. 623.
  • 2. HMC Rutland, ii. 116; Nichols, 335; BL, Verney mss mic. 636/44, C. Gardiner to Sir Ralph Verney, 1st Bt.†, 19 Feb. 1690.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 53; London Post, 19–22 Jan. 1700.