STAINES, Richard (1650-1705), of Thirsk, 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



1689 - 1698

Family and Education

bap. 4 July 1650, 1st s. of Thomas Staines, of Thirsk by his 1st w. Anne.  educ. Thirsk sch.; Caius, Camb. 1667, scholar 1667–9; G. Inn 1670, called 1677.  m. lic. 3 May 1676, Dorothy Parker, 1s.  suc. fa. 1697.

Offices Held

Housekeeper excise office Nov. 1697–May 1702.1


The son of a prosperous Thirsk tradesman, Staines seems to have been a practising lawyer in Sowerby. A tenant of Lord Derby, who controlled several burgages in the borough, Staines was re-elected unopposed at Thirsk in March 1690, at which time he was classed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). In April 1691 Robert Harley* noted him as a Country supporter. However, at some point in 1693–5 he was noted by the non-juror Samuel Grascome as a Court supporter. Staines was not an active Member, being absent from a call of the House and sent for into custody on 14 Mar. 1694. Re-elected in 1695, he reported upon a Yorkshire estate bill on 28 Dec. 1695. In January 1696 he was forecast as likely to support the Court in the divisions on the proposed council of trade. He signed the Association promptly, and in the following session, voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. He was granted leave of absence on 5 Mar. 1697. In November of that year he was appointed as housekeeper of the excise office, with a salary of £200 p.a.2

Although Staines did not contest the 1698 election at Thirsk, he may have considered such action, as the other sitting Member, Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Bt., had expressed his concern in early July that a contest was imminent. Secretary James Vernon I* included Staines among the ‘great honest men’ who would be missing from the new Parliament, and he was listed in a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments as a Court supporter not re-elected. After the accession of Queen Anne he was removed from his place in the excise. He died on 28 Jan. 1705, and was buried at Sowerby. By his will of 1695 he left his personal estate and all the rents and profits from his leases of land at Mulwith, Thirsk, Carlton Miniott and Sowerby to his wife, who was also sole executor, with power to sell parts of the estate, if necessary, in order to provide for any mortgage repayments and to pay his sisters’ portions. His son Thomas married a daughter of Sir Matthew Wentworth, 3rd Bt.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 33; xvii. 219.
  • 2. Ibid. xiii. 33.
  • 3. Nichols, Lit. Hist. iv. 74; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 47/63, Vernon to Duke of Shrewsbury, 30 July 1698; Borthwick Inst. York, probate reg. 63, f. 204.