WATLINGTON, Isaac (c.1640-1700), of St. Mary the Great, Cambridge

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
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1695 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1640, o. s. of Christopher Watlington of Cambridge by da. of Thomas Paske, DD, of Much Hadham, Herts., master of Clare Hall, Camb. 1621–45 and archdeacon of London 1625.  m. (1) 17 Apr. 1677, Margaret, da. of James Thompson of Huntingdons, Trumpington, Cambs., sis. of Anthony Thompson*, 1s. 1da.; (2) 29 July 1691, Dorothy Dillingham, 1s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, common councilman and alderman, Cambridge 1684–Apr. 1688, Oct. 1688–d., mayor 1686–7, 1698–9.2


A wealthy clothier, descended two generations back from a younger son of a family of Berkshire gentry, Watlington had originally been nominated to municipal office in Cambridge under the 1684 charter. He and another alderman, John Pepys*, were returned at the 1695 election in place of two country gentlemen, and presumably on the Tory interest. Watlington was forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the divisions on 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade and, although he signed the Association promptly, was listed as voting against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March. He had, however, been given leave of absence on 3 Mar., for three weeks. He voted on 25 Nov. 1696 against Sir John Fenwick’s† attainder, but thereafter seems to have been irregular in his attendance. Leave of absence was granted to him again on 8 Mar. 1697 and 28 May 1698. Such a record did not necessarily improve his standing with his constituents, and in the 1698 general election he lost his seat at Cambridge, after a contest, though he was subsequently chosen as mayor for a second time, probably in compensation. In a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments he was marked as a supporter of the Country party.3

Watlington died on 24 Oct. 1700, aged 60, and was buried in his parish church of St. Mary the Great, Cambridge, where his monument proclaimed his services to the Church and to the common weal. He divided his landed property (in Lincolnshire and Middlesex as well as in Cambridge) between his sons, and added bequests in money to other relatives and friends amounting to about £3,000.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Berry, Berks. Gen. 82–84; The Gen. iii. 313; A. Gibbons, Ely Episcopal Recs. 368; Cambs. Par. Reg. ed. Phillimore, ii. 33; Watlington’s marriage to Dorothy Dillingham was reported by a fellow Cambridge alderman to be his fourth, but no evidence has been discovered to substantiate the claim: Diary of Samuel Newton (Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxiii), 105.
  • 2. C. H. Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iii. 603, 637; Cambs. RO (Cambridge), Cambridge bor. recs. common day bk. 1681–1722, pp. 56, 105, 133; F. Blomefield, Collectanea Cantabrigiensia, 227.
  • 3. Berry, 82–84; Cambridge bor. recs. common day bk. 1681–1722, p. 287; Add. 28931, f. 194.
  • 4. Diary of Samuel Newton, 111; Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1700–15, p. 13; PCC 29 Dyer.