WEBB, Edmund Richmond (c.1639-1705), of Rodbourne Cheney and Fifield, Wilts.

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
31 Mar. - 26 May 1685
10 June 1685 - 1687
17 Jan. - 1 Apr. 1689
1690 - 1698
Feb. 1701 - 1705

Family and Education

b. c.1639, 1st s. of Edmund Richmond Webb of Rodbourne Cheney by Grace, da. of Edward Chamberlaine of Maugersbury, Glos.  educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. 1656; G. Inn 1659.  m. (1) lic. 31 Jan. 1662, Jane (d. 1669), da. of John Smith of St. Mary Aldermanbury, London and South Tidworth, Hants, sis. of John Smith I*, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 5 Sept. 1673, Margery, da. of Sir James Harington, 3rd Bt.†, of Swakeleys, Mdx., wid. of James Ashe of Fifield, 1s. d.v.p. 1da.  suc. fa. c.1645.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Salisbury 1681–4, Oct. 1688–?d., Calne 1685–8.2

Gent. usher to Prince George of Denmark 1683–d.3


Webb was known by his militia rank of colonel, or as ‘Webb the duellist’, in reference to the episode in 1684 when he and his cousin Henry St. John I* had been pardoned for the murder of Sir Thomas Estcourt† in a tavern brawl. He was a Tory, and was marked as such in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list in 1690, but he was also drawn towards the Court by virtue of his continuing occupancy of a post in Prince George’s household. On 13 Dec. 1690 a complaint was made that two men had violently assaulted one of Webb’s servants in breach of parliamentary privilege. They were ordered into custody and released at the end of the session. Twice listed as a placeman in 1692, and again by Grascome in the following year, Webb was included on Henry Guy’s* list of ‘friends’ compiled during the 1694–5 session. Returned again in 1695, Webb signed the Association although he had been forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade. His name did not appear in the divisions over the price of guineas or the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Webb made no contribution to the work of the House in this Parliament. The presence of his son as a Member during this Parliament may have caused confusion as he too was entitled to be accorded the rank of ‘colonel’ by virtue of his army commission. Thus, it was as ‘Colonel Edmund’ that he was granted leave of absence for a fortnight on 20 Feb. 1697. He was also probably the ‘Mr Webb’ granted a week’s leave on 11 Feb. 1698. Blacklisted as a placeman in 1698 and classed as a member of the Court party in a comparative analysis of the election returns, he did not stand for the new Parliament, finally giving up his arduous and costly struggles at Cricklade. Another possibility had opened up, however, when his younger son, John Richmond Webb,* acquired the electoral interest at Ludgershall. Having assisted John at his election in 1698, and been accused of bribery and of abuse of his authority as a magistrate, he was himself returned with him in January 1701. He may even have taken over the running of election business during John’s subsequent absences on campaign. He was listed in the 1701 Parliament as likely to support the Court over continuing the ‘Great Mortgage’, and classed as a Tory by Robert Harley* in December 1701. The 1702 election saw Edmund joined in the House by his heir, Thomas, and it is this Mr Webb, a lawyer, who was probably the more active of the Webbs in the Commons. Edmund was considered a probable opponent of the Tack in October 1704 and, having figured on Harley’s lobbying list, did not vote for it on 28 Nov. In 1705 he was once more listed as a placeman.4

The two Webbs were defeated at Ludgershall in 1705 and petitioned, but Edmund died on the morning of the day on which the petition was decided in committee, 13 Dec. 1705. He had made his will as early as 1692, leaving portions of £800 each to two daughters, certain lands in trust to cover his debts, and the remainder of his estate to his son Thomas. He was buried at Rodbourne Cheney.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: D. W. Hayton / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. ser. 5, vii. 44; Wilts. N. and Q. i. 374–5.
  • 2. Wilts. RO, Salisbury ledger bk. D, G23/1/4; Calne bor. recs. G18/1/1, guild stewards’ bk.; Hoare, Wilts. Salisbury, 477.
  • 3. Boyer, Anne Annals, v. 490.
  • 4. Hist. Cricklade ed. Thomson, 150; R. Walcott, Pol. Early 18th Cent. 68; CJ, xii. 498; Wilts. RO, Ailesbury mss 1300/1338, Charles Becher to Ld. Bruce (Charles*), 31 May 1707.
  • 5. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 623; Misc. Gen. et Her. 44; PCC 250 Eedes.