WENTWORTH, Sir Michael (c.1654-96), of Woolley, 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



1685 - 1687
1689 - 1690
17 May 1690 - Sept. 1696

Family and Education

b. c.1654, 1st s. of John Wentworth, of Woolley by Elizabeth, da. of Arthur Aldborough, of Aldborough, Yorks.  educ. Wakefield g.s.; St. John’s, Camb. matric. 25 Apr. 1670, aged 15.  m. 18 Nov. 1673, Dorothy (d. 1732), da. of Sir Godfrey Copley, 1st Bt., of Sprotborough, Yorks., sis. of Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Bt.*, 8s. (2 d.v.p.) 7da. (1 d.v.p.).  Kntd. 5 July 1681; suc. fa. 1683.1

Offices Held

Capt. indep. tp. June 1685, Earl of Peterborough’s Horse 1685–7.

Freeman, Woodstock 1686.2


Wentworth, who belonged to a junior branch of the Wentworths of Wentworth Woodhouse, inherited the manors of Ellenthorpe, Aldborough and Woolley, plus other estates worth £1,136 p.a., from his father. However, he was also said to have ‘so honestly refused Lord Strafford’s estate’. As lord of the manor of Aldborough, he owned about 50 of the ‘borough houses’, which gave him the most significant interest in the borough. In August 1688 he joined with other Protestant Yorkshire gentlemen in a concerted negative response to James II’s agents, in which they signed a statement wherein they considered themselves to be under ‘no obligations’ to answer the questions on the Penal Laws and Test Act. However, he remained a High Tory after the Revolution and voted against the transfer of the crown in 1689. At the 1690 election there was a double return at Aldborough, though Wentworth was seated by the House on 17 May. He was classed as a Tory by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). In December Carmarthen again listed him as a probable supporter, anticipating an attack in the Commons. Robert Harley* listed him as a Country supporter and as ‘doubtful’ in April 1691. He was not an active Member, being given leave of absence on 6 Feb. 1692 and 31 Mar. 1694.3

In 1695 Wentworth was returned unopposed. He was absent from a call of the House on 7 Jan. 1696, but a motion that he should be sent for into custody was defeated. In the forecast that same month for the divisions on the proposed council of trade he was listed as likely to oppose the Court. In February he refused to sign the Association, as a result of which he was turned out of the Yorkshire commission of the peace and removed from his position as a colonel of the Yorkshire militia, an office he had held since 1689. He voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March. He died in September 1696, aged 42, and was buried at Woolley on the 13th. However, this did not prevent his name from being included in a list of Members who voted against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick† on 25 Nov. The manor of Aldborough was inherited by Wentworth’s second son, John, while the rest of the estates went to the eldest son, William*.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 323–4.
  • 2. Woodstock council acts.
  • 3. Add. 22225, f. 234; Bodl. Willis 26, f. 128; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/L1/1/34, Sir William Lowther* to Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. II*, 22 Aug. 1688.
  • 4. L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 123; Huntington Lib. Ellesmere mss EL 9861, notes by Ld. Bridgwater (John Egerton†), [n.d.]; Clay, 324.