DUNCH, Samuel (c.1592-1668), of Sparsholt, Berks. and North Baddesley, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1592,1 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Edmund Dunch† (d.1623) of Little Wittenham, Berks. and Anne, da. and h. of Nicholas Fettiplace of Kentwood, Berks.; bro. of Sir William*.2 educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1608, BA 1612; G. Inn 1611.3 m. lic. 28 May 1617,4 Dulcibella (d. 10 July 1664), da. of John More I* of North Baddesley, and coh. to her bro., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. d. 20 Oct. 1668.5 sig. Sam[uel] Dunche.

Offices Held

Freeman, Wallingford, Berks. 1621;6 commr. charitable uses, Berks. 1629;7 sheriff 1629-30;8 commr. subsidy 1641-2;9 j.p. 1647-60;10 commr. visitation, Oxf. Univ. 1647, 1654, assessment Berks. 1647-52, 1657, 1660, scandalous ministers 1654,11 oyer and terminer, Oxf. circ. 1654-8, sewers, Berks. and Hants 1654-7, Berks. 1657,12 securing the peace, Berks. 1655.13


A younger son, Dunch seems to have spent more than five years at Gray’s Inn, but was never called to the bar and does not seem to have practised the law.14 His father and elder brother had both represented Wallingford, about four miles from the family home at Little Wittenham, but Dunch owed his election in 1621 to the nomination of the borough’s high steward, the 1st Viscount Wallingford (William Knollys†), rather than his family’s local connections.15 His name appears only once in the surviving records of the third Jacobean Parliament, when he made a procedural motion on 25 Apr. about a committee, possibly the committee for privileges, but to what effect is unknown.16

On 13 Nov., shortly before the second sitting, Dunch received a pardon for riotous behaviour following an incident in Timsbury church, Hampshire, near part of the estate of his recently deceased father-in-law, John More. By this date Dunch was described as of Sparsholt in Berkshire.17 More’s son died the following year, whereupon the More estate was divided between his sisters, the Dunches receiving the manor of North Baddesley and the Timsbury prebend, both in Hampshire.18 As co-executor (along with John Hampden*) to his father, who died in 1623, Dunch was instructed to purchase the wardship of his nephew Edmund* who, as the eldest son of Dunch’s deceased brother Sir William, was heir to the family estate.19 In 1628 Dunch purchased a manor at Pusey in Berkshire and was pricked as sheriff of that county the following year.20

Dunch did not sit again until the Barebones Parliament when he was nominated for Berkshire. He survived the Restoration, and died on 20 Oct. 1668, trusting death to be ‘but a passage to eternal life through the mediation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who at his second coming will appear with healing in his wings for all my sins and impieties’. Much of his will, dated 8 Nov. 1667, was devoted to bequests to dissenting clergy, notably the Independent Samuel Blower, ‘now residing with me, who hath taken great pains for the spiritual good both of me and my family’. He left 20 nobles to ‘20 of the poorest people of Wallingford’. His only surviving son, Member for Berkshire under the Protectorate of his kinsmen the Cromwells, died ten days later, and they were buried together at North Baddesley. His grandson died only days after forcefully and unsuccessfully contesting Abingdon at the second general election of 1679.21

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. His age was given as 15 when he matriculated at Oxford on 11 Nov. 1608, as 25 in his mar. lic. dated 28 May 1617, and as 72 in the herald’s visitation of March 1665. His funeral monument states he died in his 77th year. Al. Ox.; London Mar. Lics. ed. J. Foster, 427; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 196; B.W. Greenfield, ‘Ped. of Dunch of Little Wittenham, Berks.’ Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 3), ii. 44.
  • 2. Vis. Berks. 96.
  • 3. Al. Ox.; GI Admiss.
  • 4. London Mar. Lics. 427.
  • 5. Greenfield, 44, 47.
  • 6. Berks. RO, W/AC1/1/1, f. 105.
  • 7. C192/1, unfol.
  • 8. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 6.
  • 9. SR, v. 60, 149.
  • 10. C231/6, p. 73; Perfect List (1660), p. 3.
  • 11. A. and O. i. 925, 961, 1078; ii. 30, 293, 461, 657, 968, 1026, 1061, 1364.
  • 12. C181/6, ff. 11, 44, 255, 261, 303.
  • 13. Thurloe State Pprs. ed. T. Birch, iv. 285.
  • 14. London Mar. Lics. 427.
  • 15. Berks. RO, W/AC1/1/1, f. 105.
  • 16. CJ, i. 491a.
  • 17. CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 309.
  • 18. VCH Hants, iii. 464; Add. 26776, ff. 56-9.
  • 19. PROB 11/142, f. 497.
  • 20. VCH Berks. iv. 473.
  • 21. Greenfield, ii. 44, 47; PROB 11/328, f. 193.