LONG, Robert (c.1598-1673), of Westminster and Worcester Park, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1598,1 3rd s. of Sir Walter Long (d.1610) of South Wraxhall, Wilts. and his 2nd w. Catherine, da. of Sir John Thynne† of Longleat, Wilts., bro. of Walter I†. educ. L. Inn 1619, called 1627.2 unm. cr. bt. 1 Sept 1662.3 d. 13 July 1673. sig. Rob[ert] Long.
Sec. to ld. treas. Marlborough (Sir James Ley*) by 1625-8,4 to Prince Charles 1645-9;5 servant to Charles I by 1633;6 gent., privy chamber by 1639,7 surv.-gen. to Queen Henrietta Maria c.1639-46, by 1661-9;8 clk. of Pleas, Exch. by Dec. 1642,9 auditor of receipt (roy.) 1643-6, 1662-d.;10 sec. of state 1649-52;11 PC 1649-52, 1672-d.12
Freeman, Devizes, Wilts. 1626, member of the Twelve 1627-d.;13 commr. sewers, Northants., Norf., Lincs. and Lincoln, Lincs. 1629,14 Lincs. 1630-at least 1639;15 recvr., recusancy fines S. parts 1639-46;16 commr. corporations, Yorks. 1662-3,17 kpr. (jt.), Somerset House, Mdx. 1664-d.18
Born at Draycot Cerne in about 1598, Long belonged to one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Wiltshire, which had represented various borough constituencies in the Commons for several generations. A younger son under-age at his father’s death in 1610, Long inherited an annuity of only £20 - the principal family estates having been divided between his brother Walter and half-brother James - but he was also accorded a legal education at Lincoln’s Inn.23 By April 1625 he had become secretary to lord treasurer (Sir James) Ley.24
Long’s return for Devizes at a by-election on 17 Mar. 1626 was evidently arranged by Ley in order to fill a vacancy caused by the elevation of Ley’s son Henry to the Lords under a writ of acceleration; he left no mark upon the records of the session. Long may have been considered for the seat at the general election earlier that same year, as he had been made a freeman of the borough in January 1626.25 Later that year Long secured a reversionary grant as receiver-general of Middlesex, Essex and Hertfordshire, a lucrative post he promptly sold when the incumbent died in 1637. Called to the bar of Lincoln’s Inn in 1627, in the following year he was returned for Devizes once again.26 His contribution to the work of the House is difficult to establish in this Parliament, for the records rarely differentiate between him, his brother Walter I, and the Member for Wiltshire, Walter Long II. He was perhaps the ‘Mr. Long’ named to committees to consider the draft revision of the customs rates (17 May) and search for records and precedents on the liberty of the subject (added 21 May 1628).27 He is not recorded as having made any speeches.
Long remained at Court after Ley’s death in 1629, and by 1633 was styled servant to Charles I. In 1639 he was appointed receiver of recusancy fines south of the Trent and was granted the fee-farm rents of Galtres Forest, Yorkshire, where he acquired a residence.28 At around the same time, he was appointed surveyor-general to Queen Henrietta Maria, his chief patron thereafter - in his memoirs, Clarendon (Edward Hyde†) dismissed Long as ‘a creature of the queen’s’.29 He was returned to the Short Parliament for Midhurst, but did not sit in the Long Parliament. Appointed auditor of the royalist Exchequer of Receipt at Oxford during the Civil War, he thereafter went into exile in Holland and France. At the Restoration he recovered his offices, was created a baronet, and sat in the Cavalier Parliament for Boroughbridge.30
In his will of 27 Mar. 1673, Long bequeathed most of his Yorkshire and Northamptonshire estate to his nephew Sir James Long†, upon whom his baronetcy also devolved. Other property in Dorset went to his niece Anne, while another nephew, Walter, was given a £100 annuity secured on the profits of his Lincolnshire manor of Legsby. His niece’s husband, Sir Richard Mason†, was granted the remainder of his lease on Worcester Park - the former Nonsuch Palace - as well as £300 ‘to be disposed and paid by him for the good of my soul’, an indication of Long’s conversion to Catholicism during his exile.31 He died childless on 13 July 1673 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. A half-length portrait painted towards the end of Long’s life survives in the National Portrait Gallery.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Henry Lancaster
- 1. ‘Long Fam. Database’ (Wilts. RO, typescript).
- 2. LI Admiss.; LI Black Bks. ii. 270.
- 3. CB.
- 4. E404/234, unnumb. item, 20 Apr. 1625, Long to Sir Robert Pye; CSP Dom. Addenda, 1625-49, p. 722.
- 5. Clarendon, Hist. of the Rebellion ed. W.D. Macray, v. 323.
- 6. CSP Dom. 1633-4, p. 35.
- 7. Ibid. 1638-9, p. 419; LC3/1.
- 8. CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 273; 1660-1, p. 478; G. Aylmer, King’s Servants, 368.
- 9. SP16/493, f. 131.
- 10. CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 494; Exchequer Officeholders comp. J.C. Sainty (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xviii), 208.
- 11. Clarendon, v. 323.
- 12. D. Underdown, Roy. Conspiracy, 60; CSP Dom. 1672, p. 313; Clarendon, v. 2.
- 13. Wilts. RO, G20/1/17, ff. 40, 56.
- 14. C181/4, ff. 31, 41.
- 15. Ibid. ff. 34, 37; CSP Dom. Addenda, 1625-49, p. 602.
- 16. C66/2427/19; SC6/Chas.I/1653; St. Benet, Paul’s Wharf (Harl. Soc. Reg. xli), 25.
- 17. HMC 8th Rep. i. 275.
- 18. CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 505.
- 19. CSP Dom. 1635-6, pp. 240, 250.
- 20. T. Rymer, Foedera, ix. pt. 2, p. 377.
- 21. Ibid. 897.
- 22. CCC, 950.
- 23. PROB 11/116, f. 232; VCH Wilts. xiii. 42.
- 24. E404/234, unnumb. item, 20 Apr. 1625, Long to Sir Robert Pye.
- 25. Wilts. RO, G20/1/16, f. 242v; G20/1/17, f. 40.
- 26. C66/2390/3; 66/2789/5; SC6/Chas.I/623; LI Black Bks. ii. 270.
- 27. CD 1628, iii. 448, 511.
- 28. CCC, 3293; CSP Dom. 1637, p. 195; 1639, p. 436.
- 29. CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 273; Clarendon, v. 323.
- 30. E403/2525, ff. 64-5.
- 31. PROB 11/341, f. 234; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 105.