WANDESFORD, John (1593-1665), of Kirklington, Yorks. and Gray's Inn, London

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



1640 (Apr.)
17 Jan. 1662 - Jan. 1665

Family and Education

bap. 16 Dec. 1593, 2nd s. of Sir George Wandesford of Kirklington and his 1st w. Catherine, da. and coh. of Ralph Hansby of Beverley, Yorks.; bro. of Christopher*.1 educ. Well g.s. Yorks.; Camb. Univ.; G. Inn 1613, called 1617; DCL Oxon. 1642.2 unm.3 bur. 21 Jan. 1665.4 sig. Jo[hn] Wandesford.

Offices Held

Consul, Aleppo 1630-8.5

Commr. excise (roy.) Oxon., Northants., Warws., Bucks. and Berks. 1646, corporations, Yorks. 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, hackney coaches, London and Westminster 1662-3, assessment, Mdx. 1663-d.6


John Wandesford’s somewhat autocratic elder brother Christopher, detecting ‘an inclination and talents for the study of the law’, sent him to Gray’s Inn, where he was called to the bar after only four years, at the special request of Sir Francis Bacon*. Returned to the Commons for Richmond in 1624 on the interest of his great-uncle (Sir) Talbot Bowes*, he was rarely distinguished from his brother in the records. Many of the references to a ‘Mr. Wandesford’ probably refer to Christopher, who had prior experience in the Commons, but Wandesford, being a lawyer may have spoken in technical debates such as that concerning charges against lord keeper Williams (21 April). He is known to have taken charge of two bills, one to allow free fishing in American waters (15 Mar. and 15 Apr.), the other to enfranchise county Durham, which he reported on 14 Apr. and 4 May. This bill offered representation to Barnard Castle, where the Bowes family had great influence. John Wandesford was named to the committee for the bill to confirm an annuity to the bishop of Lichfield (16 Apr.), while both he and his brother were included on the committee for the London brewers’ bill (19 May). He did not sit again for the remainder of the decade, although either he or his relative Rowland Wandesford appeared before the privileges’ committee on 16 Mar. 1626 as counsel against the return of Sir Thomas Edmondes* for Oxford University.7

It was presumably Sir Thomas Wentworth*, Christopher Wandesford’s closest associate, who secured John Wandesford’s appointment as consul at Aleppo in 1630, where he made his fortune. Although John Pym* professed ‘much estimation and respect’ for him in correspondence during his absence, he later joined Sir George Strode in managing the king’s artillery train at Oxford during the Civil War. Exiled in Paris during the Interregnum, he plotted with Sir Marmaduke Langdale and Edward Herbert* to undermine Sir Edward Hyde†. Returned for Richmond after the Restoration, he was buried at St. Andrew’s, Holborn on 21 Jan. 1665. No will or administration has been found.8

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Simon Healy


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 344.
  • 2. T. Comber, Mems. Ld. Dep. Wandesford, 23; GI Admiss.; PBG Inn, i. 226; Al. Ox.
  • 3. Comber, 63.
  • 4. GL, ms St. Andrew’s, Holborn par. reg.
  • 5. A.C. Wood, Levant Co. 253.
  • 6. Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 259; SR, v. 458, 543; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), p. 275; C181/7, p. 151.
  • 7. ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 156v, 167; CJ, i. 705b, 737a, 766a, 767b, 768a, 782b; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 217; Procs. 1626, ii. 301.
  • 8. Comber, 62, 63; CSP Dom. 1637-8, p. 571; 1660-1, p. 388; CSP Clar. ii. 155, 231; GL, ms St. Andrew’s, Holborn par. reg.