ASHE, John (c.1653-87), of Heywood House, Westbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1653, 1st s. of James Ashe of Fifield, Milton Lilbourne, Wilts. by Margery, da. of Sir James Harrington, 2nd Bt., of Swakeleys, Ickenham, Mdx. educ. Oriel, Oxf. matric. 24 May 1671, aged 18. m. Sarah, at least 2s. suc. fa. 1671.1
Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1673-80, j.p. 1678-80.
Ashe’s grandfather, described before the Civil War as the greatest clothier in England, sat for Westbury in the Long Parliament, becoming chairman of the committee for compounding and an ardent Cromwellian. But he divided his estate of £3,000 p.a. equally among his seven sons, so that Ashe’s father, also a conformist Rumper and a Protectorate MP, succeeded only to £400 p.a. After the Restoration the elder branch of the family found an expensive outlet for its energies in litigation. Nevertheless Ashe’s removal from the commission of the peace in 1680 was more probably due to his politics than to financial difficulties. He was returned to the third Exclusion Parliament for Westbury as an exclusionist, but left no trace on its records. It was said in 1683 that he was to be invited by the local Presbyterians to contest Bath, but he never stood again. His death was reported to his uncle Samuel Ashe by 10 Dec. 1687. Heywood was sold by the end of the century, and the family lapsed into obscurity.2