AYSCOUGH, Sir Edward (1650-99), of South Kelsey, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1698 - 20 Oct. 1699

Family and Education

bap. 19 Nov. 1650, 1st s. of Sir Edward Ayscough of South Kelsey by Isabel, da. of Sir John Bolles, 1st Bt., of Scampton, Lincs. educ. Moulton g.s., Lincs.; Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1667; G. Inn 1671; Padua 1671. m. (1) Bridget (d. Aug. 1684), da. of Edward Skinner of Thornton College, Lincs., 1s. d.v.p. 2da.; (2) 1 Aug. 1685, Mary, da. and h. of William Harbord of Grafton, Northants., 1s. 7da. suc. fa. 1668; kntd. 17 Jan. 1672.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Lincs. 1673-80, 1689-90, j.p. (Lindsey) 1675-d., (Kesteven and Holland) 1687, dep. lt. 1680-d., capt. of militia horse 1680-?d., sheriff 1683-4; high steward, Grimsby 1686-Oct. 1688.2

Commr. for prizes 1689-99, drowned lands 1690.3


Ayscough’s family had been settled in Lincolnshire since the 15th century and had represented Grimsby since 1529. His father supported the Parliamentarians during the Civil War, but held no office during the Interregnum. His name appeared on a list drawn up by Gervase Holles as one of the Presbyterians who would be prepared to help a royalist rising, though he sat for Grimsby in 1659. He was knighted at the Restoration.4

Ayscough inherited an estate of £1,400 p.a., including five manors at Stallingborough near Grimsby, and was knighted upon coming of age. He was recommended for sheriff in 1683 by the Earl of Lindsey (Robert Bertie I), to whom Secretary Jenkins wrote:

His Majesty had so great a regard to your judgment and nomination that last night he pricked Sir Edward Ayscough for sheriff of Lincolnshire though he was not one of the three in the Exchequer roll. The assurance you had of his being willing to name an honest undersheriff was to his Majesty a great satisfaction.

In 1685 he was returned for Grimsby as a Tory, and held the seat for the rest of his life. In James II’s Parliament he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges and the committee to consider the bill for rebuilding St. Paul’s. He was nominated high steward in the charter of 1686, gave affirmative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was proposed as a court candi date. Although he retained his office in the charter of September 1688, Sunderland did not recommend him to Lindsey for re-election, and during the Revolution he read the Prince of Orange’s declaration to a numerous assembly on Castle Hill in Lincoln. ‘A lay vicar of Bray’, as he has been called, he was returned to the Convention as a Whig. A moderately active Member, he was named to 12 committees, of which the most important in the first session was to prepare an address of thanks to the King for his declaration on religion. He also helped to inquire into the scandalous reports about his second wife’s father, to whom doubtless he owed his appointment to the prize commission. After the recess he was among those ordered to consider the militia bill and to prepare charges against the former Treasury solicitors. A court Whig under William III, he died on 2 Oct. 1699 and was buried at Stallingborough, the last of his family to sit in Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. 1), 66-68.
  • 2. Eg. 1626, f. 27.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1689-90, P. 146; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 794; xiii. 72; xiv. 67.
  • 4. Lincs. Peds. 59-60; Keeler, Long Parl. 93; Her. and Gen. ii. 120; Eg. 2541, f. 362.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1683-4, pp. 82, 91; 1687-9, p. 264; Univ. Intell. 26 Dec. 1688; C. Holmes, 17th Cent. Lincs. 257.