FAWKES, Thomas (c.1640-1707), of Farnley, Yorks.

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



21 Mar. 1689
17 May 1690

Family and Education

b. c.1640, 1st s. of Michael Fawkes of Farnley by 3rd w. Mary, da. of Sir John Molyneux, 1st Bt., of Tevershall, Notts. m. (1) Sarah, da. and h. of Francis Mitchell of Arthington Grange, Yorks., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) lic. 25 Dec. 1677, Mary, da. of William Welby of Denton, Lincs., 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1647.1

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1672-Aug. 1688, Nov. 1688-d., commr. for assessment 1673-80, 1689-90, capt. of militia horse ?1679-Aug. 1688, Oct. 1688-?d., dep. lt. by 1700-?d.2


Fawkes was descended from a steward of Knaresborough forest who was living at Farnley under Henry VII. His grandfather was returned as a recusant in 1604, and in the following year a distant cousin achieved immortality of a sort in the Gunpowder Plot. But his father seems to have conformed. Too old to fight himself during the Civil War, he threatened to flog his tenants if they refused to join the Cavalier army. He compounded at £360 for an estate of £120 p.a., partly at rack-rent. Fawkes was an Anglican; he gave the same evasive answers as the Hon. Thomas Fairfax on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in August 1688. At the general election of 1689 he was involved in a double return at Knaresborough, ten miles from his home, with Lord Latimer (Edward Osborne). He was seated on the merits of the election and became the first of his family to enter Parliament in the orthodox way. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he was named to 12 committees. On 10 June he was added to the committee to report on defects in the militia laws, and later in the month he was among those to whom the attainder bill was committed. He was also appointed to consider the bill to reverse the judgments against Titus Oates and to hear a charge of malversation from the tenants of Sir Walter Vavasour, a Yorkshire Papist; but on the same day he was given leave to go into the country for a month. After the recess, he was on the committees to prepare a bill for the more effectual tendering of the new oaths and to consider the second mutiny bill. He did not vote for the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, but he was probably a moderate Whig. At the general election of 1690 he defeated Henry Slingsby II. He died on 7 Aug. 1707 and was buried at Otley. His son Francis was returned for Knaresborough at a by-election in 1714.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 207.
  • 2. Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxix. 283; Eg. 1626, f. 57.
  • 3. Clay, i. 204-7; Royalist Comp. Pprs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xviii), 110-12; CJ, x. 205.