FENWICK, Sir William, 2nd Bt. (c.1617-76), of Wallington, Northumb.

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



6 Nov. 1645
1661 - bef. 9 July 1676

Family and Education

b. c.1617, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir John Fenwick, 1st Bt., of Wallington, being 1st s. by 2nd w. Grace, da. of Thomas Loraine of Kirkharle; half-bro. of John Fenwick educ. Morpeth g.s.; Christ’s, Camb. adm. 26 June 1633, aged 16; G. Inn 1636. m. by 1644, Jane, da. of Henry Stapilton of Wighill, Yorks., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. c. 1658.2

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Northumb. 1644, c. Aug. 1660-d., commr. for northern association 1645, assessment 1645-52, 1657, Aug. 1660-74, militia 1648, Mar. 1660; j.p. Northumb. 1650- d. , Cumb. 1674-d.; col. of militia, Northumb. 1659, c.-in-c. Jan. 1660; commr. for oyer and terminer, Northern circuit July 1660; capt. vol. horse, Northumb. 1661.3

Commr. for security [S] 1656.


Fenwick’s ancestors had held lands in Northumberland since early in the 13th century, and first represented the county in 1378. Fenwick’s father, a commissioner of array, sat for Northumberland in the Long Parliament until disabled as a Royalist in 1644; but he was reinstated in 1646 until Pride’s Purge. His half-brother was more consistent in his loyalties, for he fell at Marston Moor at the head of the royalist dragoons. Fenwick himself was returned as a recruiter for the other county seat, but abstained from the House after Pride’s Purge. He regained local office early in the Commonwealth and again represented Northumberland in the Protectorate Parliaments. He did not resume his seat with the secluded Members in 1660, but was re-elected to the Convention, in which he played no known part, and to the Cavalier Parliament. During his absence on leave in 1661, protection was claimed by an Essex resident as Fenwick’s menial servant, but the outcome is not known. His estates were rated in 1663 at £1,500 p.a., but he may have encountered some of the financial difficulties which were to overwhelm his son; in 1670 his cattle were distrained for debt. He was three times added to the committee of elections and privileges, but his only legislative committee was for determining differences about houses destroyed by fire in 1671. At the end of the session he was listed as a government supporter by a hostile critic, and his name appeared again on the working lists. He was dead by 9 July 1676, when canvassing had begun on behalf of his son.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Gillian Hampson


  • 1. Abstained after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec 1648.
  • 2. Hodgson, Northumb. pt. 2, i. 256-7.
  • 3. CJ, iii. 657; Stowe 185, f. 161; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 526; Merc. Pub. 16 May 1661.
  • 4. New Hist. Northumb. xii. 351; Keeler, Long Parl. 174; CJ, viii. 297; ix. 149; Hodgson, pt. 3, i. 328-9; Blackett mss, Carlisle to Blackett, 9 July 1676.