FOULIS, Sir David, 3rd Bt. (1633-95), of Ingleby Greenhow, Yorks.

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



Family and Education

bap. 14 Mar. 1633, 1st s. of Sir Henry Foulis, 2nd Bt., of Ingleby Greenhow by Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Layton of Sexhow. m. c. June 1655, Catherine, da. of Sir David Watkins of Covent Garden, Westminster, 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 13 Sept. 1643.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1657, Aug. 1660-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1657-c.1663; commr. for militia, Yorks. Mar. 1660; lt.-col. of militia ft. (N. Riding) by 1665, col. 1670-Feb. 1688, dep. lt. 1666-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d.; freeman, Hartlepool 1671.2


Foulis’s ancestors had been in the service of the Stuarts since the 15th century, and regularly represented Edinburgh in the Scottish Parliament. His grandfather came south with James I, who made him cofferer to the prince and gave him crown lands in Yorkshire worth £1,000 p.a.; but when his accounts were queried he went into opposition, and was imprisoned in 1633 for instigating resistance to compositions for knighthood. His father gave evidence against Strafford, and took up arms for Parliament in the Civil War. Foulis himself married the daughter of one of the leading compounding officials, and seems to have been removed from the bench about the time of the anabaptist plot. A brief venture into alum mining seems to have brought him little profit. During the exclusion crisis a courtier described him as ‘very well-principled’, and he was active as a deputy lieutenant in searching the homes of suspects after the Rye House Plot. He was returned as a Tory for Northallerton at the general election of 1685. He was listed among the Opposition, but was given leave of absence on 22 June and left no other trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the Tests and Penal Laws he replied:

I have no thoughts of being a Parliament man, so to that particular I can only say (with all duty and submission) that I ever judged divers of the Penal Laws very severe, and if I were a Parliament man should heartily press and wish (as I now do) a review were made of them and the Tests; and when the debate should be argued in the House, for or against them, I should most faithfully declare my judgment according to my conscience and reason. ... I shall endeavour that such be chosen as I truly think are undoubtedly loyal and faithful to the crown, of unbiased judgments rightly to understand the Penal Laws and Tests, and fit for the service of their country. ... As I ever admired moderation, so I shall always live in full peace and amity with all my fellow subjects that are truly faithful to the King, and shall persuade others to do the like.

He was removed from local office, but restored in the autumn and took an active part in guarding the coast against the Dutch. His attitude to the Revolution is not known. He died on 13 Mar. 1695 and was buried at Ingleby, the only member of his family to sit at Westminster.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: P. A. Bolton


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 148-9; St. Paul Covent Garden (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxxv), 7.
  • 2. Add. 41254, ff. 37v; HMC Var. ii. 165; H. B. M’Call, Fam. of Wandesford, 291; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 315; C. Sharp, Hist. Hartlepool, 72.
  • 3. VCH Yorks. N. Riding, ii. 245; J. T. Cliffe, Yorks. Gentry, 86, 138, 327, 343; Sheepscar Lib. Mexborough mss 15/90; R. B. Turton, Alum Farm, 191; HMC Var. ii. 169; HMC 7th Rep. 415.