HERNE, Joseph (1639-99), of King's Arms Yard, Colman Street, London.

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



28 Nov. 1689
1698 - 26 Feb. 1699

Family and Education

bap. 17 Apr. 1639, 8th s. of Nicholas Herne, Merchant Taylor, of the Golden Bull, Cheapside, London, being 4th s. by 2nd w. Susan, da. of Richard Ironside, Leatherseller, of London; bro. of Sir Nathaniel Herne. m. 23 July 1672 (with £5,000), Elizabeth, da. of (Sir) John Frederick of Old Jewry, London, 7s. 3da. Kntd. 15 Sept. 1690.1

Offices Held

Freeman, E.I. Co. 1671, committee 1678-86, 1687-94, 1698-d., gov. 1690-2; alderman of London 1686-7, dep. lt. 1689-?d.; member, Mercers’ Co. by 1687-d.; commr. for assessment, London and Devon 1689-90; gov. Copper Miners’ Co. 1691, Merchant Adventurers to N.W. America 1691; dep. gov. Royal Fishery [I] 1691-2; asst. Mines Co. 1693; commr. for Land Bank 1696; crown trustee for Exchequer bills 1697.2


Herne succeeded his father-in-law in 1685 as head of the leading firm in the peninsular trade, and by 1689 held £4,883 of East India stock. Appointed alderman of London in 1686, he was allowed to resign on 7 July 1687, probably in anticipation of the purge of Anglicans from the bench in the following month. Otherwise there is no evidence of his political attitude before or during the Revolution.3

Herne petitioned against the return of George Booth for Dartmouth on 25 Oct. 1689, on the grounds of the irregular creation of freemen. His petition was upheld, and he took his seat on 28 Nov. Either at the time or shortly afterwards he took into partnership a London member of the Upton family, and thereby combined the interest of his own firm with that which had held one of the Dartmouth seats almost uninterruptedly since 1625. He did not speak, and his only committee in the Convention was appointed to consider the petition of the Royal Africa Company on the day of its final prorogation.4

Herne represented Dartmouth till his death. Although from 1690 he was heavily committed to the new regime financially, his parliamentary record is uncertain. In spite of Jacobite connexions he signed the Association in 1696. He died of a cerebral haemorrhage on 26 Feb. 1699, said to be worth £200,000. The Herne family continued to hold one seat at Dartmouth, and sometimes two, without intermission till 1722.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. xv), 378; Inhabitants of London in 1638 ed. Dale, 60; Cal. Cl. SP, iii. 248; The Gen. n.s. xxvii. 67; J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London, 89; PCC 77 Herne.
  • 2. HMC Lords, iii. 47; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 488; 1690-1, p. 527; 1691-2, pp. 4, 113; Cal. Treas. Bks. xi. 16; xii. 8.
  • 3. Cal. Co. Mins. E.I. Co. ed. Sainsbury, ix. 65; Add. 22185, f. 14; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 416; CSP Dom. Jan.-June 1683, p. 167.
  • 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 847.
  • 5. HMC Downshire, 484; HMC Portland, iii. 603.