LISLE, William (c.1632-1716), of the Middle Temple, London and Evenley, nr. Brackley, Northants.

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



Mar. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1632, 1st s. of Tobias Lisle, Grocer, of Cannon Street, London and Saffron Hill, Mdx. by S1632usan, da. of Richard Trist of Maidford, Northants. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1651; M. Temple 1650, called 1659. m. 9 Nov. 1661, Elizabeth, da. of John Aylworth of the Middle Temple and Polsloe, Devon, 5s. 5da. suc. fa. 1659, uncle William Lisle at Evenley 1665.1

Offices Held

Lt. vol. horse, Northants. 1662, capt. of militia 1663, col. ?1673-bef. 1680, commr. for assessment 1665-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1689-d.2

Master in Chancery June-Nov. 1665.3


Lisle’s grandfather, who claimed to be an offshoot of the Northumberland family, settled in Brackley in Elizabethan times, and acquired the advowson of St. Peter’s. His uncle sat for the borough in the first Parliament of James I, and served on the Northamptonshire assessment committee during the Civil War and the Commonwealth. Lisle’s father, a woollen draper ranked in the third class of wealthy citizens in 1640, was a Presbyterian elder; but he accepted the Protectorate, serving as j.p. for Middlesex after his retirement from business until his death. Lisle was presumably sent to Magdalen because the college was one of the principal landowners in Brackley. He became a lawyer, and represented the borough, two miles from his uncle’s home, in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament. To strengthen the family interest for the 1660 election, his uncle executed a will on 12 Mar. ‘in the 12th year of the reign of our sovereign lord Charles II’, bequeathing £120 to the poor of the borough to be disposed of by the mayor with Lisle’s advice. John Crew was one of the trustees with whom Lisle’s bond to perform the will was deposited. Lisle was duly returned to the Convention, probably as one of the Presbyterian Opposition, though he served on no committees and made no recorded speeches, and he did not stand for reelection in 1661. But he achieved recognition in county society by serving under Sir Roger Norwich in a volunteer troop raised to supervise the demolition of the defences of Northampton and winning some reputation as a gentleman jockey.4

Lisle abandoned his profession when he succeeded to the Evenley estate, valued at £700 p.a., but he does not seem to have been appointed to the commission of the peace until after the Revolution, perhaps owing to scruples of conscience over the oath. However, he regained his seat on the dissolution of the Cavalier Parliament. Unmarked on Shaftesbury’s and Huntingdon’s lists, he was named only to the committee for the privilege case between Sir William Blackett and Humphrey Wharton, and was absent from the division on the exclusion bill. He lost his seat at the general election, but regained it in 1681. He left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament, but after its dissolution he was described as ‘a violent man in Parliament, served for Brackley and it is feared will be chose again’. He was one of the Northamptonshire Whigs presented as disaffected by the grand jury in 1683. Although he lived for another 30 years, neither he nor any other member of his family appears to have stood for Parliament again. He died on 12 July 1716, aged 84, and was buried at Evenley.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / E. R. Edwards


  • 1. Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii), 122-4; Baker, Northants. i. 612; Smith’s Obituary (Cam. Soc. xliv), 50.
  • 2. SP29/26/75; Add. 34222, f. 56; Northants. RO, FH 2226.
  • 3. T. D. Hardy, Principal Officers of Chancery, 94.
  • 4. Baker, i. 574-6; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), ii. 51; Fourth London Classis Reg. ed. Surman, 2; PCC 29 Hyde; Diary of Thomas Isham, 151, 231.
  • 5. SP29/421/216; Somers Tracts, viii. 410.