ONSLOW, Foot (1655-1710), of London and The Friary, Guildford.

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



1698 - 24 June 1700

Family and Education

b. 2 June 1655, 2nd s. of Arthur Onslow, and bro. of Richard Onslow. educ. St. Edmund Hall, Oxf. 1672. m. 2 Feb. 1688, Susanna, da. and h. of Thomas Anlaby of Etton, Yorks., wid. of Arnold Colwall of Woodford, Essex, 2s. 5da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Levant Co. 1676; commr. for assessment, Surr. 1689-90, Mdx. 1690; j.p. Surr. 1690-?d., Essex by 1701-d.2

Commr. for preventing export of wool 1689-92, excise 1694-d.3


Although Onslow was probably entered at Oxford with some other career in view, he was ‘unfortunately for himself and his family, put to a merchant, lived some time in Turkey, and continued that business for some years, but not with success’. However, he acquired property in Guildford by marriage, and this, together with the powerful family interest, secured his return at the top of the poll in 1689. He was probably moderately active in the Convention, in which he may have served on 18 committees. On 25 May he reported from the committee of inquiry into the East India Company, and he was among those ordered to draw up the address asking for permission to inspect and copy the Privy Council records relating to Ireland. He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, like his brother and uncle, and acted as teller on 16 Jan. 1690 against going into grand committee on the indemnity bill.4

In 1694 Onslow became an extremely incompetent placeman and a reliable court supporter. He chose to resign his seat rather than his place when they were declared incompatible by the Excise Act of 1700, and moved to his wife’s property in Essex. He died on 11 May 1710 and was buried at Woodford. His son, the great Speaker Onslow, remembered him as

a sensible and worthy man, handsome, well bred, modest and very brave, knowing in the business of his offices, and while in Parliament of good use there by his skill in matters which related to the revenue.


he had almost all his life affected a part in his living more suited to his rank and family than his fortune, had also very sore losses in his business and a very numerous house to maintain, and not being the best manager of his affairs neither, had by all this so much straitened himself in his circumstances and was rendered so uneasy by it at last that it very much hastened his end.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Manning and Bray, Surrey, iii. 54; HMC 14th Rep. IX, 489.
  • 2. Information from Sonia P. Anderson.
  • 3. Luttrell, iii. 353.
  • 4. HMC 14th Rep. IX, 487.
  • 5. Ibid. 488, 499, 501; Vernon Letters, i. 376; iii. 93.