OSBALDESTON, William (1631-1707), of Hunmanby, 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. 10 June 1631, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir Richard Osbaldeston of Hunmanby, attorney-gen. [I] 1636-40, by Eleanor, da. of William Westropp of Brunton. educ. Otley g.s.; Christ’s, Camb. 1647; G. Inn 1647. m. Anne, da. and coh. of Sir George Wentworth of Woolley, 2s. 4da. suc. fa. 1640.1

Offices Held

J.p. Beverley 1657, Yorks. (E. Riding) July 1660-d.; commr. for militia, Yorks. Mar. 1660, assessment (E. Riding) Aug. 1660-80, 1689-90, sewers Sept. 1660, dep. lt. 1673-Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-?d.; commr. for recusants, Yorks. 1675; alderman, Scarborough 1684-7.2


Osbaldeston was descended from a junior branch of an old Lancashire family, two of whom had sat in Elizabethan Parliaments. His father, a lawyer, bought a manor in Hunmanby in 1623, and served under Strafford in Ireland, but died on the eve of his patron’s downfall. Osbaldeston himself signed the Yorkshire petition of February 1660 calling for a free Parliament, and was proposed as a knight of the Royal Oak, with an income of £1,000. An Anglican and a Tory, he was active as a magistrate against conventicles, but took little part in politics until the exclusion crisis. His son was knighted in 1681, and Osbaldeston himself helped to search for arms after the Rye House Plot, and to survey the powder-house and gun-carriages at Scarborough, 12 miles from his home. He was nominated alderman in the charter of 1684 and elected to James II’s Parliament after the mayor had refused a Whig demand for a poll of the freeman, but was a totally inactive Member. To the questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, he gave the same evasive answer as James Hebblethwaite, and was removed from the lieutenancy. He is not known to have stood again and was buried at Hunmanby on 6 Oct. 1707. Two of his grandsons sat for Scarborough under the Hanoverians.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: P. A. Bolton


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. i. 196.
  • 2. Add. 29674, f. 161; SP44/29/81, 65/234; C181/7/44.
  • 3. VCH Yorks. E. Riding, ii. 234; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 670; July-Sept. 1683, p. 172; Leeds City Lib., Sheepscar branch, Mexborough mss 24/20; Scarborough Corp. Copy Translations of Charters, 143; CJ, ix. 719; xxii. 693; PC2/72/543.