STEWARD, Sir Nicholas, 1st Bt. (1618-1710), of Pylewell Park, nr. Lymington, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. 11 Feb. 1618, 1st s. of Simeon Steward of Hartley Mauditt by Dorothy, da. of Sir Richard Ingoldsby of Letherborough, Bucks., wid. of Sir Christopher Piggott of Doddershall, Bucks. educ. L. Inn 1635. m. c.1640, Mary (d. 29 Sept. 1699), da. of Sir Miles Sandys of Miserden, Glos., 3s. d.v.p. 7da. suc. gdfa. Nicholas Steward 1633, cr. Bt. 27 June 1660.1
J.p. Hants. July 1660-6, by 1673-Apr. 1688, 1689-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-80, 1689-90, lt-col. of militia ft. Nov. 1660-?66; freeman, Lymington and Winchester 1661; dep. lt. Hants 1673-6, 1683-Apr. 1688, commr. for recusants 1675.2
Chamberlain of the Exchequer Sept. 1660-d.3
Steward’s great-uncle, a member of the widespread East Anglian family, entered the service of the 3rd Marquess of Winchester and sat for St. Ives in 1589. His grandfather, a civilian, bought Hartley Mauditt in 1614. Steward took his wife to Bath for her health during the Civil War, but came in to Thomas Fairfax (3rd Lord Fairfax) on the fall of Bristol in 1645. Although there was no other charge against him than of deserting his usual habitation for the King’s quarters, his fine was fixed at £1,500. On pleading that his properties lay ‘waste and untenanted through extremities suffered under the King’s power’, and also that his sisters’ portions were unpaid, he secured a reduction of £100. At the Restoration he was rewarded with a baronetcy and a patent for lives of a sinecure in the Exchequer, the reversion to which had been acquired by his grandfather. He was unsuccessful at Lymington at the general election of 1661, despite the Duke of York’s recommendation, but was returned at a contested by-election two years later. A moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to 58 committees, including that for the bill to provide remedies against the unlawful meetings of sectaries in 1663. He was listed as a court dependant in 1664 and as one of the Members who had usually voted for supply in 1669. He probably inherited his grandfather’s strongly Anglican principles, and opposed toleration, for in the same year he was named to committees to prolong the Conventicles Act and to receive information about seditious conventicles. He received the government whip in 1675, and was named to his last committee in the autumn session. But in the list of servants and dependants he was marked ‘bad’, and his name was crossed out in the working lists. Sir Richard Wiseman was doubtful of his support, and Edward Noel apparently dropped him from the lieutenancy. However, Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly vile’ in 1677, and he was included in the government list of the following year. Presumably he opposed exclusion, as he was re-appointed deputy lieutenant in 1683. But he was removed from local office in 1688, when he made no answer on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. He died on 15 Feb. 1710, aged 92. His grandson, the second baronet, was returned for Southampton in 1708 and for the county in 1710.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. C142/499/18; Top. and Gen. iii. 31; CSP Dom. 1665-6, p. 162; The Gen. n.s.i. 156-7.
- 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 82; CSP Dom. 1672-3, p. 488; Jan.-June 1683, p. 155; E. King, Old Times Revisited, 190; Winchester corp. assembly bk. 5, f. 162.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 282; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxiv. 260.
- 4. B. P. Levack, Civil Lawyers, 271 2; VCH Hants, ii. 509; iii. 9; SP23/177, ff. 306-15; Adm. 2/1745, f. 34.