WODEHOUSE, Sir Philip, 3rd Bt. (1608-81), of Kimberley, Norf.

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. 24 July 1608, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Wodehouse, 2nd Bt., of Kimberley by Blanche, da. of John Carey, 3rd Baron Hunsdon, wid. of Christopher Peyton of Isleham, Cambs. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1625; L. Inn 1627. m. 10 July 1634, Lucy, (d. 26 June 1684), da. of Sir Thomas Cotton, 2nd Bt., of Conington Castle, Hunts., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 18 Mar. 1658.2

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Norf. 1642, j.p. 1645-?49, 1659-d., commr. for militia Mar. 1660, custos rot. June 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Norf. 1661-80, Thetford 1677-80, corporations, Norf. 1662, loyal and indigent officers 1662, recusants 1675.3


Wodehouse either commissioned or accepted a false pedigree, antedating the arrival of his family in Norfolk by several generations. He was descended from John Woodhouse, a king’s squire of London origins, who became controller of Castle Rising and sat for the county in four Parliaments, though his service at Agincourt is as legendary as his Norfolk ancestry. The family had a strong natural interest at Thetford, 15 miles from Kimberley, where they owned one of the principal mansions. Wodehouse’s father sat for the borough in both the Short and Long Parliaments. A Parliamentarian in the Civil War, he abstained from the House after Pride’s Purge, but resumed his seat in 1651. Wodehouse himself was described as ‘a man of good learning, ready wit and exceeding skilful in music’. He was nominated to the Norfolk commission of array by Charles I, but could hardly have served, since his own father opposed it. He is not known to have taken any active part in the Civil War, though he was added to the commission of the peace in 1645. He twice represented the county under the Protectorate, but was excluded in 1656. Roger Whitley included him among the Norfolk Royalists in 1658.4

Wodehouse signed the Norfolk address to General George Monck for a free Parliament, and was returned to the Convention for Thetford. He was listed as a friend by Lord Wharton, but he was not an active Member. He was named to the committee of elections and privileges, and after the recess added to those to prepare a militia bill and to supply the defects in the poll bill. He apparently intended to stand for Thetford ‘as a neighbour’ at the by-election of 1669, but desisted. An opponent of exclusion, he ‘first set on foot’ the subscription for the Tory candidates for Norfolk at the second general election of 1679. He died on 6 May 1681, and was buried at Kimberley. His heir was his grandson, the fourth baronet, who became a leading Jacobite, and sat for Thetford and Norfolk under William III and Anne.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Excluded.
  • 2. Vis. Norf. (Norf. Rec. Soc. v), 241; Howard, Vis. Suff. ii. 119; Misc. Gen. et Her. n.s. i. 340.
  • 3. Blomefield, Norf. iii. 405.
  • 4. Norf. Antiq. Misc. (ser. 2), i. 147; Keeler, Long Parl. 348-9; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 265, 291; Mason, Norf. 291; Collins, Peerage, viii. 568.
  • 5. Address from Gentry of Norf. ed. Rye, 29; Add. 36988, f. 147.