ENGLAND, Benjamin (1647-1711), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1702 - 1708

Family and Education

bap. 26 Mar. 1647, 3rd s. of Sir George England of Great Yarmouth by Sarah, da. of Thomas Smith of Runton, Norf.; bro. of George England I*.  m. Jan. 1668, Prisca Ballow, prob. da. of Henry Ballow of St. Mary Woolnoth, London, s.psuc. bro. 1702.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Great Yarmouth 1667, alderman 1673–84, Oct. 1688–d., bailiff 1675–6, 1688–9, 1697–8, mayor 1703–4; freeman, Dunwich –1703.2


England’s family had acted as the chief supporters of religious toleration at Yarmouth in the 1680s, and his own career in local politics was characterized by a temperate and unprejudiced Anglicanism. A fat and gouty merchant, he took over the family interest on the death of his brother in 1702, and was returned to Parliament at the general election of that year. At Westminster he seems to have been active principally in matters of local concern. In December he assisted in the parliamentary management of a bill to amend the Great Yarmouth Harbour Act in the light of the borough’s new charter. He was nominated on 12 Jan. 1703 to the drafting committee for a bill to explain clauses in the Acts concerning linens. Having been listed as a probable opponent of the Tack, he did not vote for it on 28 Nov. 1704. On 3 Feb. 1705 he told against a resolution critical of Yarmouth corporation, which had been passed by the committee investigating restrictive practices in the East Anglian coal trade. Marked as ‘Low Church’ in a list of the new Parliament in 1705, he voted against the Court candidate for the Speakership on 25 Oct., possibly influenced by his nephew and heir-presumptive George England II* ‘and all his friends in Yarmouth’. On 19 Dec. 1706 he was first-named to the drafting committee for a bill to regulate rates paid by non-freemen importing coal into Yarmouth. In two lists of 1708 he was classed as a Tory. Defeated at the general election of that year, he did not stand again for Parliament.3

England died on 30 Apr. 1711. His will, dated 6 Dec. 1706, mentioned various properties in Yarmouth and elsewhere in Norfolk and Suffolk, including ‘my brewhouse’.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. IGI, Norf.; D. Turner, Sepulchral Reminiscences, 111, 113–14; C. J. Palmer, Perlustration Gt. Yarmouth, ii. 275; J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London (London and Mdx. Arch. Soc.), 23; J. M. S. Brooke and A. W. C. Hallen, St. Mary Woolnoth Reg. 62, 69, 72, 239.
  • 2. Cal. Freemen Gt. Yarmouth, 98; Norf. RO, Gt. Yarmouth bor. recs. ass. bk. 1662–80, 1680–1701; H. Swinden, Hist. Gt. Yarmouth, 951, 952, 953, 954; Suff. RO (Ipswich), Dunwich bor. recs. EE6/1144/14.
  • 3. P. Gauci, Pol. and Soc. in Gt. Yarmouth, 208; Palmer, 276; Camb. Univ. Lib. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss, Ld. Townshend to Robert Walpole II*, 10 Oct. 1705.
  • 4. Turner, 110, 113–14.