Ralph Stawell,1st Baron Stawell of Somerton

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Ralph Stawell, 1st Baron Stawell

Death: August 08, 1689 (43-52)
Place of Burial: Low Ham, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Stawell, KB, MP and Elizabeth Stawell
Husband of Anne Ryves and Abigail Stawell
Father of Lord John Stawell; Anne Darcy; William Stawell; Lord Edward Stawell; Elizabeth Bromley and 3 others
Brother of Col George Stawell
Half brother of Elizabeth Seymour

Managed by: Woodman Mark Lowes Dickinson, OBE
Last Updated:

About Ralph Stawell,1st Baron Stawell of Somerton

STAWELL, Ralph (c.1641-89), of Low Ham, Som.

  • Family and Education b. c.1641, 5th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir John Stawell. m. (1) settlement 8 Apr. 1667 (with £3,000), Anne (d. 3 Sept. 1670), da. of John Ryves of Ranston, Dorset, 1s. 1da.; (2) 2 July 1672, Abigail (d. 27 Sept. 1692), da. and h. of William Pitt of Hartley Wespall, Hants, 2s. 4da. suc. bro. 1669; cr. Baron Stawell of Somerton 15 Jan. 1683.1
  • Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Som. 1663-80; dep. lt. Som. 1670-Feb. 1688, Wilts. 1672-5; j.p. Wilts. 1671-?d., Som. 1672-?d.; col. of militia ft. Som. by 1672-?Feb.1688, commr. for recusants 1675, sheriff 1676-7, ld. lt. Nov. 1688-9.2

  • Biography Stawell’s parliamentary ambitions were aroused, he claimed, by the decay of ‘the King’s interest’ in the closing sessions of the Cavalier Parliament, so that ‘he resolved to stand for the first Member’s place which shall fall in Somerset, whether knight of the shire or other, and, commanding Bridgwater [militia] regiment, he thinks his interest best there’. He began to canvass before the dissolution, with the excuse that the sitting Member, Peregrine Palmer, could not be expected to live long. He succeeded Palmer as court candidate at the first general election of 1679, and was classed by Shaftesbury as ‘base’. However, there was a double return, and he never took his seat. He was successful in the autumn, but left no trace on the records of the second Exclusion Parliament, and lost his seat in 1681.3

Raised to the peerage in 1683, Stawell was active in prosecuting dissenters in Somerset, and instrumental in securing the surrender of the Bridgwater charter. He promised Sunderland that he would do his utmost ‘to promote the election of sound and loyal Members’ to James II’s Parliament in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire as well as in his own county. In June 1685 he led his regiment against Monmouth, but most of his men deserted to the rebels. A well-meant effort by Jeffreys to console him by hanging Col. Bovett, one of his father’s chief persecutors, outside the gates of Cothelstone does not seem to have been favourably received. He moved to Low Ham, where he began to build an ambitious mansion measuring four hundred feet by one hundred, and by 1687 he was reckoned among the opposition peers. Although James II appointed him lord lieutenant in succession to the Roman Catholic Lord Waldegrave in November 1688, he at once rallied to William of Orange. Nevertheless after the Revolution he was replaced by Lord Fitzhardinge (Sir Maurice Berkeley). He died on 8 Aug. 1689, aged 48, and was buried at Low Ham. His architectural extravagance permanently crippled the family finances, and he was the last to sit in the Commons.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

  • Author: Irene Cassidy
  • Notes
  • 1. G. D. Stawell, Quantock Fam. 111-13; Soc. of Genealogists, St. Peter le Poer par. reg.
  • 2. Stawell, 114; E. Green, Bibl. Som. iii. 344; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 342.
  • 3. Som. RO, Sanford mss 3109, Wm. to Edward Clark, 29 Dec. 1678; CJ, ix. 578; Prot. Dom. Intell. 4 Mar. 1681.
  • 4. CSP Dom. Jan.-June 1683, pp. 194, 322-3; July-Sept. 1683, pp. 9, 119, 401-2; 1685, p. 33; HMC 6th Rep. 347; HMC Sackville, i. 3; R. Locke, Western Rebellion, 9; N. Pevsner, South and West Som. 224; HMC 7th Rep. 348; E. Green, March of Wm. of Orange through Som. 57-58; Stawell, 119.
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1660-1690/member/st...
  • ______________
  • Ralph Stawel, 1st Baron Stawel of Somerton1
  • M, #187576
  • Last Edited=3 Aug 2013
  • Ralph Stawel, 1st Baron Stawel of Somerton is the son of Sir John Stawel.1
  • He gained the title of 1st Baron Stawel of Somerton in 1683.
  • Children of Ralph Stawel, 1st Baron Stawel of Somerton
    • 1.Edward Stawel, 4th Baron Stawel of Somerton+2 d. 1735
    • 2.Anne Stawel+3
    • 3.John Stawel, 2nd Lord Stawel of Somerton2 b. c 1668, d. 30 Nov 1692
  • Citations
  • 1.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 399. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 2.[S22] Sir Bernard Burke, C.B. LL.D., A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire, new edition (1883; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1978), page 505. Hereinafter cited as Burkes Extinct Peerage.
  • 3.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1028. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p18758.htm#i187576
  • ________________
  • Ralph Stawell, 1st Baron Stawell (died 1689) was an English landowner, soldier, Member of Parliament and peer.
  • Stawell married firstly Ann, a daughter of John Ryves, Esquire, and by her had one son, John. He married secondly Abigail, daughter and heiress of William Pitt, Esq., and with her had two sons and four daughters.[1]
  • In 1679, standing in the Tory or "court" interest, Colonel Ralph Stawell was returned as one of the two members of parliament for Bridgwater in Somerset.[2] A Roman Catholic, on 15 January 1683/84 Stawell was created Baron Stawell, of Somerton in the County of Somerset. In 1688, the year of the Glorious Revolution, he was briefly Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.[3] In a commission dated from London on 6 November 1688, the day after the landing in England of William, Prince of Orange, King James II appointed Stawell as his Lord Lieutenant in Somerset in place of Lord Waldegrave, who was the husband of the king's illegitimate daughter Henrietta FitzJames.[4]
  • With the success of the Revolution against James, Stawell was committed to the Tower of London, where he died in 1689.[5]
  • Notes
  • 1. ^ J. Debrett, The peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland: or, the ancient and present state of the nobility, vol. I (1790), p. 428
  • 2. ^ Basil Duke Henning, The House of Commons, 1660-1690, pp. 372-374
  • 3. ^ Robert Dunning, A History of Somerset (Chichester: Phillimore & Co., 1983, ISBN 0-85033-461-6), pp. 108–109
  • 4. ^ Sir George Floyd Duckett, Penal laws and Test act: questions touching their repeal propounded in 1687-8 by James II (Printed by T. Wilson, 1882), pp. 389, 415
  • 5. ^ Arthur Collins & Sir Egerton Brydges, Collins's Peerage of England, vol. 9 (1812), p. 425: "Stawell, Lord Stawell, 1684... At the Revolution he was committed to the Tower, where he died 1689."
  • From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Stawell,_1st_Baron_Stawell
  • ______________
  • Links
  • http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/member/st...
  • http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Stawell,_John_%28DNB00%29
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stawell