Sir Samuel Barnardiston , 1st Baronet (1620–1707) was an English Whig Member of Parliament and deputy governor of the East India Company, defendant in some high-profile legal cases and involved in a highly contentious parliamentary election.
12 May 2021, 2:28 a.m. - San Diego Sarah
Samuel Barnardiston (1620-1707). His father, Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston MP of Kedington, Suffolk, was a strong Presbyterian, who was in opposition during all of King Charles’ Parliaments, but abstained from sitting after Pride’s Purge.
In 1639 Samuel Barnardiston was apprenticed to John Langham, and he probably took part in the 1640 riots against King Charles.
By 1643 Samuel had joined his brother Nathaniel in Smyrna.
He returned to England by 1652, and soon became prominent in the affairs of the Levant and East India Companies.
His first wife, Thomasine Brand, daughter of Joseph Brand of Edwardstone, Suffolk, died in 1654, and he did not remarry until after 1679, when he married Mary Reynardson Onslow, the daughter of Sir Abraham Reynardson, Merchant Taylor, of Bishopsgate, London, and the widow of Richard Onslow, another London merchant.
In 1654 he also became a Freeman of the Grocers’ Company, of the Levant Company also in 1654, assistant of the Levant Company from 1654-62, a freeman of the East India Company in 1657, and of their governing committee 1661-8,
A dissenter after the Restoration, Samuel Barnardiston employed an ejected Presbyterian minister as his chaplain. He bought the Brightwell estate, worth £800 p.a., in Suffolk in 1662 and built a grand house.
On 11 May, 1663, Samuel Barnardiston was created a baronet as a person of ‘irreproachable loyalty’, with a special remainder to his nephews, the sons of his brother Nathaniel.
Sir Samuel Barnardiston did not abandon his mercantile interests, and in 1668, as deputy governor of the East India Company, he was the principal defendant in the case brought before the Lords by the interloping merchant, Skinner, which seriously embroiled the two Houses.
He was fined £300, but the Lower House resolved that he had ‘behaved himself like a good commoner of England’.
As a follower of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, he got into a mess during the Popish Plot, wrote some indiscreet letters, fled to Holland, was fined so much money he had to sell his estate, including his wife's coach and horses. He only regained respectability when William III and Mary II came to power.
He became a Member of Parliament for Suffolk in 1674.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.