An alderman of the City of London, in Bread Street Ward, on 15 January 1667 as listed in The Aldermen of the City of London Temp. Henry III - 1912, at British History Online. Described by Latham & Matthews as “A rich brewer and excise-farmer”.
According to his Parliamentary bio, William Bucknell was so wealthy he bought himself out from being an Alderman, so to award this title is being very kind.
"alderman, London Jan.-Apr. 1667"
Highlights from his bio:
As excise commissioner, William Bucknall indulged his astrological and genealogical tastes which disclose his date of birth, but not the identity of his parents.
Bucknall was admitted to the livery of the Salters at the age of 19, and acquired interests in water supply and shipping.
He transferred to the Brewers in 1664, in order to secure an interest in the excise, originally as representing his new Company, but after heavy losses sustained during the plague, it was on behalf of his own syndicate.
Commissioner Bucknall succeeded so well in 1667 that he bought a country seat in Hertfordshire in 1668, and acquiring land in Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire.
Although Bucknall is said to have advanced over £100,000 to the Government, he was a dissenter.
He was knighted on 20 Sept. 1670.
He was elected as the MP for Liverpool in Dec. 1670.
Sir William Bucknall MP was at once listed by the Opposition as a court supporter, and became a moderately active Member of Parliament.
On 22 Feb. 1671 Bucknall spoke in favor of the additional excise, and he helped to prepare for conferences on this bill and on preventing the export of wool.
It has been calculated that at this time Sir William Bucknall MP and his associates controlled three-quarters of the excise of the entire kingdom.
In the contest for the customs farm, Bucknall’s Court influence enabled him to outbid Sir Richard Ford, the manager of the rival syndicate; but he quarreled with Lord Treasurer Thomas Clifford, and on 24 Sept. 1671 his contract was cancelled.
Sir William Bucknall MP was quiescent in the 1673 sessions, but increased in 1674, and under the Danby administration he was clearly in opposition.
Sir William Bucknall MP was among those against the activities of the naval press-gangs on 21 Jan. 1674,
Five days later Bucknall informed the House that ‘the King is not satisfied with the war from the beginning, and the unprosperousness of it. We must know how all things stand with us as to our alliances.’
On 7 Feb. 1674 Sir William Bucknall MP gave the House the first, and perhaps the only authentic information about the Popish Plot, describing how he had called on Clifford and, while waiting for an audience:
“heard loud talking in the next room, Lord Clifford often saying his Majesty would never be brought to it, and sometime after Lord Arundell of Wardour came out. Lord Clifford, seeing Bucknall, was much surprised, and after many reviling words, as calling him dog and the like, asked him who brought him thither and how he durst come there.”
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.