6 Annotations

First Reading

Michael Robinson  •  Link

kt 1673 (1620 - 98) Son of the Lionel Walden who as Huntington's first mayor (1630-1) had been involved in the dispute with Oliver Cromwell which had lead to Cromwell's leaving the town. Royalist soldier; M.P for the borough, 1661-Jan 1679; a strong supporter of James II's policies, often accused of being a 'church-papist;' Mayor 1686-7. Pepys refers to his slighting words about Sandwich. But in his first recorded speech in parliament he defended him against criticisms of his conduct at Bergen.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Lionel Walden, elected M.P. for the borough of Huntingdon, April 12th, 1661.
---Wheatley, 1899.

Bill  •  Link

Sir Lionel Walden, 8000l. in the king's debt, a Blackheath captain, and a Papist, at present has a company of foot, and a 1000l. given him.
---A Seasonable Argument ... for a New Parliament. Andrew Marvell, [1677] 1776.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Walden pedigree recorded at the 1613 heralds’ visitation shows advantageous marriages in the 16th century, but the family seems to have wained with a move from Kent to Huntingdonshire.

Lionel Walden MP's father, the first mayor of Huntingdon, helped to make the town too hot for its former MP, Oliver Cromwell, in 1631, and during the Civil Wars allegedly contributed £1,200 to the royalist coffers.

Lionel Walden served in both wars under Sir George Lisle, escaping with a nominal fine for his delinquency. Nothing further is heard of him until the Restoration, when he was recommended for a knighthood of the Royal Oak.

He was credited with an income of £600 a year, from no known source as no property in Huntingdonshire or the Isle of Ely is recorded for him.

Walden was returned for Huntingdon at the general election of 1661, probably on the Earl of Manchester’s interest.
The first of the family to sit, he was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, with 74 committees, including the corporations bill.
He was granted the excise farm for the county, which he held without partners for longer than most provincial farmers.
He was also receiver of assessments for 5 years, and probably used the proceeds to pay the rent of the excise farm when returns were affected by the closing of alehouses during the plague.

He opposed the Bedford level bill in 1664, acting as teller with Roger Pepys against 2 corporation bailiffs.

At Oxford, he was appointed to the Five Mile Bill committee.

Walden’s first recorded speech was made in the debate of 20 Feb. 1668 on the miscarriages of the war, in which he scored off his enemies by affirming that Sandwich had blamed want of victuals for his failure to press home the attack at Bergen.

On 13 Dec. 1670, on being named by Sir George Downing as £7,040 in debt to the crown, he replied that the victuallers owed him much more.
He usually voted for supply, and was regarded at this time as a court supporter by both sides of the House.

Lionel Walden MP was given a regular commission in the third Anglo-Dutch Dutch war.
His smartness at the review on Blackheath won the approval of Gen. Schomberg, who commended him to Charles II ‘for as good an officer as ever he served with’.
His continued inability to present his accounts as receiver of taxes forced him to look for a patron, and shrewdly attached himself to Sir Robert Carr, by whom he was treated with condescension.

Walden was included in the Paston list, and in "A Seasonable Argument" he was described as being ‘£8,000 in the King’s debt, a Blackheath captain and a Papist: at present has a company of foot and £1,000 a year given him’.

The charge of Popery was later held to be a libel, and his excise pension as compensation for loss of the county farm was only £300 a year; but the comment is as accurate as can be expected.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Walden received the government whip from Secretary Coventry in 1675, and his name appeared on the list of ‘servants and officers’, but his parliamentary performance was highly unsatisfactory.
There can be no doubt that this was a well-calculated hint to the Treasury to come to some arrangement about his accounts.
Sir Richard Wiseman reported to the lord treasurer: ‘Sir Lionel Walden hath been made to juggle and prevaricate in the King’s service, ...’

On 12 July 1676, Danby ordered process to be stayed against Walden, and this respite was continued until after the dissolution.

Shaftesbury noted him as ‘thrice vile’, and his 1678 record was unimpeachable: he was a court supporter in both lists, and, for only the second time in 18 years, was named to a committee of political importance, that to prepare instructions for disbanding the new-raised forces, in which he had been given a regiment.

Walden was defeated at the general election of February 1679, and no report was made on his petition.
In March, Danby, now in need of friends, signed an acquittance for £6,693 12s. 10d. plus interest at 12 per cent.
Of the principal, £1,226 10s.8d. represented his deliveries to the victuallers and £383 0s.6d. was struck off by assigning his pension. The remainder was harder to justify: £1,600 was cancelled in respect of loans to King Charles I and Sir George Lisle during the Civil Wars, £610 was lost through forgery and defalcation among Walden’s subordinates, and the balance of £2,874 1s. 8d. Charles II was pleased to remit in consideration of the good services of Walden and his father.
Blacklisted among the ‘unanimous club’ of court supporters, Walden retired into private life with his ill-gotten gains.

By Whitsun, he had purchased at least 200 acres in the Bedford level, the minimum qualification for a conservator of the corporation.

Walden remained in touch with the Government, reporting on local affairs in Hunts., and Cams., and hosted the Duke of York on his journey to Scotland.
With the assistance of Robert Bruce, Lord Ailesbury he was returned for the county in 1685 without a contest.

An active Member of James II’s Parliament, Lionel Walden MP was named to 17 committees. He was chairman for 2 naturalization bills, and was appointed to the committee for taking the accounts of the disbandment commissioners.
On 4 June he was one of 7 Members ordered to bring in a bill for using part of the revenue from hackney carriage licences for the benefit of Chelsea Hospital.

Lionel Walden MP was named mayor of Huntingdon under the new charter of 1686, and returned affirmative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws.
He was nominated as court candidate for Huntingdonshire in 1688.
On 8 Dec. a Huntingdon maltster called him a pensioner and a Papist: ‘when he is at home he goes to church, but when he is in London he goes to mass’.
He recovered damages on the latter charge.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Probably Lionel Walden MP and his son lost all their local offices, except those on the Bedford level corporation, after ‘the most miraculous, strange and memorable Revolution; since which there has appeared more violence than respect from the people in power to their memory’. [i.e. Under William and Mary]

A Jacobite sympathizer, Lionel Walden died on 23 Mar. 1698, and was buried at All Saints, Huntingdon.

Lionel Walden married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Charles Balaam of Elm, Cambs., and had a son and 2 daughters. He was knighted on 29 Jan. 1673.

Excerpted from his Parliamentary bio

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.




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