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Sir Thomas Chicheley
Master-General of the Ordnance
In office
Personal details
Born(1614-03-14)14 March 1614
Died1 February 1699(1699-02-01) (aged 84)

Sir Thomas Chicheley (25 March 1614 – 1 February 1699) of Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire was a politician in England in the seventeenth century who fell from favour in the reign of James II. His name is sometimes spelt as Chichele.

Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire


He was born the eldest surviving son of Thomas Chicheley (1578–1616) of Wimpole and was related to Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury and founder of All Souls College, Oxford. He succeeded his father to Wimpole Hall, the largest house in Cambridgeshire.

He was High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire for 1637–38, and in 1640 was elected to the Long Parliament as one of the MPs for Cambridgeshire. However, being a strong Royalist, he was "disabled from sitting" (in other words expelled) soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. After the Restoration, he was elected once more for Cambridgeshire in the Parliament of 1661–1679, and subsequently sat for the city of Cambridge until his retirement after the Convention Parliament (1689).[1]

He was appointed a deputy lieutenant for the county by 1639 to 1642 and from 1660 to 1685. He was also custos rotulorum for the county in 1642 and, after the restoration in 1660, for Cambridgeshire and Ely (until 1687).[1]

In 1670, he was knighted, made a member of the Privy Council and appointed Master-General of the Ordnance. He held that office until 1679, when he was succeeded by three Commissioners of the Ordnance, including his son John. The same year he became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, but was ejected from office and expelled from the Privy Council on 2 March 1687 by James II.[1] He sat again, however, in Parliament for the city of Cambridge in 1678, 1679, 1685, and 1689, and died in 1699, at the age of eighty-four.[2]

According to Pepys, Chicheley lived extravagantly in London, and this was probably the reason that he was forced to sell his Wimpole estate to Sir John Cutler thirteen years before his death. He had married Sarah, the daughter of Sir William Russell, and had 3 sons (who all predeceased him) and 2 daughters. After Sarah's death in 1654 he married again circa 1655 to Anne, the daughter of Sir Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry of Aylesborough and the widow of Sir William Savile, 3rd Baronet, of Thornhill, Yorkshire and had 2 further sons.



5 Annotations

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Sir Thomas Chichley, master of the ordnance, and has had 2000l. given him, and the reversion of his place to his son.
---A Seasonable Argument ... for a New Parliament. Andrew Marvell, [1677] 1776.

Bill  •  Link

CHICHELEY, Sir THOMAS (1618-1694), master-general of the ordnance; of Wimple, Cambridgeshire; high sheriff, 1637; M.P. for Cambridgeshire, 1640; ejected by the roundheads, 1642; M.P. for Cambridgeshire, 1661; knighted, 1670; master-general of the ordnance, 1670-4; M.P. for Cambridge town, 1678-9, 1685, 1689; lived extravagantly, and was obliged to sell Wimple, 1686.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome, 1903

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

CHICHELEY, Thomas MP (1614-1699), of Wimpole, Cambs. and Great Queen Street, St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Mdx. was an interesting and busy man. His Parliamentary biography gives two shout-outs to Pepys:


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

After a visit to Thomas Chicheley MP's house in Great Queen Street on 11 Mar. 1668, Pepys wrote: "A very fine house, and a man that lives in mighty great fashion, with all things in a most extraordinary manner noble and rich about him, and eats in the French fashion all; and mighty nobly served with his servants, and very civil, that I was mighty pleased with it; and good discourse. He is a great defender of the Church of England and against the Act for Comprehension, which is the work of this day, about which the House is like to sit till night."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Henry Savile, Viscount Halifax, was brought up by his mother, Anne Coventry Savile, who married Thomas Chicheley MP as her second husband.

She was sister to William and Henry Coventry, and half sister to Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Lord Ashley.

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