SLINGSBY, Henry (1602-1658), of Redhouse, Moor Monkton, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.) - 6 Sept. 1642

Family and Education

b. 14 Jan. 1602, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Henry Slingsby* of Scriven, Yorks. and Frances, da. of William Vavasour of Weston, Yorks.1 educ. Foston (Phatuall Otby) 1608-17; Queen’s, Camb. 1619-21; travelled abroad 1626.2 m. 7 July 1631, Barbara (d. 31 Dec. 1641), da. of Sir Thomas Belasyse* of Newburgh Priory, Yorks., 2s. 1da. 3 suc. fa. 1634;4 cr. bt. 2 Mar. 1638.5 exec. 8 June 1658. sig. H[enry] Slingesby.

Offices Held

Col., militia ft., Yorks. (W. Riding) 1638-42;6 vol. cav. 1639;7 col. of ft. (roy.) 1642-4.8

Commr. Poll Tax, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1641, disarming recusants, N. Riding 1641, subsidy, W. Riding 1641-2, assessment 1642, array 1642;9 recvr. hon. of Pontefract, Yorks. by 1643.10


Slingsby became heir to the family estate when his elder brother died abroad in 1617. At Cambridge he studied under Thomas Preston, who seems to have inspired in him a lifelong distaste for ecclesiastical ornament and ceremonies.11 ‘A gentleman of good understanding, but of a melancholy disposition and reserved in his speech’, he succeeded his father as MP for Knaresborough, adjacent to the family’s main estate, at the 1625 general election. He left no trace on the records of the brief parliamentary session, and in the following year the seat went to a townsman, Henry Benson. In March 1626 he was licensed to travel abroad; he had presumably returned by the time of the 1628 election, when he was defeated by Benson after a close contest.12

Once spoken of as a potential match for a daughter of the Essex puritan Sir William Masham, 1st bt.*, Slingsby’s antipathy to religious ceremonies was so pronounced that Archbishop Neile refused to consecrate his chapel at Redhouse, lest it should be used for conventicles. However, his family also had abundant Catholic connections via his Percy grandmother, and in 1631 he married a daughter of Sir Thomas Belasyse, Lord Fauconberg, whose family were similarly ‘gracious with the papists’.13 Slingsby’s brother-in-law Henry Belasyse* publicly snubbed lord president Wentworth (Sir Thomas Wentworth*) in the same year, a clash which perhaps explains why Slingsby did not become a justice of the peace after his father’s death in 1634. He inherited an estate worth £1,500 p.a., which he improved considerably, and in 1638 he purchased a Nova Scotia baronetcy.14

Slingsby succeeded the ailing Sir Thomas Fairfax I* as a militia colonel in 1638, and served as a cavalry volunteer under the earl of Holland (Henry Rich*) during the First Bishop’s War. Returned for Knaresborough at both elections in 1640, he opposed the attainder of Wentworth (now earl of Strafford), and was expelled from the Commons for royalism at the start of the Civil War. He commanded a Yorkshire regiment until Marston Moor, and then served in the Newark garrison. He was denied permission to compound for his delinquency, but two kinsmen, Slingsby Bethel† and Robert Stapylton†, paid £7,000 to purchase his estates in trust for his children. Detained for complicity in a planned royalist rising in March 1655, he was imprisoned at Hull, where he attempted to suborn the garrison officers. Thomas Belasyse, 2nd Lord Fauconberg, appealed to his wife’s father - Oliver Cromwell* - for mercy, but Slingsby was beheaded on Tower Hill on 8 June 1658. He was buried at Knaresborough church. His elder son, Sir Thomas, was elected knight of the shire for Yorkshire in 1670.15

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Lynn Hulse / John. P. Ferris / Simon Healy


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. ii. 69.
  • 2. Slingsby Diary ed. D. Parsons, 3; Al. Cant.; APC, 1625-6, p. 376.
  • 3. Clay, ii. 69.
  • 4. C142/530/153.
  • 5. CB.
  • 6. SCL, Strafford Pprs. 18/111; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/28, p. 27.
  • 7. Slingsby Diary, 32.
  • 8. Ibid. 76; Yorks. AS, DD56/L3.
  • 9. SR, v. 83, 107, 150; LJ, iv. 385a; Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 10. Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders ed. R. Somerville, 151.
  • 11. Clay, ii. 69; T. Morgan, Prince Charles’s Puritan Chaplain, 31; Slingsby Diary, 302-10.
  • 12. Add. 27990, f. 36; W.A. Atkinson, ‘Parl. Election in Knaresborough in 1628’, Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxxiv. 213.
  • 13. Eg. 2644, f. 240; Slingsby Diary, 18-20; Wentworth Pprs. ed. J.P. Cooper (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xii), 287.
  • 14. R. Reid, Council in the North, 414-16; J.T. Cliffe, Yorks. Gentry, 107, 249, 356; CB.
  • 15. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 340; CCC, 1387; Royalist Comp. Pprs. ed. J.W. Clay (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. Ser. xx), 95-6; Nicholas Pprs. II ed. G.F. Warner (Cam. Soc., ser. 2, l), 242-3.