TAYLOR, Simon (c.1633-89), of Wyndgate, King's Lynn, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1633, 1st s. of Simon Taylor, merchant, of King’s Lynn by Susan, da. of John Greene, comptroller of customs, of King’s Lynn. m. 29 Mar. 1660, Mary (d.1724), da. of Samuel Baron, MD, of South Lynn, Norf., 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1663; kntd. 30 June 1684.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Lynn 1657, alderman by 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Lynn 1673-80, Norf. 1679-80; mayor, Lynn Aug.-Sept. 1675, 1681.2


Taylor’s family had been merchants in Lynn since early in the 16th century, but played no known part in the Civil War. Taylor himself, a vintner specializing in the growing port trade, built a large house with capacious cellars in Wyndgate, now Queen Street, and purchased the manor of Shingham, 15 miles away. One of the leading merchants in the town, he had influential local connexions. His brother, Richard, was rector of West Lynn, and his eldest son married the daughter of (Sir) Robert Steward, recorder of Lynn.3

Taylor first stood for Lynn in February 1673 against Sir Francis North, the court candidate, who defeated him by 100 votes. He came forward again in February 1675, this time against Robert Coke, Danby’s son-in-law. He had the support of Lord Townshend (Sir Horatio Townshend), high steward of Lynn, as well as of Sir Henry Hobart and Sir Robert Carr, but was defeated after a protracted and very expensive contest. On 3 May, Taylor’s petition, presented by Sir John Holland, was referred to the elections committee. He eventually agreed with Danby to drop the petition, provided that Coke paid the whole cost of the election, amounting to about £10,000.4

Taylor represented Lynn in the Exclusion Parliaments. Described by Lord Yarmouth ( Robert Paston, the lord lieutenant, as ‘not so much a fanatic as I suspected’, and classed as ‘base’ by Shaftesbury, he nevertheless voted for the first exclusion bill. By the next Parliament, he must have parted company with the exclusionists, for in November 1680 he and his fellow Member, John Turner, were denounced as Abhorrers by John Trenchard. In none of the three Exclusion Parliaments was he appointed to any committees or recorded as speaking.5

Taylor and Turner were knighted at Windsor in 1684 on surrendering the Lynn charter to the King. He was re-elected to James II’s Parliament, in which he was appointed only to the committees for the encouragement of ship-building and for a naturalization bill. He must have supported the repeal of the Test and Penal Laws, for he remained an alderman and his son a common councilman under the regulation of the corporation in June 1688, and he was recommended as a court candidate for Lynn. He died on 25 Dec. 1689, aged 56, and was buried in St. Margaret’s, Lynn. He left Shingham to his younger son, £4,000 in money and property in Wells-next-the-Sea to his elder son, and £2,000 to his daughter. But he was the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. B. Mackerell, Lynn Regis , 23, 65-66, 71; The Ancestor, iii. 113; PCC 12 Dyke.
  • 2. Lynn Freemen, 166; Mackerell, 278.
  • 3. Blomefield’s Norf. Supp. ed. Ingleby, 161-3; W. Rye, Norf. Fams. 888.
  • 4. Grey, ii. 82-83; CSP Dom. 1672-3, p. 555.
  • 5. CJ, ix. 644; Grey, vii. 393; CSP Dom. 1679-80, pp. 66, 75.
  • 6. Luttrell, i. 314; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 272; PCC 12 Dyke.