TAYLOR, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bt. (1657-96), of Park House, Maidstone and Shadoxhurst, Kent.

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



1695 - 5 Feb. 1696

Family and Education

b. 19 Aug. 1657, o.s. of Sir Thomas Taylor, 1st Bt., of Maidstone and Shadoxhurst by Elizabeth, da. of George Hall of Maidstone. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1675. m. c.1692, Alicia (d. 1734), da. of Sir Richard Colepeper, 2nd Bt., of Preston Hall, Aylesford, Kent, wid. of Herbert Stapley of Patcham, Suss., 1s. suc. fa. Apr. 1665.1

Offices Held

Cornet, Lord Gerard’s Horse 1678-9, capt. indep. tp. 1685; gov. Upnor Castle 1695-d.

J.p. and dep. lt. Kent 1683-Feb. 1688, Nov. 1688-d., maj. of militia ft. by 1683-Feb. 1688, 1689-?95; asst. Rochester Bridge 1688-94, warden 1690; commr. for assessment, Kent 1689-90.2


Taylor’s ancestors had held land in Shadoxhurst since the reign of Edward III, acquiring the manor about 1560, but they never achieved social or political prominence. His father, who was too young to take part in the Civil War, was probably of royalist sympathies, for he held no office during the Interregnum and was created a baronet in 1665. On his death, shortly afterwards, Taylor’s mother remarried the pensioner Percy Goring. Taylor himself apparently cherished military ambitions in his youth. He probably opposed exclusion, and in 1685 his sister married the Abhorrer (Sir) Francis Wythens. In 1686 he was given £400 bounty out of secret service funds. To the lord lieutenant’s questions in 1688 he replied that he was engaged to support the Tory candidates Sir William Twysden and (Sir) John Knatchbull, adding that

if he were himself a Parliament man, nothing would prevail with him to take off the Penal Laws and Tests, unless at the same time secure provisions were made that all benefices and fellows of colleges, and what else belongs to ecclesiastical preferments, might be enjoyed by those of the Church of England and none else.

He was removed from the commission of the peace and the lieutenancy.3

At the general election of 1689, Taylor was returned as a Whig for Maidstone, where he chiefly resided. His name first appears in the Journals on 28 Mar. when he obtained leave to go into the country; but the House was informed that his purpose was to fight a duel with Thomas Mansell II, and both were required to give their protestations not to pursue the quarrel. Taylor was an inactive Member of the Convention, being named to only five committees, including that to bring in the militia bill. He made no recorded speeches, but supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He was re-elected to the next two Parliaments, in which he was reckoned a court Whig. He died on 5 Feb. 1696, leaving a considerable estate, but encumbered with debts amounting to £4,500. His son died unmarried in 1720, and no other member of the family sat in Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. N. and Q. (ser. 11), ix. 84.
  • 2. CSP Dom. Jan.-June 1683, pp. 134, 155; 1694-5, p. 374; information from Mr P. F. Cooper, Bridge Clerk, Rochester Bridge Trust.
  • 3. Burke, Commoners, iv. 238; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 69; Hasted, Kent, vii. 239, 240; Akerman, Secret Service Moneys, (Cam. Soc. lii), 125.
  • 4. N. and Q. (ser. 3), vi. 121; Luttrell, iv. 14; PCC 177 Lort.