TEMPLE, Sir John (c.1601-77), of Ballycrath, co. Carlow.

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



c. Oct. 1645
5 May 1660

Family and Education

b. c.1601, 1st s. of Sir William Temple, provost of Trinity College, Dublin 1609-27, by Martha, da. of Robert Harrison of London. educ. Trinity Coll. Dublin 1617-20, BA 1617, MA 1620; L. Inn 1620; travelled abroad. m. 1627, Mary (d. Nov. 1638), da. of John Hammond, MD, of Chertsey, Surr., 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1627. Kntd. 16 July 1633.2

Offices Held

Fellow of Trinity Coll. Dublin 1618-27; gent. pens. by 1633; master of the rolls [I] 1640-3, 1655-d.; PC [I] 1641-3, 1661-d.; member, committee of Both Houses 1646-9; commr. for sale of bishops’ lands 1646, great seal [I] 1648-9, delinquents’ estates [I] 1653-4, security [I] 1656, adventurers’ lands [I] 1656, Councillor of State 25 Feb.-31 May 1660; commr. for govt. [I] June-Sept. 1660, survey [I] 1666, valuation of the clergy [I] 1670; v.-treas. [I] 1673-4.3

MP [I] 1642-8, 1661-6.


Temple’s father, who claimed descent from the Buckinghamshire family, took service under Sir Philip Sidney, and sat for Tamworth in 1597, subsequently migrating to Ireland, where he became provost of Trinity College. Temple bought the Irish mastership of the rolls for £2,000, but was arrested by Ormonde as a Parliamentarian in 1643, and imprisoned until exchanged for Sir Thomas Malet. Returned as a recruiter to the Long Parliament, he was secluded at Pride’s Purge, but resumed office in Ireland in 1655. He was licensed to go to England in April 1659, and on the return of the secluded Members was appointed to the Council of State ‘by the friendship and favour’ of George Monck.4

Temple contested Tregony at the general election of 1660, perhaps in alliance with Monck’s brother-in-law, Thomas Clarges, and was seated on the merits of the return. To his son’s disquiet, he made no approaches to the Court, and was listed as a friend by Lord Wharton, to be managed by Sir Wilfred Lawson. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to 35 committees, including those to prepare instructions for the messengers to the King and to organize his reception. On 25 May he reported a declaration for the apprehension of Irish rebels and helped to manage a conference. He was named to the committee to inquire into the queen mother’s jointure, sent to ask the conformable Dr Reynolds to preach on the day of thanksgiving for the Restoration, and acted as teller in favour of a motion to except William Boteler, one of the major-generals, from the indemnity bill. Later in June, he was appointed to the committees to inquire into the unauthorized printing of proceedings and to recommend an establishment for Dunkirk. During the debate of 16 July on religion he declared that ‘the former discipline was the occasion of our former troubles’ and urged that doctrine should be considered separately. He was teller on 25 July against raising the import duty on Irish cattle to 2s. 6d. a head. On 30 July he spoke in favour of committing the bill to settle ecclesiastical livings and was appointed to the subsequent committee. Temple acted again as teller on 1 Aug. for a motion to honour the bills of exchange drawn by the republican plenipotentiaries at the Sound. Later in the month he was appointed to the committee to establish the names of those who had sat in judgment on Charles I. He thought that the motion to ask the King to marry a Protestant was untimely. After the recess he was ordered to seek the Lords’ concurrence over the bills of exchange from the Sound, but he was so dilatory that eventually (Sir) Solomon Swale carried the message. He helped to manage the conference on 28 Dec. on the assessment of peers for poll-tax.5

Temple did not stand again for the Westminster Parliament, but was returned for county Carlow in 1661 and confirmed in his Irish office. When his son, Sir William Temple, applied for the reversion of the mastership of the rolls in 1664, Ormonde wrote that Temple, despite his previous record, had been ‘very prudent and dutiful in Parliament and council’ since the Restoration. He died on 12 Nov. 1677 in his 77th year, and was buried at Trinity College, Dublin.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Paula Watson


  • 1. Secluded at Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. Her. and Gen. iii. 397; N. and Q. cli. 237.
  • 3. CSP Ire. 1633-47, p. 257; 1660-2, p. 525; 1669-70, p. 243; HMC Ormonde, n.s. iii. 403; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 130.
  • 4. Her. and Gen. iii. 397-8; Cal. Cl. SP, v. 385; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 48, 82; W. P. Courtenay, Mems. of Sir William Temple, i. 25.
  • 5. Courtenay, i. 25; CJ, viii. 47, 64; Bowman diary, ff. 82, 105; Old Parl. Hist. xxii. 478.
  • 6. Cal. Cl. SP, v. 385; Her. and Gen. iii. 405.