John Bramston the Younger

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Sir John Bramston,[1] the younger (September, 1611 – 4 February 1700), was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1679. The son of Sir John Bramston, the elder and his first wife Bridget Moundeford, daughter of Thomas Moundeford, he was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, and called to bar at Middle Temple in 1635. In 1660 he was elected to the Convention Parliament for the county of Essex and again in the Cavalier Parliament of 1661 (a year he was also knighted (KB)). He frequently acted as chairman of committees of whole House of Commons of England and was returned to parliament for Maldon in 1679 and 1685. He left an autobiography (published 1845).[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Bramston, the son of Sir John Bramston and Bridget, daughter of Thomas Moundeford, M.D., of London, was born in September 1611, at Whitechapel, Middlesex, in a house which for several generations had been in possession of the family. His mother died at thirty-six; her son was decoted to her memory. After attending Wadham College, Oxford, he entered the Middle Temple, where he had as chamber fellow Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon. Throughout life he continued on terms of intimate friendship with Hyde, who presented him with his portrait, the earliest of him now known to exist, and engraved for the edition of the "History of the Rebellion" published in 1816.[4]

Civil War and Interregnum[edit]

Bramston was called to the bar in 1635, and began to practise law with considerable success, until, in his own words, "the drums and trumpets blew his gown over his ears".[5] He stood for parliament at the second general election of 1640 as a burgess for Bodmin in Cornwall, but failed to secure the seat in the Long Parliament.[3] On his father's advice, he sold his chambers in the Temple on the outbreak of the Civil War, he removed with his family to his father's house at Skreens. At his father's death in 1654 he succeeded to the property. After the dismissal of Richard Cromwell and George Moncks march to London, he served as Knight of the Shire for Essex in the Convention Parliament, and supported the motion for the Restoration.[4]

After the Restoration[edit]

On 23 April 1661, at the coronation of Charles II, Bramston was created a Knight of the Bath, after refusing a baronetcy on account of his dislike to hereditary honours.[4][3]

The same year Bramston was re-elected MP for Essex in the Cavalier Parliament. Subsequently, he frequently acted as chairman in committees of the whole house. In 1672 an accusation was brought by Henry Mildmay (1619–1692), before the council against him and Francis, his younger brother, of being papists, and receiving payment from the pope to promote his interests. The chief witness was a Portuguese, Ferdinand de Macedo, whose evidence bore unmistakable signs of falsehood. Charles II is said to have remarked concerning the affair, that it was "the greatest conspiracy and greatest forgerie that ever he knew against a private gentleman".[4]

Bramston was returned to Habeas Corpus Parliament of 1679 for the constituency of Maldon, but did not sit in the Exclusion Bill Parliament later the same year or in the Oxford Parliament that assembled for a week in 1681. He sat for Maldon in the first and only parliament of James II in 1685, but failed to secure a seat in a subsequent election.[3]

After the restoration between 1660 and 1688 Bramston was active in other public offices he was a justice of the peace, deputy lieutenant and vice-admiral of Essex, high steward of Maldon, and a committee member for parliamentary tax assessment.[3] He died 4 February 1700, leaving his estate to Anthony his third son and heir.[4][6]


In 1635, (the year he was called to the bar) Bramston married Alice, eldest daughter of Anthony Abdy, alderman of London, took a house in Charterhouse Yard. She preceded him dying in 1647.[4] She was buried in Roxwell parish church close to her father in-law, and on his death in 1700 he was buried near to them. They had six sons and four daughters although not all of them outlived their parents.[3]


The Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, preserved in the archives at Skreens, was published by the Camden Society in 1845. It begins with an account of his early years, and is continued to within a few weeks before his death. Thomas Henderson states in the DNB that "Although it casts no important light on historical events, it is of great interest as a record of the social and domestic life of the period".[4]


  1. ^ John Brampston in some sources
  2. ^ Lee, Sidney (1903), Dictionary of National Biography Index and Epitome p. 137. (DNB volume vi p. 210)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Coakley 2004.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Henderson 1886, p. 210.
  5. ^ Bramston 1845, p. 103.
  6. ^ Died 4 February 1700, (Old Style—Julian calendar with the year starting on 1 January)


  • Bramston, Sir John (1845), Braybrooke, Baron Richard Griffin (ed.), "The autobiography of Sir John Bramston: K.B., of Skreens, in the hundred of Chelmsford; now first printed from the original ms. in the possession of his lineal descendant Thomas William Bramston, Esq.", Camden Society. Publications, No. Xxxii, Printed for the Camden society, by J. B. Nichols and son
  • Coakley, Thomas M. (2004). "Bramston, Sir John, the younger (1611–1700)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3244.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • History of Parliament Online – Bramston, John
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Not represented in Restored Rump
Member of Parliament for Essex
1660– 1679
With: Edward Turnor 1660
Sir Benjamin Ayloffe, 2nd Baronet 1661–1663
Banastre Maynard
Succeeded by
Sir Eliab Harvey
Henry Mildmay