Jonathan Rashleigh (1591–1675)

Arms of Rashleigh: Sable, a cross or between in the first quarter: a Cornish chough, argent beaked and legged gules; in the second quarter: a text "T"; in the third and fourth quarters: a crescent all of the third[1]

Jonathan I Rashleigh (4 July 1591 – 1 May 1675), of Menabilly, near Fowey in Cornwall, was an English shipping-merchant, Member of Parliament for Fowey in 1614, 1621, 1625,[2] April 1640 and November 1640, [3] and 1661[4] and served as Sheriff of Cornwall in 1627. He supported the Royalist cause during the Civil War.


He was the second son and heir of John Rashleigh (1554–1624), MP for Fowey in 1588. He married twice. His first marriage was on 17 December 1614, to Anne Basset (c. 1595 – 1631), eldest daughter of Sir Robert Basset (1573–1641)[5] of Umberleigh and Heanton Punchardon in Devon, MP for Plymouth in 1593, by his wife Elizabeth Periam (1571–1635), the second daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Peryam, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. By Anne he had five children including:

His second marriage was in 1633 to Mary Harris (died 1674), daughter of John Harris of Radford, near Plymouth, Devon.[6]

Rashleigh died on 1 May 1675[6] and was succeeded by his grandson Jonathan Rashleigh (1642–1702), of Menabilly, many times MP for Fowey and Sheriff of Cornwall in 1687.


Rashleigh was elected Member of Parliament for Fowey in 1614, 1621 and 1625.[2] In 1627 he served as Sheriff of Cornwall. In April 1640 he was re-elected MP for Fowey for the Short Parliament and re-elected in November 1640 for the Long Parliament.}[3] He supported the King in the Civil War and was disabled from sitting in parliament in 1644. He was bankrupted by penalties imposed on his estate and imprisoned in St Mawes castle. His fortunes were repaired at the Restoration in 1660. He was elected once more MP for Fowey to the Cavalier Parliament in 1661 and sat until his death at the age of 83.[8]


  1. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain, vol.1
  2. 1 2 Willis 1750, p. 168, 177.
  3. 1 2 Willis 1750, p. 230, 242.
  4. History of Parliament biog
  5. Vivian 1895, p. 47, pedigree of Basset.
  6. 1 2 3 Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 15th Edition, ed. Pirie-Gordon, H., London, 1937, p.1891, pedigree of Rashleigh of Menabilly
  7. Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959 (first published 1954), p.419
  8. History of Parliament Online - Rashleigh, Jonathan


Further reading

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Henry Peter
Francis Vivian
Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: Sir Edward Boys 1614
John Treffry 1621–22
Succeeded by
William Noy
Robert Cook
Preceded by
William Noy
Robert Cook
Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: Arthur Basset
Succeeded by
Arthur Basset
William Murray
Preceded by
Robert Rashleigh
Sir Richard Grenville
Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: Edwin Rich 1640
Sir Richard Buller 1640–42
Succeeded by
Seats vacant
Next held by:
Nicholas Gould
Gregory Clement
Preceded by
John Barton
Edward Herle
Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: John Rashleigh
Succeeded by
John Rashleigh
Jonathan Rashleigh
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