Bond, Dennis (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

BOND, DENNIS (d. 1658), politician, of a good family belonging to the isle of Purbeck, carried on the business of a woollen-draper in Dorchester, of which town he was among the first fifteen capital burgesses nominated in the new charter granted by Charles I in 1629, bailiff the following year, and mayor in 1635. He was returned to parliament by the borough along with Denzil Hollis in 1640. A casual reference in Clarendon's ‘History of the Rebellion’ shows that at the outset of his parliamentary career he was already a decided adherent of the party of reform. The king having (January to June 1642) filled up certain vacant places on the episcopal bench, the House of Commons resolve to resent a petition deprecating the making of new appointments ‘till the controversy should be ended about the government of the church,’ and a committee was nominated ‘to draw up reasons’ in support of the petition, of which both Falkland’ and Hyde, although they had opposed the resolution, were invited to become members, an offer which was of course declined. On this Clarendon observes: ‘There was a gentleman who sat by, Mr. Bond, of Dorchester, very severe and resolved against the church and the court, who with much passion and trouble of mind said to them, "For God's sake be of the committee; you know none of our side can give reasons."’ What part Bond played during the civil war remains obscure; but we may fairly conjecture that it was a not inactive one, since his name appears in the list of the commissioners nominated by ‘act of the Commons’ (6 Jan. 1648–9) to try the king for high treason. He was not, however, one of those who signed the warrant of execution, nor is he mentioned in the list of commissioners present on any of the days (from 20 to 27 Jan.) during which the trial was in progress. Probably he was deterred by scruples of conscience or want of resolution. On 14 Feb. he was elected a member of the council of state, of which he continued to be a member, being reflected every ear, until 1653. During this period he must have led a busy life, as the records show that he sat on many of the committees into which the council divided itself for the more efficient despatch of business. The most important of those on which Bond sat were the committee for trade and foreign affairs and the admiralty committee, both of course standing committees. He was also from time to time a member of minor committees, constituted to serve temporary purposes, such as disposing of the prisoners taken at Worcester, considering how best to prevent the exportation of coin, or raising money to pay the judges. On two occasions, 12 July 1652 and 23 March 1652–3, he was elected to the presidency of the council, an office tenable for a month only. After the dissolution of the Long parliament (19 April 1653) a new council of state was formed upon a reduced scale, and Bond was not included therein, nor apparently in any subsequent council. Yet in 1655 we find him mentioned as a member of the council's committee for trade. Probably being regarded as a person of special knowledge in that department, he was by an irregularity placed on the committee, though not a member of the council. He represented Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the short lived parliament of 1654, and was returned by the same constituency in 1656. He died on 30 Aug. 1658, ‘the windiest day,’ says Wood, ‘that had before happened for twenty years, being then tormented with the stragnury and much anxiety of spirit.' Crornwell’s death following on 3 Sept. suggested to some royalist of a punning humour a jeu de mots which was popular in its time, and which, though the precise form which its author gave it has been forgotten, was to the effect that the devil had taken Bond for Oliver's appearance. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, but his body was exhumed in September 1661 and transgerred to the churchyard of St. Margaret’s close by. He seems to have had his fair share of the pride of long descent; for he drew up and had engrossed on vellum an elaborate account of his own pedigree, of the complete accuracy of which modern genealogical authorities are by no means satisfied. He also made an alteration in the family scutcheon, which has been retained by his descendants. He had an estate at Lutton, Dorset, and was twice married. His first wife, married in 1610, was Joan, daughter of John Gould, of Dorchester, by whom he had two sons, viz. John, afterwards eminent as a puritan divine [see Bond, John, d. 1676), and William, who achieved no particular distinction, and died in 1669 without male issue. In 1622 he married Lucy, daughter of William Lawrence, of Steeple, Dorset. His son by this marriage, Nathaniel, born 1634, was educated at All Souls College, Oxford, where he graduated B.C.L. 14 Dec. 1654, having on 14 April of the same year been admitted a student of the Inner Temple. He was called to the bar 26 May 1661. In the parliament of 1680 he represented Corfe Castle, and the following year was returned for Dorchester, and in 1695 for the same place. In 1683 he was appointed recorder of Weymouth, became serjeart-law 2 May 1689, and king’s serjeant 1693, being then knighted. On the accession of Queen Anne he was not summoned to the usual ceremony of taking the oaths, and consequently lost his rank of serieant. In 1660 he bought him his elder brothers, John and William, the Lutton estate, and in 1686, from John Lawrence the reversion of the adjoining wtate of Creech Grange, which fell into possession in 1691, and has ever since been the seat of the family; He married (1) Elizabeth, youngest daug ter of the Rev. J. Churchill, rector of Steeple, who died without issue 18 Dec. 1674; (2) Mary, daughter of Lewis Williams, Esq., of Chitterton, Dorset, by whom he had two sons, Dennis and John. He died in 1707, and was buried at Steeple. His wife died in 1728, and was buried at the same place.

[Hutchins’s Dorset, i. 279, 325-7, ii. 10, 12, 14, 17, iv. 357, 360; Clarendon, ii. 27; Willis’s Not. Parl. iii. 231, 261, 274; Commons Journals, vi. 141. 362, 632, vii. 42, 220; Rushworth's Hist. Coll. part iv. vol. ii. 1379; State Trils, iv. 1134-5; State Papers, Dom. (1649-50), 284, 374, 387. 441, 461, 494, 565, (1650) passim, (1651) 315, 413, 431, (1651-2), 43, 46, 102, 150, 321, 436, 447, 505, (1652-3) xxxiii, xxxiv, 2, 19, 62. 228; Whitelocke’s Memorials. 674; Burke's Landed Gentry; Wood's Athenæ, ii. 117, Fasti, ii. 182; Woolrych's Lives of Eminent Serjeants-at-Law, i. 170, 414; Wynne's serjeant-at-1aw.]

J. M. R.