Chisenhall, Edward

Sir Edward Chisenhall (1646-1727), MP for Preston from 1690 to 1695, was the son and heir of Edward Chisenhall, a Royalist and staunch Anglican, of Chisnall Hall, Coppull, the family having held the manor since the 13th century.

Edward junior was knighted in 1671 at the age of 24 and the following year was appointed JP, a position he held until 1688 when, along with many others, he was removed from the post when James II was reforming local government. He was back in post after the revolution and continued to serve, with a few years’ gap, until 1715. He served as deputy lieutenant for the county from 1689 to 1715.

Chisenhall became involved in local politics in Wigan, eventually being elected MP for the town in 1689. His loyalties seem to have been tested by William of Orange’s invasion and coronation for in the Commons he supported the loyalist position ‘that the throne was not vacant’, and declared the comprehension bill which would have extended toleration to many Dissenters ‘so destructive to the Church of England [that] he desired it [to] lie on the table till Doomsday’. [1]

Fishwick quotes from a letter of 5 December 1690 from Thomas Hodgkinson to Roger Kenyon with an account of the Parliamentary contest in Preston in which Chisenhall, who had lost his Wigan seat, defeated the Whig candidate:

This day our election began about eleaven of clock and continued until three this afternoon. There never was an election in this place managed with more calmness on both sides, saving some few rude disturbances by Mr. Patten’s creatures, but (indeed) against his inclinations. Sir Edward Chisenhale carried it by 57 votes, soe that you will have no further trouble at the comittee of priviledges about this corporation. Bee pleased to rectify my mistake to my good Lord Derby, for I have (by the post) given his Lordshipp an account that wee outvoted Mr. Patten 60 votes, whereas (upon a more exact scrutiny) there only appeares 57 votes, which mistake (though not very considerable) I thought fitt to correct, being sent to a person of that honour and quality. Sir I am now with Mr. Maior, Sir Edward Chisenhale, and many more of your friends, who have already drunke his Lorshippe’s health and are now remembering (this worthy friend) the sitting member : unto whom they do owne themselves particularly obliged in their late disputt in the senate. . . The company is pressing mee with glasses and only give me time to tell you that I am, Sir, your very affectionate servant. [2]

He makes several appearances in the Bellingham/Rawstorne diaries in October 1688, and in March, April and May 1690

[1] ‘Chisenhall, Sir Edward (1646-1727), of Chisnall Hall, Coppull, Lancs. | History of Parliament Online’, accessed 30 January 2017,
[2] Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Preston (Rochdale: The Aldine Press, 1900), 377.