TUCHET, James (d. 1700)

TUCHET, James (d. 1700)

suc. fa. 2 Nov. 1686 as 15th Bar. AUDLEY (AWDLEY) and 5th earl of Castlehaven [I]

First sat 20 Dec. 1697; last sat 1 Aug. 1700

s. of Mervin Tuchet, 14th Bar. Audley and 4th earl of Castlehaven [I], and Mary (d. Mar. 1711), da. of John Talbot, 10th earl of Shrewsbury. m. Anne (d.1733), da. of Richard Pelson of St. George’s-in-the-Fields, London, and Anne (d.1670), da. and event. h. of Christopher Villiers, earl of Anglesey, wid. of Thomas Savile, earl of Sussex, 1s. d. 9 Aug. 1700; admon. 1 Dec. 1701 to Nicholas Walter, principal creditor.1

Lt. of horse 1685; capt. 1687.2

Associated with: Maddenstown, co. Kildare; Castlehaven, co. Cork.

Tuchet’s date of birth is unknown, but he was the elder of two sons. He was born into a family with limited finances but significant social and political connections. His uncle James Tuchet, 13th Baron Audley and 3rd earl of Castlehaven [I], and his father were respected royalist military officers during the civil war years and continued to serve as soldiers during the Restoration. Tuchet followed the family tradition of military service, being made a lieutenant in the regiment of horse of Thomas Tufton, 6th earl of Thanet, in August 1685 and transferring in November 1685 to the regiment of major-general Robert Werden. The same month his name was included in a warrant pardoning various officers from the penalties of the acts against recusants for not taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. In February 1687, by which time he had succeeded to his father’s English and Irish titles, he was promoted to captain in the regiment of Henry Mordaunt, 2nd earl of Peterborough, a close associate of the king.3

As a Catholic, Castlehaven did not attend Parliament under James II. However, contemporaries were clear where his political sympathies lay. His name appeared on four lists relating to the repeal of the penal laws and the Test Act, and to the king’s religious policies, all of which designated him as a Roman Catholic. A watchful eye was therefore kept on his activities. In February 1687 a newsletter reported that the king had bestowed Sir Michael Wentworth’s regiment on Castlehaven, and in April of the same year Edmund Verney reported that Castlehaven had been at Woodstock in Oxfordshire.4 Thomas Cartwright, bishop of Chester, reported dining in June 1687 with Castlehaven and Peterborough and taking supper at court with him in August.5 In August 1688 Castlehaven was identified by Roger Whitley as the captain of a company of soldiers at Northampton.6 His role in the Revolution of 1688 is unclear.

Castlehaven’s absence from the House of Lords was noted on 25 Jan. 1689, 31 Mar. 1690 and 2 Nov. 1691. He was also absent from James II’s Irish parliament, which met on 7 May 1689.7 The journals record him as present in the Irish Lords on 25 Nov. 1692, but this appears to be an error. In October 1695, his relative Charles Talbot, duke of Shrewsbury, intervened on his behalf after he had received a summons to the Irish parliament, explaining to the Irish lord chancellor that, as Castlehaven was a Roman Catholic, he was unable to sit and that to travel to Ireland would be ‘very prejudicial to his private concerns at this time’.8

An important shift was soon to occur, however, for at the end of October 1697 Narcissus Luttrell reported that Castlehaven had ‘resolved to embrace the Protestant religion’. He attended the Lords on 20 Dec. 1697, which was noted as his first sitting since the death of his father, and duly took the oaths and made and subscribed the declaration, pursuant to the statutes excluding Catholics. Luttrell spelled it out, noting that he had ‘lately abjured the Romish religion’ and took his place as the ‘second baron of England’.9 Thereafter Castlehaven played a full part in proceedings and on 23 Feb. 1698 he was granted a royal bounty of £100.10 On 4 Mar. he entered his dissent to the resolution to give the bill to punish Charles Duncombe a second reading and on 15 Mar. he voted against committing the bill.11 In March and April he chaired the select committee into the use of exchequer bills.12 On 31 Mar. he reported the bill for confirming a lease granted by the bishop of Winchester for erecting a water-works on a parcel of waste ground in Alverstoke, and the following day he reported the bill for erecting hospitals and workhouses in Tiverton. Having sat on 8 Apr., when he reported Sir John Churchill’s estate bill, he registered his proxy to James Bertie, earl of Abingdon, on the 11th, which was cancelled by his return to the House on 3 May. On 11 May he reported the bill for naturalizing the children of servants of the government who had been born abroad during the war; three days later he reported another naturalization bill. On 28 June he was appointed to a conference on the impeachments of John Goudet and others. On 1 July he protested against giving a second reading to the bill establishing the £2m fund and settling the trade to the East Indies. He continued to sit regularly until the end of the session on 5 July, having been present for 92 sittings (70 per cent of the total).

Castlehaven first attended the 1698 Parliament on the opening day of the session, 6 Dec. 1698. On 9 Jan. 1699 he reported a naturalization bill, as he did on the 16th. On 27 Jan. he was named to a conference on the bill to prevent the export of corn. On 20 Feb. he reported a bill allowing several ships to trade as free ships, as well as a naturalization bill. He attended 54 sittings in the session (63 per cent). In March 1699 he received a further £200 royal bounty and at the end of May a pension of £300 p.a. backdated to March.13 He also attended the prorogation on 1 June 1699.

Castlehaven first attended the 1699–1700 session on the opening day, 16 Nov. 1699. On 6 Dec. he reported from a committee on whether, when the attorney-general was heard on the king’s behalf, the counsel of the other parties might be present. This was part of the proceedings in the case against Thomas Watson, bishop of St Davids; following the report, it was voted not to allow the bishop his privilege.14 On 23 Jan. 1700 Castlehaven entered his protest against the resolution to reverse the judgment in the case of Williamson v. the Crown. In February he was forecast as likely to oppose the bill continuing the East India Company as a corporation and on the 23rd was against adjourning the House, which was effectively voting against putting the House into a committee of the whole to discuss amendments made to the bill. On 5 Mar. he reported a bill to enable the king’s natural-born subjects to inherit the estate of their ancestors, lineal or collateral, notwithstanding whether their parents were aliens. On 7 and 11 Mar. he reported from the committee on Riddell’s estate bill, a letter from two of the family being addressed to Castlehaven at his lodgings in St James’s Palace.15 On 2 Apr. he was named to report a conference on the bill taking off the duties on woollen manufactures. Two days later he protested against the resolution to give a second reading to the land tax and forfeited Irish estates bill and on 10 Apr. against the decision not to insist on the Lords’ amendments to the bill, having been named to three conferences on the bill on 9 and 10 April. He was present on the last day of the session, 11 Apr. 1700, having attended 69 sittings (76 per cent of the total).

Castlehaven attended the prorogation on 1 Aug. 1700 but died shortly afterwards of an apoplexy at Winchester on 9 Aug.; he was buried in the cathedral the following day.16 He was succeeded by his son James Tuchet, 16th Baron Audley and 6th earl of Castlehaven.


  • 1 TNA, PROB 6/77, f. 119v.
  • 2 CSP Dom. 1685, p. 314; 1686–7, p. 370.
  • 3 CSP Dom. 1685, pp. 314, 391, 395; 1686–7, pp. 22, 370.
  • 4 JRL, Legh of Lyme mss, newsletter, 19 Feb. 1686[–7]; Verney ms mic. 636/41, E. to J. Verney, 17 Apr. 1687.
  • 5 Cartwright Diary, 60, 75.
  • 6 Bodl. ms Eng. Hist. c.711, f. 95v.
  • 7 CP, iii. 631.
  • 8 CSP Dom. 1695, p. 76.
  • 9 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 298, 321.
  • 10 CTB, xiii. 254.
  • 11 Northants. RO, Ellesmere (Brackley) mss 635.
  • 12 HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 147–9.
  • 13 CTB, xiv. 65, 90, 306, 377.
  • 14 LPL, mss 3403, pp. 239–51; Bodl. MS North, b.1, ff. 320–1; HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 236.
  • 15 HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 81.
  • 16 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 677; J. Britton, Hist. and Antiqs. of ... Cathedral Church of Winchester, 110; CP, xiv. 156.