Chudleigh, George (DNB00)

CHUDLEIGH, Sir GEORGE, (d. 1657), parliamentarian commander, was son of John Chudleigh, esq. of Ashton, Devonshire, by a daughter of George Speke, esq. of White Lackington, Somersetshire. At the death of his father he was only three or four years old, but he was thoroughly educated by his trustees, and 'having been abroad for the most exquisite breeding that age could yield, he retired home, well improved,' and fixed his habitation at Ashton (Prince, Worthies of Devon, p. 210). Probably he was the person who was returned for St. Michael, Cornwall, to the parliament which assembled on 27 Oct. 1631, and for Lostwithiel, in the same county, to the parliaments which met respectively on 6 April 1614 and 16 Jan. 1620-1. On 1 Aug. 1622 he was created a baronet. He was elected for Tiverton to the parliament which assembled on 12 Feb. 1623-4, and for Lostwithiel to that of 17 May 1626.

At the commencement of the civil war he became very active in the west of England for the parliament against the king. In May 1643 the Earl of Stamford, who had just entered Cornwall with an army of seven thousand men, sent a party of twelve hundred horse, under the command of Chudleigh, to Bodmin, in order to surprise the high sheriff and gentlemen of the county. When Chudleigh heard of the defeat of the parliamentarian army, commanded by his son Major-general James Chudleigh [q. v.], at Stratton Hill, he removed from Bodmin to Plymouth, and thence to Exeter. After Stamford had accused James Chudleigh of treachery, Sir George surrendered his commission, and published a 'Declaration' which is reprinted in Rushworth's ' Historical Collections,' vol. ii. pt. iii. p. 272. Subsequently he espoused the cause of the king. He died in 1667, and was buried in Ashton church. He married Mary, daughter of Sir William Strode, knight, and left three sons and three daughters.

The following civil war tracts relate to him: 1. 'A Declaration for the Protection of Sir G. Chudleigh [and others] who have lately beene proclaimed traytors by his majestie,' 1642, fol. 2. 'A Letter from Exceter, sent to the Deputy Lievtenants of Sommersetshire, subscribed George Chudley, and Nich. Martin. Shewing how Colonell Ruthen sallyed out of Plymouth, and hath taken Sir Edward Fortescue, Sir Edward Seymore, and divers other Gentlemen of note prisoners,' Lond. 14 Dec. 1642, 4to. 3. 'A Declaration published in the County of Devon by that Grand Ambo-dexter, Sir George Chudleigh, Baronet, to delude his Countrymen in their Judgement and Affections, touching the present differences between his Majestie and the Parliament. Together with a full and satisfactory Answer thereunto, transmitted from thence under the Hand of a Iudicious and well Affected Patriot,' Lond. 1644 [i.e. 14 March 1643–4], 4to.

[Willis's Notitia Parliamentaria, vol. iii. pt. ii. pp. 147, 168, 177, 189, 199; Official Lists of Members of Parliament, pp. 437, 460, 457, 463; Rapin's Hist. of England, 2nd edit. ii. 478, 479; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion (1848), pp. 397, 398; Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, p. 115; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Cat of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

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