Committee for Compounding with Delinquents

In 1643, near the start of the English Civil War, Parliament set up two committees the Sequestration Committee which confiscated the estates of the Royalists who fought against Parliament, and the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents which allowed Royalists whose estates had been sequestrated, to compound for their estates – pay a fine and recover their estates – if they pledged not to take up arms against Parliament again. The size of the fine they had to pay depended on the worth of the estate and how great their support for the Royalist cause had been.[1]

To administer the process of sequestration, a sequestration committee was established in each county. If a local committee sequestrated an estate they usually let it to a tenant and the income was used "to the best advantage of the State".[2] If a "delinquent" wished to recover his estate he had to apply to the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents based in London,[2][a] as the national Sequestration Committee was absorbed by the Committee for Compounding in 1644.[3]

After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, most of the sequestrated land was returned to the pre-war owners.[4]


In 1643, the "Parliamentary Committee for the Sequestration of Delinquents' Estates" was formed to confiscate the estates of Royalists who fought against the victorious Parliamentarians in the Civil War.[5] This was followed by the establishment of the Committee for Compounding for the Estates of Royalists and Delinquents, at Goldsmiths' Hall in the City of London, which first met on 8 November 1643.[6]

In January 1646, the Committee announced favourable terms for those who compounded prior to 1 May. This allowed those whose estates had been confiscated to regain them on payment of a fine, based on the value of their lands, and level of support. Many took advantage of this.[7]

Assessment of sumEdit

The delinquent paid a fine proportional to the value of his estate,[1] frequently three times net annual income.[8]

Valuation of estateEdit

The delinquent submitted to the "Committee for Compounding with Delinquents" a signed declaration of his revenue and assets, which ended with wording such as: This is a true particular of the estate he doth desire to compound with this Honourable Committee for, wherein he doth submit himself to the fine to be imposed (partial transcript of declaration to the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents of Francis Choke of Avington, Berkshire, dated 1646).[1]


Payment of the sum compounded was made generally at Goldsmiths' Hall in the City of London, where the Committee was based.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In a paternalistic society most of the property sequestrated was owned by men.
  1. ^ a b c National Archives & SP 23/193 folio 825.
  2. ^ a b O'Riordan 1987.
  3. ^ National Archives 1642–1660.
  4. ^ Habakkuk 2008, pp. 130–151.
  5. ^ Hey 2003.
  6. ^ National Archives & SP 23.
  7. ^ Wedgwood 1958, p. 550.
  8. ^ Andrews 1962, pp. 233–338, 266 — described as "the usual composition", concerning Colonel John Giffard of Brightley
  9. ^ As in case of Col John Giffard of Brightley (Prince 1810, p. 412).
  10. ^ Thirsk 1984, p. 88.


  • Andrews, Rev. J.H.B. (1962), Transactions of the Devon Association, Chittlehampton, 94: 233–338, 266 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Habakkuk, H. J. (All Souls College, Oxford) (11 February 2008), "Landowners and the Civil War", The Economic History Review (Online ed.), 18 (1): 130–151, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1965.tb01665.x, archived from the original on 5 January 2013 (subscription required)
  • Hey, David (2003) [1997], "Royalist composition papers", The Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History (online ed.), Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acref/9780198600800.001.0001, ISBN 9780198600800 (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • State Papers Domestic: The Commonwealth, 1642-1660, The National Archives, archived from the original on 12 July 2014
  • Committee for Compounding with Delinquents: Books and Papers, SP 23, The National Archives, retrieved 1 October 2014
  • Document 17: State Papers: Committee for Compounding with Delinquents document relating to Francis Choke, of Avington, Berkshire, dated 1646 (Catalogue reference: SP 23/193 folio 825) (PDF), The National Archives, retrieved 1 October 2014[non-primary source needed]
  • O'Riordan, Christopher (1987), "The story of a gentleman's house in the English Revolution", Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, 38: 165–7
  • Prince, John (1810), Danmonii Orientales Illustres, Danmonii orientales illustres: or, The worthies of Devon. ..., London: Printed for Rees & Curtis, Plymouth etc.
  • Thirsk, Joan (1984), The rural economy of England: collected essays, History series, 25, Hambledon Press, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 88, ISBN 978-0-907628-29-3

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit