Edmund Dunch (Roundhead)

Edmund Dunch, 1st Baron Burnell of East Wittenham (1602–1678) was an English Member of Parliament who supported the Parliamentary cause before and during the English Civil War. During the Interregnum he sat as a member of parliament. In 1659, after the Protectorate and before the Restoration, regaining his seat in the Rump he also sat in Committee of Safety. After the restoration of the monarchy he was not exempted under the Act of Pardon and Oblivion but the titles granted to him under the Protectorate were not recognised under the restored monarchy of Charles II.


Edmund Dunch was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Berkshire in 1624 and was re-elected in 1625 and 1626. In 1628 he was elected MP for Wallingford (then Berkshire (now Oxfordshire)).[1] and Sheriff of Berkshire in 1633–1634.[2]

A Royal warrant was issued for his arrest in 1639 for failure to pay ship money in support of King Charles I. John Hampden represented him at his trial, and he escaped punishment. See document ACC/0447 at the London Metropolitan Archives. He was re-elected to serve for Wallingford in the Short Parliament of 1640. He also represented Wallingford in the Long Parliament that first sat in 1640. He supported the parliamentary cause in the Civil War, signing the Protestation in 1641. His manor and possessions at Little Wittenham were taken from him by the king and given to Thomas Blagge, governor of Wallingford Castle. In 1644, Dunch directed a parliamentary committee to send military forces into areas around Oxfordshire and Berkshire, including Wallingford.[citation needed] He took the oath prescribed in the Act enforcing the Solemn League and Covenant in 1647. He was on the Parliamentary Committee for Compounding with Delinquents that levied fines on the estates of Royalists. In 1648, was a Protester against any agreement with the King Charles.[2]

After the capture of Charles I, Dunch survived Pride's Purge of MPs who did not want Charles tried and was part of the Rump Parliament.[3] In 1654, he was elected MP for Berkshire in the First Protectorate Parliament) and in 1656 he was re-elected MP for Berkshire in the Second Protectorate Parliament.[1] He was governor of Wallingford Castle.[2] John Hedges states that Dunch was selected to be a member of Cromwell's Other House in 1658 as Baron Burnell of East Wittenham,[4] however George Cokayne while detailing Cromwell's granting of the Barony to Dunch does not mention his membership of the Other House and he is not included in Cobbett's list of members of that house.[5][6]

After Oliver Cromwell's son Richard resigned from power as second Lord Protector, Dunch may have joined the Committee of Safety in 1659.[7] A fine was levied against Dunch for non-attendance at Parliament in 1659 but later withdrawn.[citation needed] After the restoration Charles II did not recognise Dunch's baronage (the only one made by Cromwell not renewed by Charles II), but unlike the surviving Regicides, Dunch was not exempted from the general pardon granted under Indemnity and Oblivion Act. He was Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1667–68.[2]


Edmund Dunch was the son an heir of Sir William Dunch of Little Wittenham, Berkshire (d. 22 January 1611), by Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Williams (alias Cromwell) (grandfather of the Protector Oliver Cromwell).[2] This made him a cousin of John Hampden and Oliver Cromwell.

Edmund Dunch married Bridget daughter of Anthony Hungerford of Down Ampney in Gloucestershire, and inherited £60,000 on her father's death.[8] His son Hungerford Dunch (1639–1680) was also an MP for Wallingford, as was his grandson Edmund Dunch, the last of the male line of the Dunches.


  1. ^ a b Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. 229–239.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cokayne 1912, p. 436.
  3. ^ The parliamentary or constitutional history of England;: being a faithful account of all the most remarkable transactions in Parliament, from the earliest times. Collected from the journals of both Houses, the records, ..., Volume 9
  4. ^ Hedges 1881, p. 103.
  5. ^ Cokayne 1912, pp. 436, 437 states "that it was to [Dunch] and the heirs male of his body" and under footnote d notes "In Banks' Baronia Anglica, vol. i, p. 145 (where the descent of Dunch from Burnell, through Hungerford, is fully set out) are some pertinent remarks as to the "vested power in the Sovereign de facto to create honours" under the Act 11 Hen. VII, &c. In the case of the only other Hereditary peerage conferred by the Protector, viz. that of Charles Howard, who by patent, 20 July 1657, was cr. Baron Gilsland and Viscount Howard of Morpeth, the fortunate patentee and noble cat-in-pan was cr., 30 April 1661, by Charles II, not only a Baron and Viscount (as above) but even an Earl, as Earl of Carlisle. The Viscountcy promised by the Protector to Bulstrode Whitelocke appears to have gone no further than the signature, 21 August 1658, to the Bill for the patent. A record has been printed of the attendances of the Members of the other House. Its existence was but brief, viz. from 20 Jan to 4 February 1658, and from Jan. to Apr. 1659. For a list of the members of this Assembly see vol. iv, Appendix G."
  6. ^ Cobbett 1808, pp. 1518, 1519.
  7. ^ Cokayne 1912, p. 437 states "In 1659 he is said (probably incorrectly) to have been one of the Committee of Safety".
  8. ^ Cokayne 1912, p. 437 states "Bridget, only da. and h. of Sir Anthony Hungerford, of Down Ampney, co. Gloucester (who d. 1637), by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Lucy. The fortune of this lady was above £60,000, and she was h. gen. and lineal descendant of Edmund Hungerford [younger son of Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford], and Margaret (Burnell) his wife, granddaughter and coh. of Hugh, Lord Burnell, and was consequently h. to a moiety of that Barony, which accounts for her husband's creation by that title."


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Parliament of England
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Berkshire
With: Richard Harrison 1624
Francis Knollys 1625
John Fettiplace 1626
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wallingford
With: Robert Knollys
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Wallingford
With: Unton Croke 1640
Thomas Howard 1640–1644
Robert Packer 1645–1648
Succeeded by
Not represented in Barebones Parliament
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Berkshire
With: George Purefoy 1654
Sir Robert Pye 1654
John Dunch
John Southby
William Trumball 1656
William Hide 1656
Succeeded by