Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Sir Philip Monckton (c.1620-1679)

Philip Monckton was the eldest son of Sir Francis Monckton (d c.1655) of Cavil and Hodroyd, Yorkshire, and his wife Margaret née Savile. He matriculated at University College, Oxford, in 1638.

In 1642 he volunteered to fight on the Royalist side and became a captain under Sir Thomas Metham. Monckton served at the seige of Hull in 1642, and the battles of Adwalton Moor in 1643, Corbridge and Marston Moor in 1644, and Naseby and Rowton Heath in 1645. He was knighted in 1644.

In 1648, when the Second Civil War broke out, Monckton was a member of the Royalist Council of War. After capturing the Bishop's Palace at Lincoln he was himself captured at Willoughby Field and imprisoned. The following year he was allowed into exile, and remained on the Continent until 1651.

During the 1650s Monckton was involved in two uprisings against Cromwell, and again imprisoned. He was released in 1658. He claimed to have been involved in raising a party of horse in support of Sir George Booth in 1659, and in the same year to have helped Fairfax and Monck in capturing York. Monckton's claims to pre-eminent importance in assuring the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 were largely disbelieved at the time, and have been disputed by modern historians.

After the Restoration, Monckton was appointed as the salaried comptroller of customs of Dunkirk and given a commission in a foot company in Hull, but both posts were abolished in 1662. In 1668 he was given a captaincy in the 1st Foot Guards, a commission which he sold in 1674 in return for a pension.

He was a magistrate for the East Riding of Yorkshire from 1660 until his death, and high sheriff of Yorkshire in 1669. From 1670 until his death he was M.P. for Scarborough.

He was hostile towards Roman Catholicism, and was briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1676 for writing a 'seditious and scandalous' letter to 'defame the Government and Privy Council'. He served on a number of parliamentary committees on bills to prevent the growth of Popery.

Monckton died in February 1678/9 and was buried at North Newbald in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

A portrait of Sir Philip Monckton appears in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), available online for subscribers []


He married Anne, daughter of Robert Eyre of Highlow, Derbyshire, in 1658, and had:

  • Robert (d 1722)
  • William (d 1706), Lieutenant in the Royal Navy
  • Margaret

Archive Collections

  • Sir Philip Monckton's Civil War memoirs, together with correspondence and other personal papers, form part of the first deposit of Galway papers (Ga 9201-13257) held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham
  • Title deeds, settlements, estate and legal papers relating to Sir Philip Monckton's ownership of his estates are also part of the Galway papers

Published sources

  • Andrew J. Hopper, ‘Monckton, Sir Philip (bap. 1622, d. 1679)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [available online for subscribers,]
  • Edward Peacock (ed.), The Monckton papers [transcription of Sir Philip Monckton's Civil War papers] (London miscellanies / Philobiblon Society ; v. 15, no.5) [1885]


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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