Ralph Stawell, 1st Baron Stawell
Stawell married firstly Ann, a daughter of John Ryves, Esquire, and by her had one son, John. He married secondly Abigail, daughter and heiress of William Pitt, Esq., and with her had two sons and four daughters.
In 1679, standing in the Tory or "court" interest, Colonel Ralph Stawell was returned as one of the two members of parliament for Bridgwater in Somerset. A Roman Catholic, on 15 January 1683/84 Stawell was created Baron Stawell, of Somerton in the County of Somerset. In 1688, the year of the Glorious Revolution, he was briefly Lord Lieutenant of Somerset. In a commission dated from London on 6 November 1688, the day after the landing in England of William, Prince of Orange, King James II appointed Stawell as his Lord Lieutenant in Somerset in place of Lord Waldegrave, who was the husband of the king's illegitimate daughter Henrietta FitzJames.
Some sources have claimed that with the success of the Revolution against James, Stawell was committed to the Tower of London, where he died in 1689. His parliamentary biography says that despite his appointment as Lord Lieutenant of Somerset by James II, Stawell at once rallied to William of Orange and makes no suggestion that he was imprisoned.
- J. Debrett, The peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland: or, the ancient and present state of the nobility, vol. I (1790), p. 428
- Basil Duke Henning, The House of Commons, 1660-1690, pp. 372-374
- Robert Dunning, A History of Somerset (Chichester: Phillimore & Co., 1983, ISBN 0-85033-461-6), pp. 108–109
- Sir George Floyd Duckett, Penal laws and Test act: questions touching their repeal propounded in 1687–8 by James II (Printed by T. Wilson, 1882), pp. 389, 415
- Arthur Collins & Sir Egerton Brydges, Collins's Peerage of England, vol. 9 (1812), p. 425: "Stawell, Lord Stawell, 1684... At the Revolution he was committed to the Tower, where he died 1689."