Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Armine, William

ARMINE, or ARMYNE, Sir WILLIAM (1593–1651), parliamentarian, was the son of Sir William Armine of Osgodby, Lincolnshire, where he was born 11 Dec. 1593. The family was of Yorkshire origin, and has been traced to one Sewal de Armyne, stated to be the grandfather of Richard and William de Ayreminne [q. v.], the well-known ecclesiastics of the fourteenth century. The father of our Sir William was M.P. for Grantham in 1588-89, was sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1603, when he was knighted (23 April) by James I, and died at the age of sixty on 22 Jan. 1620-21. The son was created a baronet on 28 Nov. 1619 on payment of 1,095l., married a fortnight afterwards Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Michael Hicks, Knight, and was in 1620 holding the office of sheriff of Huntingdonshire. He was returned as M.P. for Boston in 1621 and 1624, as M.P. for Grantham in 1625, and as M.P. for the county of Lincoln in 1626, 1628, and 1641. In May 1626 he was one of the assistants to the managers of Buckingham's impeachment. In March 1626-7 he was appointed a commissioner for the collection of the arbitrary loan in Lincolnshire, and on his refusal to lend or enter into bond for his appearance before the council was committed to prison in the Gatehouse, Westminster; he was released, at the same time as John Hampden, early in the following year (Cal. Dom. State Papers, 1627-8, p. 81; Nugent's Memorials of Hampden, 1860, p. 369). In 1630 he became sheriff of Lincolnshire, and in 1639 sheriff of Huntingdonshire. In the latter capacity in February and March 1639-40 he endeavoured to collect ship-money, but declared himself unable to secure one penny of it. He was an intimate friend and supporter of Sir John Eliot, with whom he corresponded frequently until the latter's death in 1632. Many of his letters, in one of which he urged Eliot (20 Dec. 1631) to publish the 'Monarchy of Man,' are among the manuscripts at Port Eliot. In 1641 he was one of the four members of the House of Commons ordered to accompany Charles I to Scotland. In 1643 he was sent to Oxford by the parliament to discuss terms with the king, and on the failure of his mission proceeded to Scotland to urge the advance of a Scottish army into the north of England. On 12 July 1645 he was nominated a member of a commission to revisit Scotland to treat of 'matters concerning the good of both kingdoms' (Commons' Journal, iv. 206). Two days later the House of Commons voted its thanks to Sir William for his 'many and great services to parliament.' On 14 Feb. 1648-9 Armine was appointed by resolution of the commons a member of the council of state, and was reappointed to the office 12 Feb. 1649-50 and 7 Feb. 1650-1. He was a fairly regular attendant at the meetings of the council till the end of March 1651, and during that time served on innumerable committees, especially on those that dealt with finance. He died in April 1651. On Thursday, 1 May, it was resolved by parliament, to show its high sense of Armine's services, that the council of state and the parliamentary committees should 'forbear to sit' on the following Monday afternoon, when Sir William's body was to be 'carried out of town.' On 3 May the council of state ordered every one of its members to attend the funeral, and on 5 May an order was issued, that while the body was being cairied for interment from Westminster to Osgodby it should be treated 'according to the civilities due to a person of his condition.'

After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Hicks, Armine married for the second time Mary Talbot, widow of Thomas Holcroft [see Armine, Lady Mary]. By his first wife he had several sons. The eldest, William, who succeeded to the baronetcy, was born 14 July 1622, entered Gray's Inn Is Nov. 1639, and died 2 Jan. 1657-8. He has been identified with the William Ermyn who was returned to the Long parliament in 1646 as M.P. for Cumberland. His wife Anne and two daughters, Anne and Susan, survived him. The widow married for the second time Baron Belasyse [see Belasyse, John]. Susan, the younger daughter, married Sir Henry Belasyse, Baron Belasyse's son and heir. She ultimately shared with her sister Anne all her father's estates at Osgodby, and, in 1674, after the death of her husband, who died in the lifetime of his father, was created Baroness Belasyse of Osgodby; she died 6 March 1712-13. Her only son, Henry, succeeded his grandfather as second Baron Belasyse in 1689, and on his death in 1694 that title became extinct. The first husband of Anne Armine, the elder daughter of the second baronet, was Thomas, eldest son of Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston [q. v.]

Armine's second son, Theophilus, born 25 June 1623, entered Gray's Inn 18 Nov.1639, became a parliamentary colonel in the civil wars, and was killed at Pontefract in 1644. Michael, the third son, born 21 Sept. 1625, succeeded his eldest brother in the baronetcy, and died in 1668, when the baronetcy became extinct.

[Blore's Rutlandshire, p. 176; Clarendon's History (1849), i. 395, ii. 541, 573, iii. 117; Cal. Dom. State Papers, 1639-40, 1649-51; Forster's Life of Sir John Eliot; Foster's Admissions to Gray's Inn, p. 17.]

S. L. L.