Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pakington, John (1620-1680)

600902Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 43 — Pakington, John (1620-1680)1895Bertha Porter

PAKINGTON, Sir JOHN (1620–1680), second baronet, royalist, was the only son of Sir John Pakington (1600–1624), first baronet [see under Pakington, Sir John, (1549–1625)]. He was born in 1620, and succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father before he was four years of age. On the death of his grandfather, in the following year, he became the ward of Thomas Coventry, lord Coventry [q. v.] On 9 May 1638 he took the oath of allegiance, and on the following day was granted permission to travel abroad for three years, with the proviso that he was not to visit Rome. He does not, however, appear to have left England, and in March 1639–40 was returned to parliament for the county of Worcester and for the borough of Aylesbury. He represented the latter till August 1642, when he was disabled to sit in consequence of his having put the commission of array into execution in behalf of the king. He was present at the battle of Kineton on 24 Oct. 1642. On 23 March 1645–6, having voluntarily surrendered himself to the speaker to compound, he was ordered by the House of Commons into the custody of the sergeant-at-arms, and to appear at the bar on the following morning. On 22 April 1646 he begged for bail in order to prosecute his composition, ‘being much impaired in health by his long restraint in this hot season.’ His request was granted on 28 May following. On 24 Oct. his fine was fixed at half the nominal value of his estate. Against this decision he remonstrated on 5 Jan. 1646–7, and on 15 July the fine was reduced to one-third. He was assessed for 3,000l. by the committee for the advance of money on 6 March 1647–8, and on 26 Sept. 1648 sequestered for non-payment. On 3 March 1648–9, on payment of 3,000l., he was granted possession of his estate, and was assisted in enforcing the payment of rent from his tenants. Early in May 1649 the townspeople of Aylesbury petitioned for the use of the pasture-ground called Heydon Hills (a portion of Pakington's estate) as a reward for their services to the parliament. The request was granted on 11 Dec. Pakington received some abatement of his fine in consequence. In the conveyance drawn up, Thomas Scot [q. v.], regicide, burgess of Aylesbury, contrived to include other property and privileges over and above the pasturage granted, to which Pakington in his great extremities, and owing to the ‘duresse and menaces’ of Scot and his confederates, was forced to agree on 20 Jan. 1649–50.

Pakington obeyed the summons of Charles II, and appeared at the rendezvous at Pitchcroft, near Worcester, on 26 Aug. 1651, with a reinforcement of horse. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester on 3 Sept. 1651, and was indicted at the Lent assizes in 1652. His estates were again sequestered. His trial for appearing at Pitchcroft did not actually take place till Lent 1653, when he was acquitted. In accordance with his own petition, permission to compound for his property at two years' value was granted him on 21 Aug. 1654. At the end of December he was again arrested, and sent to London, with Sir Henry Lyttelton, high sheriff for Worcester, for being in possession of arms, and was imprisoned in the Tower till September 1655. His name was included in a list of plotters against the Protector laid before the bailiffs of Kidderminster and justices of the peace for Worcester in June 1655. In September 1659 his estates were again ordered to be seized, he being suspected of complicity in the rising of Sir George Booth (1622–1684) [q. v.] He was summoned to defend himself in October, but the matter appears to have gone no further, and the Restoration in May following relieved Pakington of his pressing difficulties. Throughout the period of the Commonwealth, Pakington and his wife made their house the asylum of Henry Hammond [q. v.] and of many of Hammond's friends, and Westwood was regarded as the headquarters of the old high-church party.

In 1660 a grant of 4,000l. to ‘Edward Gregory’ was explained by the king to be meant for the benefit of Pakington, but was passed in another name, ‘lest the example should be prejudicial.’ Pakington sat in parliament as member for Worcestershire from 1661 to 1679. A special bill for vacating his constrained conveyance of Heydon Hills in January 1649–50 was read in the commons on 17 May 1661, but was not passed till May 1664. In November 1661 Pakington informed Sir Edward Nicholas [q. v.] of the discovery of a supposed presbyterian plot in his neighbourhood, and forwarded him some intercepted letters which had been brought to him. Several ministers, Baxter among the number, were implicated, and arrests were made. The letters were probably forgeries, and the charges were never proved. Andrew Yarrenton [q. v.], who wrote an account of the affair in 1681, regarded Pakington as the inventor of the plot (which frequently went by his name) and the writer of the letters. Pakington was the intimate friend of Bishop Morley [see Morley, George] and of Sir Ralph Clare [q. v.], and thus came into collision with Richard Baxter. Baxter accused Pakington of having intercepted a letter of his, which proved to be of a purely private nature, and of sending it to London. He described him as ‘the man that hotly foll owed such work.’ He was approved by the king as deputy-lieutenant for Worcestershire on 10 March 1662–3.

Pakington died in January 1679–80, and was buried at Hampton-Lovett. He married Dorothy, daughter of his guardian, Lord Coventry [see Pakington, Lady Dorothy], by whom he had one son and two daughters. He made no will, but administration was granted to his son in March 1680.

Sir John Pakington (1649–1688), third baronet, the only son, matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 3 May 1662. On 19 May 1665 a license was granted to him to travel for three years with his tutor, Dr. Yerbury, and in July 1667 he was at Breda (Cal. State Papers, 1667, p. 260). He spent a retired life at Westwood, studying and befriending the neighbouring clergy. George Hickes [q. v.], dean of Worcester, was much at Westwood, wrote many of his works there, and received Pakington's dying instructions as to his burial. Under Hickes's tuition he became one of the finest Anglo-Saxon scholars of his time. He represented Worcestershire in parliament from 1685 to 1687. He died in March 1688. He married, on 17 Dec. 1668, Margaret, second daughter of Sir John Keyt, bart., of Ebrington, Gloucestershire (Ebrington parish register). His only son, John, is separately noticed.

[Burke's Peerage, art. ‘Hampton;’ Cal. of State Papers, 1637–8, 1640, 1654, 1655, 1660–1661, 1661–2, 1663–4, 1664–5, 1667; Wotton's Baronetage, i. 187 et seq.; Nash's Worcestershire, i. 352 (pedigree), II. App. cvi.; Calendar of Committee for Compounding, pp. 39, 726, 1194–6; Cal. of Committee for the Advance of Money, pp. 866–7; Official Lists of M.P.'s, i. 480, 484, 531, 556; Lords' Journals, xi. 522, 605; Commons' Journals, ii. 729, iv. 486, 557, vi. 206, 331, vii. 209, viii. 470, 545; Green's Worcester, i. 278, 285; Case of Sir John Pakington (contemporary sheet); Sylvester's Reliq. Baxterianæ, pt. ii. p. 383; Yarrenton's Full Discovery, passim; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Hickes's Thesaurus, Pref. pp. ii–iv.]

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