Moyle, John (1592?-1661) (DNB00)


MOYLE, JOHN (1592?–1661), friend of Sir John Eliot, was son of Robert Moyle of Bake in St. Germans, Cornwall (buried 9 May 1604), by his wife Anne, daughter of Henry Lock of Acton, Middlesex (buried 12 April 1604). He matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford, on 10 June 1608, 'aged 16.' Among his contemporaries at Exeter was John (afterwards Sir John) Eliot, to whose father Moyle on one occasion communicated some particulars of his son's extravagance. Eliot thereupon went hastily to Moyle's house to express his resentment, and in a fit of passion drew his sword and wounded Moyle in the side. This act was unpremeditated, and Eliot expressed extreme sorrow for what he had done. The story was narrated in an erroneous form, on the authority of Dean Prideaux, by Laurence Echard (History of England, ed. 1718, ii. 26-7), and repeated from him by Isaac D'Israeli (Commentaries on Charles I, new ed., i. 319, 531-3). Its true character is set out in the ' Gentleman's Magazine ' (1837, pt. ii. p. 483), by Lord Nugent in his work on ' John Hampden ' (i. 152-6), and by Forster in his ' Life of Sir John Eliot ' (i. 3-9, ii. 630-2). Moyle and Eliot became fast friends. The former was sheriff in 1624, and, to fill a vacancy in the Long parliament, was returned for the Cornish borough of East Looe, and ordered to be admitted on 5 July 1649. He died at Bake on 9 Oct. 1661, and was buried at St. Germans on 17 Oct. In 1612 he married Admonition, daughter of Edmond Prideaux of Netherton, Devonshire, who was buried at St. Germans on 3 Dec. 1675. Of his numerous sons, Sir Walter Moyle of Bake (1627-1701) was knighted at Whitehall 4 Feb. 1663, became sheriff of Cornwall 1671, and was father of Walter Moyle [q.v.]

Some of Moyle's correspondence with Sir John Eliot is quoted in Grosart's edition of his 'Letter-book,' pp. 109-10, 143-8, and in Forster's 'Eliot,' ii. 630-2. Papers relating to him are in the Addit. MSS. Brit. Mus. 5494, f. 79, and 5497, f. 162.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Courtney's Parl. Repr. of Cornwall, p. 116; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 373 ; Vivian's Cornwall Visitations, p. 334.]

W. P. C.