KINGSMILL, George (c.1539-1606), of Burghclere, Hants and Cripplegate, London.
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Family and Education
b. c.1539, 7th s. of Sir John Kingsmill (d.1556) of Sydmonton, Hants by Constance, da. of John Goring of Burton, Suss.; bro. of Henry, John and Richard. educ. L. Inn 1560, called 1567. m. aft. 1595, Sarah, da. of Sir James Harington I of Exton, Rutland, and wid. of Francis, Lord Hastings (d.1595), s.p. Kntd. 1603.1
Bencher, L. Inn 1574, Lent reader 1579, keeper of black bk. 1583, treasurer 1584; steward of Kings Somborne hundred, Hants 1579; j.p.q. Hants from c.1593; serjeant-at-law 1594, Queen’s serjeant 1595; justice of Brecknock circuit, member, council in marches of Wales 1594; j.c.p. 1599.2
Kingsmill was, in 1579, a wealthy and ‘well-practiced’ lawyer, who had acquired several properties in conjunction with his brother John, chancellor of the diocese of Winchester. In 1583 they purchased the rectories of Basildon and Ashampstead in Berkshire, and before 1585 the manor of Little Snoring in Norfolk. George held Burghclere from another brother, Richard, surveyor of the court of wards, and he was an executor, with Sir Thomas Lucy, when Richard died in 1600.3
His two returns for Stockbridge were no doubt due to his purchase in 1579 of the 6th Lord Mountjoy’s life interest as duchy of Lancaster steward of the honour of Kings Somborne, in which Stockbridge lay. He probably shared his brothers’ puritanism. In February 1595 he and Thomas Egerton were commissioned to choose two divinity lecturers from Oxford to preach at Lincoln’s Inn. He signed a letter sent by a group of Hampshire gentlemen to the Earl of Essex in 1597, recommending Martin Heton, distinguished, they said, by a ‘rare gift and frequent use of preaching’, for the vacant bishopric of Winchester. His wife Sarah, whom he married when he was close on 60, was the widow of a member of the great puritan family of Hastings and mother of Henry Hastings, 5th Earl of Huntingdon. The marriage may have been as much the result of Kingsmill’s membership from 1594 of the council in the marches of Wales, as of the puritan network, for Sarah was also the sister of John Harington II, another member of the council, and after Kingsmill’s death she married as her third husband the lord president of the council, Edward, 11th Lord Zouche of Haryngworth. In February 1600 it was rumoured that Kingsmill would be appointed chief justice of Wales.4
He died at Tangley, Hampshire, in April 1606, leaving all his lands in London, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Somerset, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex to his wife and her daughter, Theodocia Hastings. His generosity to ‘his lady Hastings’, by whom he had no children, evidently disappointed one of his nephews.5
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: Alan Harding
- 1. PCC 12 Ketchyn; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 3; CP, vi. 658.
- 2. Somerville, Duchy, i. 268-30; Foss. Judges; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 295, 351.
- 3. Lansd. 683, f. 68; VCH Berks. iii. 463; Blomefield, Norf. vii. 187-8; VCH Hants, iv. 278; PCC 64 Wallop.
- 4. Somerville, i. 628-30; L. Inn Black Bk. ii. 29; HMC Hatfield, xiv. 11; DNB (Zouche, Edward); HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, ii. 436.
- 5. C142/312/132; PCC 23 Stafforde; Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, i. 226.