ST. JOHN, Oliver IV (c.1584-1646), of Bletsoe, Beds.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1584, 1st s. of Oliver St. John II by his w. Dorothy, educ. Peterhouse, Camb. c.1595, G. Inn 1597. m. Apr. 1602, Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Paulet of Ewalden, Som., 4s. 3da. KB 1610; suc. fa. as 4th Baron St. John 1618; cr. Earl of Bolingbroke 1624.

Offices Held

Jt. ld. lt. Hunts. 1619; ld. lt. (parlt.) Beds. 1643.


As a knight of the shire in 1601 St. John could have served on the main business committee, 3 Nov. and on the monopolies committee, 23 Nov. But he was only 17 or thereabouts, and is unlikely to have played any significant part in the affairs of his first Parliament. Found ‘ever dutiful’ by his father, there is little to say about him in the Elizabethan period. Like his father he was host to James I at Bletsoe. In September 1619 the King was ‘very nobly entertained at the Lord St. John’s, which he took in so good part that he professes he will not forget so honourable usage’. But St. John followed his father in failing to ally himself closely with the court, and went over to Parliament in the civil war.1

He died in June 1646. Administration of the estate was granted on 3 July 1646 to the widow, and a new grant was made to a creditor in November 1655.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. CP; DNB; D’Ewes, 624, 649; PCC 110 Meade; Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, ii. 263.
  • 2. PCC admon. act bk. 1646, f. 82; 1655, f. 222.