PIERREPONT, Henry (1607-1680), of Holme Pierrepont, Notts. and Dean's Yard, Westminster; later of Worksop Manor, Notts. and Charterhouse Yard, London
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Family and Education
b. Mar. 1607, 1st s. of Robert Pierrepont†, 1st earl of Kingston-upon-Hull, of Holme Pierrepont and Gertrude, da. and h. of Henry Talbot† of Burton Abbey, Yorks.; bro. of Francis† and William†.1 educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1624; ?MA Oxf. 1642; G. Inn 1651, called 1652.2 m. (1) by 1630, Cecilia (d. 19 Sept. 1639), da. of Paul, 1st Visct. Bayning, 2s. d.v.p. 4da. (2 d.v.p.); (2) Sept. 1652, Katherine, da. of James Stanley*, 7th earl of Derby, 1s. 1da. d.v.p. styled Visct. Newark 25 July 1628; summ. to the Lords in his fa.’s barony as Lord Pierrepont 11 Jan. 1641; suc. fa. as 2nd earl of Kingston-upon-Hull 30 July 1643; cr. mq. of Dorchester 25 Mar. 1645. d. 8 Dec. 1680.3
Commr. swans, Eng. except West country ?1629;4 j.p. Southwell liberty, Notts. 1641,5 Mdx. 1660-d., Notts. 1660-at least 1664;6 commr. array, Notts. and Nottingham 1642;7 oyer and terminer, Mdx. 1660-at least 1671, Midland circ. 1664-at least 1672;8 recorder, Nottingham 1666-d.;9 commr. sewers, Notts. 1669.10
Pierrepont’s ancestors acquired Holme, four-and-a-half miles from Nottingham, under Edward I, and regularly represented the county from 1417.18 Thanks to careful estate management and parsimonious living his father was able to invest over £50,000 in purchasing land, predominantly in Nottinghamshire, where he became the single largest landowner, but also in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.19 Early in 1627, prodded by Buckingham, Pierrepont’s father opened negotiations for the purchase of a peerage, with his cousin William, Viscount Mansfield (Sir William Cavendish II*) acting as an intermediary. In June he was created Viscount Newark.20
According to Charles Godall, who wrote a biography of him in the early eighteenth century, Pierrepont was ‘from his youth always much addicted to books’ and ‘never was delighted with those pleasures and recreations that almost all young noblemen and gentlemen affect; but all was swallowed in study’.21 Like his father and grandfather, who had both been returned for Nottinghamshire at a young age, Pierrepont sought election to Parliament shortly after coming of age, but was unable to obtain a county seat. On rumours of a forthcoming Parliament in the autumn of 1627 he, together with Mansfeld’s brother, Sir Charles Cavendish*, approached the corporation of Nottingham. On 20 Nov. the common council agreed that if the rumours turned out to be true they would elect them ‘for easing the town’s charges’ and to ‘gain the friendship and favour of those two noble families and have their assistance to the town when any occasion shall be offered’.22 He left no trace on the surviving records of the third Caroline Parliament. During the recess his father purchased a promotion in the peerage, becoming earl of Kingston, whereupon Pierrepont assumed the courtesy title of Viscount Newark.23
Pierrepont was prosecuted in Star Chamber at the instance of William Noye* for an assault in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey during the Ascension Day service in 1632. But after the victim had spent £600 in legal expenses, Pierrepont received a free pardon.24 He was called to the Lords in the opening months of the Long Parliament, where he defended the temporal power of bishops. However in 1662 Benjamin Denham, a church of England minister who may have formerly been in Pierrepont’s service, alleged that he was a Catholic and that he had only defended episcopacy out of enmity towards Presbyterianism.25 Certainly his parents were repeatedly presented as recusants in the parliaments of the 1620s.26
Pierrepont was a royalist during the Civil War and, after succeeding his father as 2nd earl of Kingston in 1643, was created marquess of Dorchester as a reward for his loyalty. By then the parliamentarians had sequestered his estate, and in 1647 he was ordered to compound for his delinquency in the sum of £7,467. However, his parliamentarian brother William† arranged to have the fine assigned to himself as compensation for his losses during the war.27
During the Interregnum Pierrepont practiced as a lawyer and a physician. In 1659 he quarrelled with his son-in-law John Manners†, Lord Roos, who wrote to him, ‘if by your threatening to ram your sword down my throat, you do not mean your pills ... I am safe enough’.28 Pierrepont died of gangrene on 8 Dec. 1680 and was buried at Holme Pierrepont. His will, drafted on 22 Mar. 1680, was proved on 1 Feb. 1681. Lacking a male heir the marquessate became extinct, and his great nephew Robert Pierrepont succeeded him as 3rd earl of Kingston.29
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: George Yerby
- 1. CP, vii.303-4.
- 2. Al. Cant.; Ath. Ox. iv. pt. 2 (Fasti, ii.), 38; GI Admiss.
- 3. Memorials of St. Margaret’s Westminster ed. A.M. Burke, 135, 145, 150; St. Olave Hart Street (Harl. Soc. Reg. xlvi), 165, 167; CP, vii. 304-5; Munck, Roll, i. 288.
- 4. C181/3, f. 271.
- 5. C181/5, f. 216.
- 6. C220/9/4, ff. 51v, 65v; C193/12/3, f. 79; S.N., Cat. of Names of His Majesties JPs in Commission in Several Counties Throughout Eng. and Wales (1680), p. 11.