STOUGHTON, George (1581-1624), of Stoughton, nr. Guildford, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Dec. 1581, 4th but 1st surv. s. of Sir Lawrence Stoughton† and Rose, da. of Richard Ive of London and Kentish Town, Mdx.; bro. of Nicholas*. m. 18 Mar. 1607, Jane (bur. 10 Apr. 1640), da. and h. of Emery Cranley, yeoman, of Dunsfold, Surr., wid. of Samuel Austen of Shalford, Surr., s.p. suc. fa. 1615;1 kntd. 3 July 1616.2 d. 25 Jan. 1624.3
Commr. recovery of mortgaged Crown lands 1618.9
The Stoughtons had lived on the manor of that name in Stoke, a parish neighbouring Guildford in Surrey, since at least the twelfth century, and had first represented the borough in 1419.10 Stoughton’s father, who joined the principal manor of Stoke to his ancestral holding, was an active county magistrate, working in close association with his relatives, the Mores of Loseley, and had sat in four Elizabethan parliaments.11
According to a family history written by his nephew in the 1670s, Stoughton was ‘of great parts’ and ‘a tall ... comely man’. In 1607 Stoughton married the widow of a kinsman of George Austen*, who was also closely connected with the Mores. She apparently owned freehold land worth £80 a year, and Stoughton’s father settled leases of other properties on them. She was, however, or so the nephew claimed, unable to have further children after an accident in childbirth during her first marriage, ‘but this infirmity she did not discover to him before she married him’. On the death in 1611 of the last of his elder brothers, Thomas, Stoughton became the heir to the family estate.12
In 1614 Stoughton was returned for Guildford where, in addition to his father’s interest, he also enjoyed the support of his uncle Adrian*, the justice of the peace ‘learned in law’, in effect the borough’s recorder. Adrian was also chief steward of the Isle of Wight, and was therefore presumably responsible for Stoughton’s election at Newtown. Contemporary lists of Members of the Addled Parliament show that Stoughton chose to sit for Guildford, although his choice was not recorded in the Journal. He made no recorded speeches and received only one committee appointment, on 16 Apr., to consider the bill against false bail.13
Stoughton succeeded his father in 1615 and was knighted the following year, according to the family history, ‘without suit or money given by him for it’. He took a lease of his mother’s jointure lands for £200 per annum, in addition to undertaking to provide her with food and lodging, and showed some skill in the management of his estates, improving irrigation and developing his woodlands. He seems to have shown no interest in seeking re-election in 1620, and he rejected a request for support from his brother Nicholas*, choosing instead to support the Scottish courtier John Murray* who had settled at Guildford Park, being ‘unwilling to disoblige so great a friend as he had been to him’.14 He was, however, one of the local landowners who signed the petition in favour of the Wey navigation bill promoted by the Guildford corporation in the third Jacobean Parliament.15
Stoughton died ‘of a lethargy’ on 25 Jan. 1624, and was buried in the family chancel at Stoke. His nephew believed that his death came none too soon to prevent the wasting of the estate at the behest of his ‘spending lady’, but also praised him for having ‘kept a free and good table, keeping up the same port and credit in housekeeping that his father did’. The inventory of his stock and personal estate came to just over £2,000, to be set against less than £900 in debts and charges. He was buried at a cost of £42. In a brief will, dictated two days before his death to the rector of Stoke, he left £500 and a rent charge to his wife and named his brother Nicholas executor. His widow married (Sir) Thomas Bowyer*.16
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates
- 1. Manning and Bray, Surr. i. ped. facing p. 171; Add. 6174, f. 136v; VCH Surr. iii. 93.
- 2. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 158.
- 3. Add. 6174, f. 137.
- 4. Surr. Hist. Cent. BR/OC/1/2, f. 78;
- 5. Cal. Assize Recs. Surr. Indictments, Jas. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 118, 245.
- 6. Add. 6174, f. 137.
- 7. C212/22/21, 23.
- 8. C231/4, f. 154.
- 9. CD 1621, vii. 412.
- 10. Manning and Bray, i. 169; OR.
- 11. VCH Surr. iii. 371.
- 12. Add. 6174, ff. 132v, 136v, 137; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii.) 87.
- 13. OR; Procs. 1614 (Commons), 90, 465, 467.
- 14. Add. 6174, ff. 134, 136v, 137, 138v.
- 15. M. Nash, ‘Early Seventeenth Century Schemes to make the Wey navigable’, Surr. Arch. Colls. lxvi. 37; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM/1331/32.
- 16. Add. 6174, ff. 136v-7; PROB 11/143, f. 87.