GORING, Henry I (1622-1702), of Highden, Washington, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1660
Mar. 1679
1685

Family and Education

b. 1 May 1622, o.s. of Henry Goring of Highden by Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Eversfield of Denne Park, Horsham. m. 2 May 1642, Frances, da. of Sir Edward Bishopp, 2nd Bt., of Parham, 4s. (3 d.v.p.), 3da. suc. fa. 1655, Sir James Bowyer as 2nd Bt. Feb. 1680.1

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. July 1660-July 1688, Sept. 1688-9, dep. lt. Aug. 1660-May 1688, commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-80, 1689, sewers, W. Suss. Oct. 1660, oyer and terminer, Home circuit 1661, loyal and indigent officers, Suss. 1662, recusants 1675; common councilman, Chichester 1685-Oct. 1688.2

Biography

Goring came from a cadet branch of the Burton family. His father, who was MP for Arundel in the Short Parliament, was apparently neutral in the Civil War, serving on the commission of the peace from 1646 to 1650. Goring’s own case is more dubious; he was probably the ‘Henry Goring, gent.’ captured by Sir William Waller I at the surrender of Arundel Castle in 1644. No composition proceedings followed, and the county committee must have accepted that he was merely a visitor to the garrison, where his wife and mother-in-law had been living. Nevertheless, his sympathies were royalist, though he was, with good reason, ‘very wary and shy’ of Cavalier plotting during the Interregnum. At the Restoration he was nominated to the proposed order of the Royal Oak, with an income of £2,000 p.a.3

At the general election of 1660 Goring was returned for Steyning, four miles south-east of Highden, as well as for the county. An inactive Member, he was appointed only to the committee of elections and privileges and to that for the attainder bill, but doubtless supported the Government. He had to step down to the borough in 1661, and was again inactive in the Cavalier Parliament, serving on 46 committees at most. He was named to the committee for the five mile bill in the Oxford session. Goring was a firm friend to an extruded minister who kept a school in his former parish of Billingshurst, although later William Penn the Quaker complained that he and John Alford made his life in Sussex ‘uneasy’. He made default in attendance in 1666 and again in 1671, though noted as a supporter of Ormonde and listed by Sir Thomas Osborne among the independent Members who had usually voted for supply. From 1673 there is the possibility of confusion with his son, but he was probably appointed to the committee to consider the dispute between Sir Thomas Byde and the board of green cloth on 3 Feb. 1674 and to the committee on illegal exactions six days later. He was marked with a query on the list of government supporters drawn up by Sir Richard Wiseman but he was reckoned ‘thrice vile’ by Shaftesbury in 1677. According to A Seasonable Argument he was receiving a pension of £200 p.a. as well as ‘court dinners’. He was on both lists of the court party in 1678, when his chief interest appears to have been burying in woollen. ‘Mr Goring’ was appointed to the committee to bring in a bill on 15 Feb. and to manage the conference on 10 May, as well as to three other committees on the subject. In this year he obtained the reversion of the Bowyer baronetcy, with precedence of its creation in 1627, and it was (by anticipation) as ‘Sir Henry Goring’ that he was found to have absented himself without leave on 11 Dec. and sent for in custody.4

Goring was re-elected at the first general election of 1679 and styled baronet on the Steyning return. Shaftesbury marked him ‘vile’. It was probably he, rather than his son, who was allowed to go into the country on 8 Apr., since another charge of departure without leave in the following month was quickly withdrawn, and he was absent from the division on the first exclusion bill. He does not appear to have stood at the next two elections. With Sir William Morley and James Butler he was active in searching for arms after the Rye House Plot, and with his son petitioned for the grant of Up Park if it should be forfeited by Lord Grey of Warke. In 1685 he was not only himself returned for the county but secured the election of government nominees at New Shoreham and Bramber. His only committee in James II’s Parliament was the elections committee, and he appears on Danby’s list as in opposition. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the Tests and Penal Laws he answered that

he must suspend his judgment till he hears (in case he be a Parliament man) the case argued in the House, upon which he may take his measures. ... He knows no person of the Church of England whom he can prefer as being for advancing what the King requires, and he cannot give his assistance for the choosing of any other.

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