JENNINGS, Richard (c.1616-68), of Sandridge, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1616, 1st s. of Sir John Jennings of Sandridge by Alice, da. of Sir Richard Spencer† of Offley. educ. I. Temple 1634; travelled abroad (Italy) 1637-40; Padua 1639. m. lic. 18 Dec. 1643, ‘aged 24’, Frances, da. and coh. of Sir Gifford Thornhurst, 1st Bt., of Agnes Court, Kent, 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 1642.2
Commr. for assessment, Herts. 1643-8, Herts. and St. Albans Aug. 1660-d., sequestrations, Herts. 1643, levying of money 1643, defence of eastern assoc. 1643, j.p. Herts. by 1644-8, 1658-July 1660, St. Albans 1658-d., commr. for militia, Herts. 1648, Mar. 1660.3
Jenning was the great-great-grandson of Bernard Jennings (d.1552), Master of the Skinners’ Company. Sandridge, less than two miles from St. Albans, had been in the family since 1571. His father, first elected for St. Albans in 1628, resisted the forced loan and tried to evade ship-money. Jennings succeeded his father as MP for St. Albans in the Long Parliament, and like him took the popular side. Though he does not appear to have been in arms, he was captured by Royalists and imprisoned for a time, but exchanged in January 1646. He did not sit after Pride’s Purge, and seems to have taken no further part in politics until the close of the Interregnum. Returned to Parliament again in 1659, he retained the seat until his death?4
Jennings was an inactive Member of the Convention. He made no recorded speeches and was appointed to only four committees, those for impropriate rectories, for the attainder bill, for considering the petition of the surveyor-general of customs, and for settling wine licences. In the Cavalier Parliament his record was even more unimpressive and he was appointed to only three committees. He was classed as a friend by Lord Wharton in 1661, to be managed by Sir Richard Onslow. He presented a Presbyterian to Sandridge in that year, but the minister conformed in 1662, and Jennings apparently followed his example. His estate, including Holywell Manor just outside the borough of St. Albans, was valued for militia purposes at £715 p.a. He was in trouble with the Privy Council in 1666 for failing to do justice to the excise farmers against one of the influential Gape family in his constituency. He was buried in the Abbey Church of St. Albans on 8 May 1668, the last of his branch of the family to sit in Parliament. His sons were short-lived, and in 1684 John Churchill II, the husband of his formidable daughter, Sarah, bought out the other coheir and acquired the whole estate.5