LOVELACE, Francis (1594-1664), of Canterbury, Kent and Gray's Inn.
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Family and Education
bap. 22 Sept. 1594, 1st s. of Lancelot Lovelace of Canterbury and Gray’s Inn by Mary, da. and coh. of William Cayser of Hollingbourne. educ. G. Inn, entered 1609, called 1620; St. John’s, Camb. 1612. m. lic. 5 July 1624, Anne (d.1679), da. of Goldwell Rogers of Canterbury, 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1640.1
Freeman, Canterbury 1636, recorder 1638-43, July 1660-d., common councilman Oct. 1660-d., recorder, Dover 1640-54, ?July 1660-d.; j.p. Kent by 1641-?44, Mar. 1660-d.; counsel, Cinque Ports 1647-d.; bencher, G. Inn 1650, reader 1663; steward, St. Augustine’s liberty July 1660-3, courts of Chancery and Admiralty, Cinque Ports ?July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Canterbury Aug. 1660-d., Kent 66-d., sewers, E. Kent Sept. 1660, Denge marsh Oct. 1660, corporations, Kent 1662-3.2
Lovelace’s ancestors had held property in Kent since the 14th century, and the elder branch, to which Richard Lovelace the Cavalier poet belonged, first represented Canterbury in 1567. ‘By their deep knowledge in the municipal laws’, according to a contemporary, ‘the family deserved well of their country’, and in 1638 Lovelace, a professional lawyer, succeeded his father as recorder. He has to be distinguished from his cousin, the poet’s brother, and from the governor of New York, one of the Berkshire family. He was removed from office in 1643 as a royalist sympathizer; but in 1647 he was one of the moderates who strove to allay the disturbances in the city caused by the attempt of the county committee to suppress the celebration of Christmas. When the parliamentary forces regained control, he was imprisoned in Leeds Castle for a few months, and he signed the Kentish petition for a free Parliament in the following year. He was described as ‘very active against Parliament’ in the second Civil War, and compounded for £50 on a property he had purchased in Chartham, though this had apparently been sequestrated because of the vendor’s delinquency rather than his own.