PICKERING, Sir Henry, 2nd Bt. (c.1656-1705), of Whaddon, Cambs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1656, and but o. surv. s. of Sir Henry Pickering, 1st Bt. of Whaddon by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Viner, 1st Bt. of Hackney, Mdx. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1672; 1. Temple 1674. m. (1) lic. 1 Mar. 1677, Philadelphia, da. of Sir George Downing, 1st Bt. of East Hatley, Cambs., 3da. d.v.p.; (2) c.1692, Grace, da. and coh. of Constant Sylvester of Barbados, s.p. suc. fa. 4 Nov. 1668.1
Commr. for assessment, Cambs. 1677-80, 1689; freeman, Cambridge 1679; j.p. Cambs. 1679-d.; sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1683-4; dep. lt. Cambs. 1685- d.; member of assembly, Barbados 1693-4, council 1705-d.2
Pickering came from a cadet branch of a puritan gentry family, established in the East Midlands in Tudor times and representing Northamptonshire from 1626. His father bought Whaddon in 1648 and sat for Cambridgeshire under the Protectorate. Although ‘knighted’ by Cromwell, he proved as flexible in his politics as his cousin Dryden, and was created a baronet soon after the Restoration.3
Pickering inherited an estate later valued at £1,400 p.a., and was returned for Morpeth as a Tory in 1685 on the interest of the 2nd Earl of Carlisle (Edward Howard), was his wife’s first cousin. His only committee in James II’s Parliament was for the reform of the bankruptcy laws, which had weighed so hard on his mother’s family since the Stop of the Exchequer. He presumably supported the King’s religious policy, since he was listed as ‘right’ among the Cambridgeshire deputy lieutenants in 1688.4
Pickering is unlikely to have stood in 1689, and after his second marriage to a West Indian heiress settled in Barbados for a time. He returned in 1698, and represented Cambridge as a court Whig until his death in Barbados on 7 May 1705 in his fiftieth year. He was buried at Whaddon, but his widow sold the estate in 1716.5