PIERREPONT, Robert (c.1638-81), of Nottingham.
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Family and Education
b. c.1638, 1sts. of Hon. Francis Pierrepont of Nottingham by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Thomas Bray of Eyam, Derbys. educ. Emmanuel and Christ’s, Camb. 1652; travelled abroad 1654. m. lic. 27 Mar. 1661, Anne da. and coh. of Henry Murray of Berkhampstead, Herts., groom of the bedchamber to Charles I, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1658.1
Commr. for militia, Notts, Mar. 1660; j.p. Notts, and Lincs. (Kesteven) July 1660-77; dep. lt. Notts. c. Aug. 1660-80; commr. for assessment, Notts. Aug. 1660-80, Nottingham Aug. 1660-1, 1663-4, 1679-80, Lincs. (Kesteven) Aug. 1660-1, Lincs. 1661-3, 1679-80; capt. of vol. horse, Notts. 1661-at least 1665.2
Pierrepont’s father was a colonel in the parliamentary army, and sat in the Long Parliament as recruiter for Nottingham. Pierrepont himself was involved in the royalist rising in Nottinghamshire in 1659, though according to Mrs Hutchinson he took part only ‘to make up the rout, and ran away, and cast away some very good arms into the bushes to make his flight more easy’. He surrendered himself to Colonel John Hutchinson, an old friend of his father, and lived in his house till the fall of Lambert. Hutchinson ignored an order from the military regime to send Pierrepont up for examination, though his guest’s society was ‘contrary to the sobriety and holiness the colonel delighted in’. When Hutchinson was expelled from the Convention as a regicide, Pierrepont was elected to fill his place; but it is presumed that all the references in the Journals are to his uncle William.3
Pierrepont was re-elected to the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was named to only 31 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in nine sessions. He was an active militia officer, searching for arms in 1662 and receiving the thanks of the lord lieutenant for his services in securing fanatics in the second Dutch war, but he was not prominent in the House. He defaulted on calls of the House in 1666, 1668 and 1671, but he probably supported the country party throughout. In the session of 1675, he was named to three committees of political importance, those for the appropriation of customs revenue to the use of the navy, for the exclusion of Papists from Parliament and for the better preservation of the liberty of the subject. He was noted by Shaftesbury as ‘doubly worthy’ in 1677, in which year he was removed from the commission of the peace for obstructing the levying of hearth-tax on the furnaces of the Sheffield cutlers. On 31 Jan. 1678 he complained to the House that he had been summoned before the Privy Council by two of the collectors, and in the following month he was added to the committee to consider abuses in the tax.4
Pierrepont was returned to all three Exclusion Parliaments, being marked ‘worthy’ by Shaftesbury. There is no evidence that he attended the Parliament of 1679, and he was certainly absent from the division on the exclusion bill. Moderately active in the second Exclusion Parliament, he was named to the committees for the examination of a minor Popish Plot informer, to consider the bills for the regulation of elections and for the export of leather, and to bring in a bill to regulate the post office. He was marked as an opponent of the Court on the list of Nottinghamshire deputy lieutenants and doubtless removed in the same year. He left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. Shortly before his death he became involved with John Thornhaugh and John White in the Nottinghamshire arms plot by agreeing to conceal the arms which they had ordered in his house in Nottingham, where they were discovered by the lord lieutenant two years later. Pierrepont was buried on 22 Sept. 1681 and succeeded by his son Francis.5