CURWEN, Patricius (1602-1664), of Workington, Cumb.
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Family and Education
b. 23 Apr. 1602,1 1st s. of Sir Henry Curwen* and 1st w. Catherine, da. of Sir John Dalston† of Dalston Hall, Cumb.2 educ. Queens’, Camb. 1620.3 m. 28 Feb. 1620 (with £2,000),4 Isabella (d. Jan. 1667),5 da. and coh. of Sir George Selby* of Whitehouse, co. Dur., 1s. d.v.p.6 suc. fa. 1623;7 cr. bt. 12 Mar. 1627.8 bur. 16 Dec. 1664.9
J.p. Cumb. 1624-at least 1640;10 dep. lt. Cumb. by 1627-c.1644, 1660-d.;11 commr. Forced Loan, Cumb. 1626-7,12 swans, Cumb., Westmld., Northumb. and elsewhere, 1629,13 oyer and terminer, Cumb. 1630,14 piracy, 1631;15 sheriff, Cumb. 1636-7;16 col. militia ft. Cumb. 1640, lt.-col. 1660;17 commr. assessment, Cumb. 1641-2, 1660-d.,18 array 1642;19 lt., honour of Cockermouth 1652-d.;20 commr. oyer and terminer, Northern circ. 1660-d.;21 commr. loyal and indigent officers, Cumb. 1662.22
Col. of ft. (roy.) 1642-4.23
The eldest son of a popishly inclined Cumberland magnate, Curwen entered into his inheritance in 1623, shortly after attaining his majority. Like his father, he innovated to increase his income from the Workington estate. For example, he used prodigious quantities of lime to raise the yield of his demesne to £500 a year, and exported salt to Ireland in his own ships. He also carefully inspected his steward’s accounts, which show net annual receipts from his coal mines and other industrial activities of £128,24 and in 1625 sued his Catholic stepmother over rent charges granted to her uncles, William Cholmley* and James Bouskell.25 The dispute was referred to Sir Edward Musgrave* and Curwen’s uncle Sir George Dalston* for arbitration, with whose help a settlement was finally agreed.26 Though he represented Cumberland with Dalston throughout the reign of Charles I until disabled as a royalist, politics were of only secondary interest to him, and he left no trace on the records of Parliament in this period.
At the duke of Buckingham’s instance, Curwen, like Sir William Brereton*, was excused the usual baronetcy fee in 1627; but he was still obliged to compound for knighthood in 1631.27 As sheriff of Cumberland in 1636-7 he was responsible for collecting Ship Money. Ever loyal to Charles, Curwen voted against the attainder of the 1st earl of Strafford (Sir Thomas Wentworth*), and once civil war broke out he enlisted as a colonel in the royalist army.28 Composition fines for his estates in total cost him around £3,100.29 Leaving provision to establish a local school, he made his will on 13 Dec. 1664, two days before he died, and was buried at Workington; his brother, Thomas inherited the estate.30 Shortly after his death Curwen was eulogized in David Lloyd’s royalist Memoires as ‘a pious and peaceful man ... in whom art and nature conspired to make him master of a great wit and a vigorous discourse’.31 The next member of the family to sit was his cousin, Eldred, who represented Cockermouth in 1738.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. C142/404/119.
- 2. J.F. Curwen, House of Curwen, 136, 142.
- 3. Al. Cant.
- 4. C78/501/4.
- 5. Curwen, 151.
- 6. Ibid. 147.
- 7. C142/404/119.
- 8. CB, ii. 10.
- 9. Curwen, 149.
- 10. C231/4, f. 167; C66/2858.
- 11. SP16/73/41; 29/11/260; 29/60/137; Curwen, 147; Cumb. RO (Carlisle), D/Law/7/8.
- 12. SP16/56/34; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 144.
- 13. C181/3, f. 270v.
- 14. C181/4, ff. 25, 62.
- 15. C181/4, f. 81.
- 16. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 28.
- 17. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, ii. 315; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 313.
- 18. SR, v. 60, 149, 210, 456.
- 19. Northants. RO, FH133.
- 20. C.B. Phillips, ‘Gentry of Cumb. and Westmld. 1600-65’ (Lancaster Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1973), p. 219.
- 21. C181/7, pp. 18, 274.
- 22. SR, v. 381.
- 23. CCC, 1240; P.R. Newman, Roy. Officers in Eng. and Wales, 97.
- 24. Phillips, 153, 163, 166, 196, 201, 273.
- 25. Ibid. 234; C78/501/4.
- 26. C78/501/4.
- 27. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 86; Phillips, 118.
- 28. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 148-9.
- 29. CCC, 985-6.
- 30. Wills at York (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xlix), 24; Curwen, 148-9.
- 31. D. Lloyd, Memoires of the Lives (1669), pp. 692-3.