MAINWARING, Philip (c.1589-1661), of London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)
24 June 1661 - 21 Aug. 1661

Family and Education

b. c.1589, 7th but 4th surv. s. of Sir Randle Mainwaring (d. 1612) of Over Peover, Cheshire by 1st w. Margaret, da. of Sir Edward Fitton† of Gawsworth, Cheshire.1 educ. G. Inn 1609; Brasenose, Oxf. 1610, aged 21, BA 1613.2 unm. kntd. 1634.3 d. 21 Aug. 1661.4 sig. Ph[ilip] Mainwaring.

Offices Held

Servant to James I by 1609, cupbearer by 1621-?34.5

Sec. to amb. Sir George Chaworth*, Brussels 1621.6

Farmer of wine licences, Devon and Cornw. 1630-40.7

Sec. of state [I] 1634-41, 1660-d.; PC [I] 1634-41, 1660-d.; commr. defective titles [I] 1638.8

MP [I] 1634-5, 1640-1.9

Treas.-at-war (roy.) 1642-6.10


The senior branch of the Mainwarings, seated at Over Peover by the thirteenth century, were distantly related to the Mainwarings of Ightfield, Shropshire. A younger son, Mainwaring made his career at Court, earning a pension of 10s. a day for life in 1609. He attached himself to the earl of Arundel, whom he described in 1618 as ‘my especial good lord’. William Trumbull* praised ‘the sweetness of his disposition, and other great parts, which were worthily admired in a gentleman of his years, and have gained him a great reputation’; and he also enjoyed the friendship of (Sir) George Calvert*.11

Arundel nominated Mainwaring for a parliamentary seat at Steyning in the autumn of 1620, but he was rejected and instead accompanied Sir George Chaworth* on an embassy to Brussels. In 1623 he was wrongly reported to have married the widow of Francis Norris, earl of Berkshire. Arundel’s intercession failed him again at Steyning in 1624, but he was returned at Boroughbridge on the interest of the local Catholic squire Thomas Tankard, his uncle by marriage. Although Mainwaring was later commended for his role in the Irish Parliament of 1634, he played little recorded part in the English Commons during the 1620s. His sole mention in the records of the 1624 session (as ‘Mr. Maning’) was his appointment to the committee for a bill to relieve creditors of deceased debtors (17 April). Re-elected for Boroughbridge in the following year, either he or his cousin Edward Mainwaring* was appointed to the committee for Lord Dorset’s estate bill (8 July).12

Mainwaring was returned for Boroughbridge a third time at the following election, but at a roll-call on 5 Apr. 1626 he was excused attendance for an illness which may have been political, as his patron Arundel had been consigned to house arrest on 5 March. On 19 Apr. the king brushed off a petition from the Lords demanding privilege for Arundel, but five days later Mainwaring wrote to the earl, anticipating that a forthcoming roll-call in the Lords would oblige the king to permit the attendance of all peers, ‘so as within a few days we may hope to see your l[ordship] sit in Parliament’. He also noted that ‘our House hath something now on foot in Parliament which at the least makes a noise’, doubtless a reference to the impeachment of Arundel’s enemy Buckingham. Mainwaring’s optimism proved unfounded, as on 10 May the king again declined to be hurried in his decision over Arundel’s fate, and the earl did not return to the Lords until 8 June. Mainwaring may have stayed away from the Commons during the earl’s sequestration: his only committee nomination, for the estate bill of Sir Thomas Littleton, 1st bt.*, occurred on the day after Arundel’s return.

Tankard died before the next election, when his son bestowed the family interest at Boroughbridge elsewhere; Mainwaring was nominated at Derby by Arundel’s brother-in-law the earl of Pembroke. He was named to the committee for privileges (20 Mar.), but his recorded activity thereafter comprised only three bill committees, one for the estate bill of the earl of Devonshire (Sir William Cavendish I*, 21 Apr.), another to allow his patron Arundel to annex the castle and honour of Arundel to the earldom (11 June), and the last to establish copyhold rights on Crown estates in Denbighshire (13 June). He left no trace on the records of the 1629 session.13

In December 1627 Mainwaring helped Sir Thomas Wentworth* deliver a petition to the king for release from internal exile as a Forced Loan refuser, and thereafter he provided Wentworth with regular Court news, describing himself as ‘so much your lordship’s servant, that it is not possible to be more’. He went to Ireland with Wentworth in 1634, who appointed him secretary of state, and as such he was included in Van Dyck’s portrait of his master. During the Civil War Mainwaring joined the king at Oxford, acting as treasurer at war, but he subsequently ‘obscured himself’. He regained his Irish office at the Restoration, but died in London on 21 Aug. 1661. His great-nephew Thomas Mainwaring sat for Cheshire in 1660.14

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Simon Healy


  • 1. Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. lix), 157-8; (xciii), 74-75; G. Ormerod, Cheshire, i. 482-3.
  • 2. GI Admiss.; Al. Ox.
  • 3. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 202.
  • 4. Ormerod, i. 483.
  • 5. C66/1829; Loseley Mss ed. A.J. Kempe, 424; Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 263.
  • 6. SP77/14, ff. 551-2.
  • 7. APC, 1630-1, p. 30
  • 8. Strafforde Letters, i. 263; CSP Ire. 1633-47, pp. 130, 185; 1660-2, pp. 142, 250.
  • 9. H. Kearney, Strafford in Ireland, 239-40, 261.
  • 10. HMC Var. iii. 215-16.
  • 11. Ormerod, i. 477; C66/1829; Illustrations of British History ed. E. Lodge, iii. 293; SP77/14, ff. 551-2; Strafforde Letters, ii. 360.
  • 12. H.A. Merewether and A.J. Stephens, Hist. of Bors. iii. 1513-14; CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 492; Strafforde Letters, i. 352; CJ, i. 769b; Procs. 1625, p. 350.
  • 13. Procs. 1626, i. 290, 292, 395; ii. 431; iii. 404; C. Russell, PEP, 287, 307, 312-20; M.F.S. Hervey, Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, 248-9; CD 1628, ii. 28; iii. 3; iv. 236, 292;
  • 14. Wentworth Pprs. ed. J.P. Cooper (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xii), 281, 301; Strafforde Letters, i. 54, 211, 263; HMC Var. iii. 215, 216; Ormerod, i. 483.