MORE, Poynings (1606-1649), of Loseley, Surr.
Available from Cambridge University Press
Family and Education
b. 15 Feb. 1606,2 1st s. of Sir Robert More* (d.1626) and Frances, da. of Sampson Lennard* of Hurstmonceaux, Suss.3 educ. Trin. Oxf. by 1622, I. Temple 1623.4 m. c.1641, Elizabeth (d. 13 Sept. 1666), da. of Sir William Fytch of Woodham Walter, Essex, wid. of Christopher Rous of Henham, Suff., 3s. (1 d.v.p.). suc. grandfa. Sir George More* 1632; cr. bt. 18 May 1642. d. 11 Apr. 1649.5
Col. militia ft. Surr. by 1626-?;6 freeman, Guildford, Surr. 1628;7 j.p. Surr. 1629-at least 1648;8 commr. Wey navigation, Surr. 1635;9 dep. lt. Surr. 1642;10 commr. oyer and terminer, Surr. 1644, gaol delivery 1644,11 defence 1645, assessment 1647-8, militia 1648;12 elder, Godalming classis, Surr. 1648.13
More was born at Hurstmonceaux, the home of his maternal grandfather Sampson Lennard*. Either his father, Sir Robert More, or his grandfather, Sir George More, represented Surrey in every Parliament in this period except the last. In 1621 John Shaw, the vicar of Woking in Surrey who had been deprived for nonconformity in the 1590s, dedicated a synopsis of the Bible written in Latin verse to More.14 Although there is no evidence that he ever formally matriculated, by August 1622 More seems to have been studying at Trinity College, Oxford, as his father wrote to him there giving him permission to enter himself at the dancing-school, ‘so you run not with company to that which is ill’; the latter also expressed the hope that his son would also learn ‘to cipher and cast account readily’.15 More was admitted to the Inner Temple the following year, and in 1624 he was elected with his cousin Francis Carew II for Haslemere, where his grandfather, Sir George More, owned the lordship of the borough. At the same time his father was returned for Surrey and Sir George sat for Guildford. Still a few days short of his 18th birthday when the Parliament met, it is likely that the references to ‘Mr. More’ in the records relate to John More II or Samuel More. The only occasion on which More was specifically mentioned was when he took the oaths of supremacy and allegiance on 12 February.16
More was re-elected with Carew in 1625. It was probably he, rather than Edward Moore, who was named to the committee for a bill to enable the trustees of his relative the 4th earl of Dorset (Sir Edward Sackville*) to sell lands to settle debts, particularly as his name follows that of his grandfather Sir George.17 In 1626 More was again returned, as was John More II, but the only specific reference to him in the surviving records relates to 6 June, on which date he obtained leave for health reasons ‘to go out of the town for a few days’.18 However, he may have been the More who spoke on 11 Feb. in favour of the bill for taking accounts of public money, which measure his grandfather certainly supported. If so then it was presumably also More who was appointed to the committee on the same day.19 This Member may also have been the ‘Mr. More’ who argued at the committee for religion on 13 Feb. that £50 a year was an inadequate salary for a preaching minister, as it was Sir George More who had initiated the debate on clerical remuneration.20 More may also have been the man of his name who spoke in favour of the scandalous ministers bill on 15 Feb., which his grandfather moved should be committed.21
More’s father died shortly before the Parliament assembled and, as More himself was still under age, his mother purchased his wardship for 200 marks.22 It was probably at about this time that she wrote to warn him against the courses into which bad company was leading him:
I hear when you fell you were scarce sober, which troubles me much to think that you should live so beastly a life that the country should take notice of it, and so soon to forget those good instructions that your blessed father which is in heaven taught.23
Nevertheless Sir George More would later express bitter disappointment that his grandson was not made a deputy lieutenant.24
More was elected in 1628 for Guildford, which had previously returned his father and grandfather. Although not mentioned in any of the surviving records of the third Caroline Parliament, he evidently followed the debates concerning the Petition of Right with interest. In an undated letter to his mother he wrote that there was little he could tell her about proceedings in the Commons ‘either good or bad’ because ‘we are still about the old matter concerning the liberties of the subject’. He stated that they ‘hope[d for] the best’, but the outcome was still uncertain. In addition, copies made by More of speeches and other documents relating to the Petition survive among the family papers.25
More wrote twice to his grandfather in the 1629 session giving news of proceedings in the Commons. In the first, which probably dates from late January 1629, he apologized for having little to tell because, for although the House had ‘spoken of many businesses’, it had ‘brought none to a conclusion’. More stated that ‘our religion’, particularly ‘the depressing of popery and Arminianism’, was ‘the grand business now in hand’. However he also informed Sir George of the dispute over the payment of Tunnage and Poundage and sent him a copy of the king’s speech of 25 Jan. on that subject. In a postscript the next day, he added news of the Commons’ decision to defer the reading of the Tunnage and Poundage bill ‘until the business of religion be somewhat nearer drawn to an end’.26 He wrote again the following month with news of the adjournment ordered on 25 Feb., and an account of William Strode’s protest. At the same time he reported that he had received a rebuff while negotiating a marriage for himself, ‘wherefore my mother is very unwilling I should meddle any more’. His grandfather wrote to him about this or another match in April, but More remained unmarried for ten years and more.27
In the summer of 1630 More and his cousin Carew fled overseas to avoid their creditors. On 16 July Carew’s father, Sir Nicholas Carew alias Throckmorton*, wrote to his son warning that just as More ‘was a companion with you here in your unthrifty and careless courses, so likewise he will be there’.28 More at least was back in England by 1632. On 30 Sept. he was granted a licence to travel ‘for the gaining of language and bettering of his experience’, but his grandfather’s death less than three weeks later may have prevented him from making use of it, and he kept Christmas that year in the Isle of Wight with another uncle, Sir John Oglander*.29 In 1639 he was among those who failed to respond to a request for a contribution to the Scots war.30 Elected for Haslemere to the Long Parliament, he became a moderate parliamentarian. He died on 11 Apr. 1649 and was buried in the family chapel at St. Nicholas, Guildford. Having died intestate, administration of his estate was granted to his widow on 23 April. His son Sir William was elected for Haslemere in 1675.31
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates
- 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
- 2. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM/1590.
- 3. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. lx), 84.
- 4. HMC 7th Rep. 674; I. Temple database of admiss.
- 5. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 397; Manning and Bray, Surr. i. 67, 97.
- 6. HMC Laing, i. 172.
- 7. Surr. Hist. Cent. BR/OC/1/2, f. 101v.
- 8. C231/5, p. 11; ASSI 35/89/5.
- 9. T. Rymer, Foedera, ix. pt. 1, p. 19.
- 10. HMC 7th Rep. 677.
- 11. C181/5, ff. 238v, 239v.
- 12. A. and O. i. 731, 976, 1094, 1243.
- 13. W.A. Shaw, Hist. of English Church during Civil Wars and under Commonwealth, ii. 435.
- 14. Ath. Ox. ii. 354; Oxford DNB sub Shaw, John.
- 15. A.J. Kempe, Loseley Mss, p. xix.
- 16. ‘Hawarde 1624’, p. 143.
- 17. Procs. 1625, p. 349.
- 18. Procs. 1626, iii. 377.
- 19. Ibid. ii. 21, 23.
- 20. Ibid. 29.
- 21. Ibid. 46, 49.
- 22. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM/350/11/1-2.
- 23. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM/COR/4/80.
- 24. HMC 7th Rep. 678. The letter is undated but should probably be assigned to the later 1620s.
- 25. FSL, L.b.683-4.
- 26. FSL, L.b.685.
- 27. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM/COR/4/81; HMC 7th Rep. 677.
- 28. Add. 29599, ff. 36, 38.
- 29. HMC 7th Rep. 677; Oglander Mems. ed. W.H. Long, 142.
- 30. Historical Collections ed. J. Rushworth, iii. 914.
- 31. Manning and Bray, i. 67; PROB 6/24, f. 38.