PEMBERTON, Sir Goddard (c.1573-1616), of Hertingfordbury, Herts.

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




Family and Education

b. c.1573, 5th s. of Robert Pemberton (d.1594) of Rushden, Northants. and Margaret, da. of Richard Throckmorton of Higham Ferrers, Northants.1 m. by 1597 (with £3,000),2 Susannah, da. of Henry Macwilliam† of Stambourne Hall, Essex, wid. of Edward Saunders of Harrington, Northants. and coh. to her bro. Henry, s.p.3 kntd. 11 May 1603.4 d. 1 Aug. 1616.5

Offices Held

Sheriff, Herts. 1615-d.6


Pemberton could trace his ancestry in Lancashire to the twelfth century, and his family had held property in Rushden, just outside Higham Ferrers, as Crown tenants since Yorkist times.7 His great-grandfather, usher of the chamber to Edward IV, represented Northamptonshire in 1477.8 Pemberton, the youngest of 18 children, gained through marriage a fortune that enabled him to lend money to the aristocracy, and a Court connection via his sister-in-law’s husband Sir John Stanhope I*. It was perhaps with the support of Sir John, as steward of the manor, that Pemberton was returned for Higham Ferrers in 1604. Pemberton probably had some part in obtaining a new charter for the borough after the end of the first session in July.9

It was presumably through Sir Michael Stanhope*, the keeper of Hertingfordbury Park, that Pemberton obtained from the Crown a lease of Hertingfordbury manor, where he was visited by James I in July 1605.10 Pemberton’s only appointments during the Parliament were in the third session, when he was among those ordered to consider a bill to enable the king to exchange Hatfield for Theobalds with Robert Cecil†, earl of Salisbury (30 May 1607), a matter in which he had a private interest as he was the owner of Hatfield rectory. Four days later he was named to another private bill committee concerning the 6th earl of Derby’s estates.11 Pemberton sold Hatfield rectory to Salisbury for £6,000 in the following year and stayed at Hatfield in the summer of 1612.12 By this time the earl of Hertford owed him £5,350, on which he was receiving £250 interest, and he was also one of the principal creditors of the 3rd earl of Essex.13

Pemberton died ‘of an ague’ on 1 Aug. 1616 during his shrievalty and was buried at Rushden, where his nephew and heir erected a memorial.14 In his will, dated 27 May 1614, he left £20 to be distributed among the poor of Rushden and Hertingfordbury, and generous legacies to his servants.15 His widow, who had a life interest in Hertingfordbury, married (Sir) Thomas Ireland*.16 The next member of the family to enter Parliament was Thomas, who represented Higham Ferrers in 1702-3.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. R.C.B. Pemberton, Pemberton Peds. chart 9.
  • 2. C78/129/2.
  • 3. Misc. Gen. et Her. i. 159-60; Morant, Essex, ii. 345.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 108.
  • 5. Bridges, Northants. ii. 193.
  • 6. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 64.
  • 7. Pemberton, charts 1, 9.
  • 8. Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 41.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 129.
  • 10. VCH Herts. iii. 463-5; J. Nichols, Progs. of Jas. I, i. 519.
  • 11. CJ, i. 377a, 378a.
  • 12. VCH Herts. iii. 111; HMC Hatfield, xxii. 2; L. Stone, Fam. and Fortune, 42.
  • 13. HMC Bath, iv. 212-14, 347; v. 283.
  • 14. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 20; VCH Northants. iv. 49.
  • 15. PROB 11/128, f. 158v.
  • 16. Morant, ii. 345.