PYNE, John (1600-1678), of Curry Malet, Som. and the Middle Temple, 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.)
1640 (Nov.)

Family and Education

b. 26 Mar. 1600, o.s. of Thomas Pyne (d.1609) of L. Inn and Merriott, Som. and Amy, da. of Thomas Hannam†, sjt.-at-law, of the M. Temple and Winterbourne Zelston, Dorset.1 educ. M. Temple 1619, called 1629.2 m. (1) by 26 Oct. 1629, Eleanor (d.1662), da. and h. of Sir John Hanham* of Deans Court, Wimborne Minster, Dorset, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.; (2) 1668, Amy, da. of Thomas White of Fiddleford, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, s.p. suc. grandfa. 1609.3 admon. 14 June 1678.4

Offices Held

Freeman, Poole, Dorset 1625;5 treas., W. Som. 1626-7; commr. sewers, Som. 1634,6 assessment, 1643-4, 1647-52, 1657, 1660, sequestration 1643, execution of ordinances 1643-4, levying money 1643;7 j.p. Dorset and Som. by 1646-?60;8 elder, Taunton classis, Som. 1648;9 commr. militia, Som. 1648, 1659;10 col., militia ft. 1650.11

Commr. army 1653.12

Col. of ft. (parl.) 1642-3.13


Pyne’s grandfather, a lawyer of Hampshire origin, bought Curry Malet and other property in Somerset and Dorset. He outlived Pyne’s father, whose widow purchased the wardship of the future MP for the modest sum of £15 10s. While Pyne’s paternal grandfather, father and uncle Hugh* all became benchers of Lincoln’s Inn, the Member chose to follow his maternal grandfather to the Middle Temple, occupying a chamber in Hannam’s buildings. It was likewise through his mother’s family that Pyne was returned at Poole for all the Parliaments of Charles I’s reign.14

Pyne left no trace on the records of the brief 1625 Parliament, but on 27 Feb. 1626 either he or his cousin Arthur Pyne, MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, complained about misgovernment at home, particularly the fact that ‘our religion is become uncertain’.15 During the 1628 session, almost all the references to a ‘Mr. Pyne’ can be ascribed to his uncle Hugh, MP for Weymouth. On 2 May 1628, the Commons gave John Pyne leave to go into the country ‘upon special occasion’, and on 30 Sept., he obtained from the Privy Council a passport for himself ‘and one servant’. It is tempting to connect these two references with Pyne’s courtship of his cousin Eleanor Hanham, and the obstinate hostility to the match of her uncle Thomas Hanham†. Eventually, assisted by Bulstrode Whitelocke*, and probably in emulation of Arthur Pyne, the couple eloped. Pyne celebrated his marriage by presenting his constituents with £50 to provide a stock for the poor.16

Pyne refused to pay Ship Money in the 1630s, and was among the first to take up arms for Parliament in the Civil War. He was said to dominate the county committee ‘by his inspirations’, both spiritual and spirituous. He was above taking any personal advantage of his power, but his ambition contributed to the divisions of the postwar period.17 Though a Presbyterian, he governed Somerset during the Commonwealth, but refused to serve the Protectorate. At the Restoration he was disabled from office by the Act of Uniformity. His will, proved on 14 June 1678, required a funeral at night ‘without prayers or bells’. He left a diminished and encumbered estate, which meant that no subsequent member of the family entered Parliament.18

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Sale of Wards ed. M.J. Hawkins (Som. Rec. Soc. lxvii), 51.
  • 2. MT Admiss.; MTR, 704.
  • 3. Burke LG, 902; Som. and Dorset N and Q, iii. 166.
  • 4. F. Brown, Som. Wills, ii. 73.
  • 5. Dorset RO, DC/PL/B/7/1/1, f. 70v.
  • 6. C181/4, f. 172.
  • 7. A. and O. i. 69, 170, 460, 545, 969; ii. 1079.
  • 8. Q. Sess. Recs. ed. E.H. Bates Harbin (Som. Rec. Soc. xxiv), 254; Q. Sess. Recs. ed. E.H. Bates Harbin (Som. Rec. Soc. xxviii), 1, 360.
  • 9. W. Prynne, Som. Divided into Classes (1648), p. 11.
  • 10. A. and O. ii. 1332, 1441.
  • 11. CSP Dom. 1649-50, p. 521.
  • 12. LC2/42, f. 54.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1645-7, p. 455; D. Underdown, Som. in the Civil War, 36, 50.
  • 14. WARD 7/44/163; Sale of Wards, 51; MTR, 704, 726, 855; Som. and Dorset N and Q, xxxi. 29-30.
  • 15. Procs. 1626, ii. 143.
  • 16. CD 1628, iii. 208; APC, 1628-9, p. 176; R. Spalding, Improbable Puritan, 35; Dorset RO, DC/PL/B/7/1/1, f. 81.
  • 17. CSP Dom. 1636-7, p. 288; 1637-8, pp. 407, 486; Clarendon, Hist. of the Rebellion ed. W.D. Macray, iii. 491; M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 319-20; Underdown, 35, 122, 163, 176, 193; R. Ashton, Civil War, 321.
  • 18. C. Walker, Hist. Independency (1649), i. 89; Brown, ii. 73; Burke LG, 902.