ISHAM, Sir Justinian, 2nd Bt. (1611-75), of Lamport Hall, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. 20 Jan. 1611 o.s. of Sir John Isham, 1st Bt., of Lamport by Judith, da. of William Lewin†, dean of the arches, of Otterden, Kent. educ. Uppingham; Christ’s, Camb. 1627-8; M. Temple 1628; travelled abroad (Holland) 1633-4. m. (1) 10 Nov. 1634 (with £4,000) Jane (d. 4 Mar. 1639), da. of Sir John Garrard, 1st Bt., of Lamer Park, Wheathampstead, Herts., 1s. d.v.p. 4da.; (2) Aug. 1653, Vere (d. 29 Oct. 1704), da. of Sir Thomas Leigh, 2nd Bt.†, 1st Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 8 July 1651.1
J.p. Northants. July 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d., commr. for oyer and terminer, Midland circuit July 1660, assessment, Northants. 1661-74, loyal and indigent officers 1662.
Isham’s ancestors took their name from a Northamptonshire village, and their pedigree can be traced back to an escheator under Richard II. They first sat in Parliament in 1554, and Isham’s great-grandfather, a merchant adventurer of London, bought Lamport in 1560. Isham’s father was neutral during the Civil War, though he was obliged to contribute over £1000 to the parliamentary forces and an attempt was made to convict him of delinquency a few months before his death. Isham himself, though acting as solicitor to the parliamentary general, the Earl of Essex, was in the King’s quarters during the war, but never bore arms. He compounded at £1,100 for the Leicestershire manor of Shangton, which had been settled on him. On his father’s death he found himself master of some £1,700 p.a., and could indulge his scholarly and artistic tastes, which unfortunately stood in the way of his rather ponderous courtship of Dorothy Osborne. However, his second marriage soon brought him the requisite heir, and indeed a large family, whose education he carefully superintended. Although he took no part in royalist conspiracy, his strong Anglican convictions exposed him to the suspicions of the Interregnum authorities, and he was twice imprisoned. At a meeting of the Northamptonshire gentry before the general election of 1661, he agreed to stand for the county, with some reluctance because ‘a provoked person, having suffered by sequestration, imprisonment, etc.’ might be subject to exception by those who had been active on the other side. He defeated Richard Knightley, but owing to ill-health he was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament. He was named to only 22 committees, of which the most important was for the uniformity bill, and made no recorded speeches. His name appears on no list of government supporters, which suggests that he soon went into opposition, probably out of disgust at the licentiousness of the Restoration Court. He died of the stone at Oxford on 2 Mar. 1675, and was buried at Lamport.2
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: E. R. Edwards
This biography is based on Sir Gyles Isham, Duppa-Isham Corresp. (Northants. Rec. Soc. xvii).