PAKINGTON, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (1621-80), of Westwood Park, Worcs.
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Family and Education
b. 13 Aug. 1621, o.s. of Sir John Pakington, 1st Bt.†, of Aylesbury, Bucks. by Frances, da. of Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth, Staffs. educ. travelled abroad 1638-40. m. c.1648, Dorothy (d. 10 May 1679), da. of Sir Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry of Aylesborough, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 29 Oct. 1624, gdfa. in Worcs. estate 1625.1
Commr. of array, Worcs. 1642; freeman, Worcester 1643; j.p. Worcs. by 1644-6, July 1660-d.; commr. for oyer and terminer, Oxford circuit July 1660; dep. lt. Worcs. c. Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Worcs. and Worcester Sept. 1660-d., capt. vol, horse 1661, commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Worcs. 1662, recusants 1675.2
Pakington’s ancestors first acquired land in Worcestershire in the 15th century, and expanded their estates at the dissolution of the monasteries. They had already welcomed the Reformation, and Robert Pakington, who was elected for London in 1534, is said to have been assassinated by a zealous Papist for that reason. Pakington succeeded to an estate worth at least £1,500 p.a. A Royalist in both wars, he compounded at £7,670, and was compelled to alienate his valuable Aylesbury property to the regicide Thomas Scott. ‘Tried for his life and damaged in his fortune for his loyalty’ to the extent of £20,000 or more, he was imprisoned as a suspected conspirator in 1655 and 1659. Nevertheless throughout the Interregnum he and his learned wife maintained Westwood as a sanctuary for the ejected Anglican clergy.3
Together with Francis Finch Pakington presented to General George Monck on 14 Apr. 1660 the declaration of the Worcestershire Cavaliers disclaiming animosity towards their opponents, and at the Midsummer quarter sessions he proposed a loyal address welcoming the Restoration. He was returned unopposed for the county in the following year. On 20 Apr. 1661 letters patent were issued to a certain Edward Gregory authorizing the collection of up to £4,000 arrears of public money not covered by the Act of Indemnity. The King minuted that the grant was for Pakington’s benefit, ‘but it is passed in another name, lest the example should be prejudicial’. Gregory seems to have raised slightly over £900 gross on this patent by 1664. Pakington was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was appointed to only 19 committees, including those for the confirmation of public Acts and the Stour navigation bill in the first session. On 17 May a bill to cancel the conveyances of his Aylesbury property was introduced. According to Bullen Reymes a second reading was ordered for 19 June, ‘at which Sir Thomas Fanshawe [I] took occasion to thank the House for showing so much kindness to a Cavalier, it being the first time he ever saw any’. But the bill made no further progress. After the interception of two suspicious letters in November, he arrested three parliamentary officers, one of whom was the engineer, Andrew Yarranton, and two dissenting ministers. In 1663 Pakington was appointed to the committee for settling St. Oswald’s hospital. A bill to enable him to sever the entail on his property was steered through committee by Thomas Crouch with one amendment, and passed, and he successfully claimed privilege to stay legal proceedings affecting his title to certain Droitwich salt deposits. His Aylesbury estate bill reappeared in 1664. Crouch again took the chair in committee, and it likewise received the royal assent at the end of the session; but neither Pakington nor his son was able to re-establish the family interest in the borough.4
Sir Thomas Osborne listed Pakington in 1669 among the independent Members who usually voted for supply. On the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot in 1673, it was reported to (Sir) Joseph Williamson that he and Sir Anthony Cope led a procession bearing an effigy of the Pope to be burnt. The last committee to which he was appointed was in February 1674 to inquire into the powers of the Board of the Green Cloth. He went over to the Opposition in the latter years of the Cavalier Parliament. Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly worthy’ in 1677, but he was sent for as a defaulter on 17 Dec. 1678. It is not known whether he stood again. He was buried at Hampton Lovett on 3 Jan. 1680.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Edward Rowlands / Geoffrey Jaggar
- 1. Nash, Worcs. i. 352; Wards 7/74/67; PC Reg. iii. 184.
- 2. List of Worcester Freemen (1747); Townshend’s Diary (Worcs. Rec. Soc.), i. 184, 276; SP29/21/45.
- 3. Trans. Worcs. Arch. Soc. n.s. xiii. 29, 38; VCH Worcs. iii. 237; Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 8, 10-12, 14; Keeler, Long Parl. 293; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1194-6; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 866; CSP Dom. 1655, p. 207; 1660-1, p. 369; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 130, 143, 259.
- 4. Townshend’s Diary, i. 37, 274, 292; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 369; 1661-2, pp. 143, 148, 149; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 309, 405, 408, 416, 440, 525, 536, 563, 614; Reymes diary; CJ, viii. 253, 464, 485, 544.
- 5. Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. ix), 71; Lipscomb, ii. 15.