A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for John PAKINGTON

From the Dictionary of National Biography, volume 43: PAKINGTON, Sir JOHN (1549-1625), courtier, was the son of Sir Thomas Pakington. His grandfather, Robert Pakington, younger brother of Sir John Pakington (d. 1560) [q. v.], was a London mercer, was M.P. for the city in 1534, was murdered in London in 1537, and was buried at St. Pancras, Needler's Lane. The father, Thomas Pakington, inherited from his mother, Agnes (or Katharine), daughter of Sir John Baldwin (d. 1545) [q. v.], large estates in and near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, and was also heir to his uncle, Sir John Pakington. He was knighted by Queen Mary on 2 Oct. 1553, and was sheriff of Worcester in 1561. He died at Bath Place, Holborn, on 2 June 1571, and was buried at Aylesbury on the 12th. He married Dorothy (1531-1577), daughter of Sir Thomas Kitson of Hengrave in Suffolk, by whom he had two daughters and one son. His widow, who was his sole executrix, acquired some celebrity by her interference in electioneering matters. On 4 May 1572 she issued a writ in her own name as 'lord and owner of the town of Aylesbury,' appointing burgesses for the constituency. She afterwards married Thomas Tasburgh of Hawridge in Buckinghamshire, and died 2 May 1577. John, the only son of Sir Thomas, born in 1549, was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, graduated B.A. on 13 Dec. 1569, and was a student of Lincoln's Inn in 1570. Pakington attracted the notice of Queen Elizabeth in her progress to Worcester in August 1570, when she invited him to court. In London he lived for a few years in great splendour, and outran his fortune. He was remarkable both for his wit and the beauty of his person. The queen, who took great pleasure in bis athletic achievements, nicknamed him 'Lusty Pakington.' It is said that he once laid a wager with three other courtiers to swim from Westminster to London Bridge, but the queen forbade the match. From 1587 to 1601 Pakington was deputy-lieutenant for Worcester. In 1587 he was knighted. In 1593 he was granted by the crown a patent for starch (Noake, Worcestershire Nuggets, p. 272; Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 277. 6th Rep. p. 257, 7th Rep. p. 94). The queen, to help him in his financial difficulties, made him bow-bearer of Malvern Chase, and is said to have given him a valuable estate in Suffolk; but when he went to the place and saw the distress of the widow of the former owner, he begged to have the property transferred to her. Strict economy and a period of retirement enabled him to pay his debts, and a wealthy marriage in 1598 greatly improved his position. Pakington devoted much attention to building, and to improving his estates in Worcestershire. The central portion of the house at Westwood, which after the civil war became the residence of the family, was his work. He also constructed a lake at Westwood, which unfortunately encroached on the highway. His right to alter the road being questioned, he impetuously had the embankments cut through, and the waters of the lake streamed over the country and coloured the Severn for miles. He was sheriff for the county of Worcester in 1595 and in 1607. In June 1603 he entertained James I with great magnificence at his house at Aylesbury. In 1607 Pakington, as justice of the peace for Worcestershire, resisted the jurisdiction claimed by the council of Wales over the county (Wright, Ludlow, p. 419). Pakington died in January 1624-5, and was buried at Aylesbury. He married, in November 1595, Dorothy, daughter of Humphrey Smith, Queen Elizabeth's silkman, and widow of Benedict Barnham [q, v.] By her he bad two daughters and a son (see below). The union was not a happy one. Early in 1607 Pakington 'and his little violent lady . . . parted upon foul terms.' In 1617 she appealed to the law, and Pakington was forced to appear before the court at high commission, and was committed to gaol. It was the unpleasing duty of lord-keeper Bacon (who had married Lady Pakington's daughter, Alice Barnham) to give an opinion against his mother-in-law. In 1628 she quarreled with her son-in-law respecting the administration of her husband's estate, which was transferred to the son-in-law in February 1629 (Lords' Journals, iii. pp. 827, 862, 872, iv. pp. 23-4). In or about 1629 she took a third husband (Robert Needham, first viscount Kilmorey), who had already been thrice married, and died in November 1631. Subsequently she became the third wife of Thomas Erskine, first earl of Kellie [q.v.] He died on 12 June 1639, and she probably died about the same date. There is a portrait of Pakington at Westwood Park, Worcestershire. Of his three children, Anne, his elder daughter, married at Kensington, on 9 Feb. 1618-19, Sir Humphrey Ferrers, son of Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth Castle, Warwickshire; and, after his decease, Philip Stanhope, first earl of Chesterfield. His second daughter, Mary, married Sir Richard Brooke of Nacton in Suffolk.

From The progresses, processions, and magnificent festivities, of King James, by John Nichols: Sir John Packington was bred at Christ Church College in Oxford, under the tuition of Dr. Lewis, Dean of Gloucester, and became a great favourite with Queen Elizabeth, was one of her Privy Council, and received from her the honour of knighthood. He died at his house at Westwood, in Worcestershire aged 77, and was buried at Aylesbury Jan. 18, 1625.-Naunton says, "Sir John Packington was a Gentleman of no meane family, and of forme and feature, no waies disabled, for he was a brave Gentleman, and a very fine courtier; and for the time which he stayed there, which was not lasting, very high in her grace, but he came in and went out, through disassidutie, drew the curtaine betweene himselfe and the light of her Grace, and then Death overwhelmed the remnant, and utterly deprived him of recovery, and they say of him, that had hee brought lesse to her Court than he did, he might have carried away more than he brought, for he had a time on it, but an ill husband of opportunitie. He had issue by his wife, the widow of Benedict Barnham, one of the Aldermen of London, two daughters, one married to Sir Humphrey Farrars of Tamworth; surviving him, she married the Earl of Chesterfield; the other married Sir Robert Brooke, of Suffolk, Knt.; and one son, Sir John Packington, who succeeded him."-Sir John Packington was very popular in the country.

From Personal History of Lord Bacon from Unpublished Papers by William Hepworth Dixon, 1861. pp. 161-162: Sir John has been a father to the four girls [of Dorothy Smith and Benedict Barnham]; for if rough and ready, apt to quarrel, and quick to strike, he has a gentle and manly heart. A gentleman with due pride in his long line and his broad lands, in his length of leg and width of chest, he is known at Christchurch and on Richmond-green as Lusty Pakington; and the good old Queen, who liked to see a man a Man, made him, for his brave looks, a Knight of the Bath. A great swimmer, an adroit swordsman, few who can help it ever care to wait the shock of his hasty temper or his vigorous thrust. The great man of his country-side, he sends his buck for the judges' table at assizes, and has his name put first on every commission from the Crown, whether the shire is called to raise forces against Spain, build light-houses in the Bristol Channel, or provide for the wants of sick and disabled troops; but when orders from the Crown oppose his own particular humor, as they sometimes do, he quietly puts them in the fire. The Privy Council has to be rather plain and rough with the jovial knight. Once he laid a wager to swim against three stout gallants from Westminster to London-bridge; but the Queen forbade the match, lest some of the fools should get drowned. He has a passion for building and digging on a princely scale. He buys a whole forest of trees for his salt-pits and for the great house which he is building at Westwood Park, and he sinks a great farm of a hundred acres under water....

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

AYLESBURY1624 - Oct. 1624

Family and Education
b. c.1600, 1st s. of Sir John Pakington (d. Jan. 1625)1 of Westwood Park and Dorothy, da. of Ambrose Smith, Mercer, of London, wid. of Benedict Barnham† (d.1598), alderman of London.2 educ. G. Inn 1619.3 m. by 1620, Frances, da. of Sir John Ferrers* of Tamworth Castle, Warws., 1s. 1da.4 cr. bt. 22 June 1620.5 bur. 29 Oct. 1624.6

Offices Held
J.p. Worcs. 1622-d.,7 custos. rot. 1622;8 commr. subsidy, Worcs. 1624.9

The Pakington family had been settled in Worcestershire since the fifteenth century, and accumulated a substantial estate as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries.10 This Member’s grandfather, Sir Thomas Pakington, inherited the manor of Aylesbury in 1545.11 Pakington’s father, a favourite of Elizabeth I, was known as ‘Lusty Pakington’. Renowned for his handsomeness, wit and athleticism, he lavishly entertained James I at Aylesbury in June 1603.12 Pakington himself was groomed to succeed his father: a baronetcy was purchased for him in 1620, and he was appointed chairman of the Worcestershire bench shortly after he came of age. His return in 1624 for Aylesbury, where his father usually nominated both Members, was probably intended to help round off his education.
Pakington played little part in the business of the House. The only legislative committees to which he was appointed concerned the Hertfordshire manor of Little Munden, and the Crown’s imposition on Newcastle coal (both 29 April).13 In his only Commons’ speech, on 8 Mar., he reported having witnessed various people carrying spades entering a building near the Painted Chamber at night. Pakington explained that he had duly notified lord keeper Williams, who had entreated him to remain silent so that a search could be made. The search found nothing, but Pakington was concerned that it might not have been thorough. Sir Robert Cotton*, whose residence adjoined the Painted Chamber, immediately volunteered to have his house searched to help eliminate any lingering suspicion.14
Pakington died intestate in October 1624; the parish register entry for his burial lamented the loss of ‘the hopes of Aylesbury’.15 When his father died a few months later, Pakington’s four-year old heir John was left to the care of a group of trustees, including Attorney-General Sir Thomas Coventry* and Sir William Borlase*.16 John subsequently sat in the Short and Long Parliaments, the Oxford Royalist Parliament and the Cavalier Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

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