GEORGE, John (1594-1678), of the Middle Temple and Cirencester, Glos.
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Family and Education
bap. 15 Sept. 1594, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Robert George of Cirencester and Margaret (bur. 2 Mar. 1637), da. of Edward Oldisworth† of Poulton, Glos.1 educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf., BA 1614; M. Temple 1615, called 1623;2 embassy, Venice 1618.3 m. lic. 18 July 1627, Elizabeth (bur. 4 June 1677), da. of John Tirrell of St. Ives, Hunts., 4s. 2da. d.v.p.4 suc. fa. 1623, cos. Robert George at Baunton 1623.5 d. c. Dec. 1678.6
Clerk of the wardrobe 1637-9.7
Reader, New Inn 1637; bencher, M. Temple 1651-d., treas. 1658-9.8
J.p. Glos. c.1636-7, 1638-42, 1656-?60, 1660-d.,9 dep. lt. 1642,10 commr. assessment 1643,11 1660-d.,12 sequestrations 1643,13 levying money 1643,14 execution of ordinances 1643,15 militia 1659,16 recusants 1675.17
The Georges had lived at Baunton, two miles from Cirencester, since the early fourteenth century, and acquired the manor after the dissolution of Cirencester Abbey.18 They also held property in the borough, which one of them represented in 1601.19 George’s father was probably by then receiver-general to Anne, countess of Warwick,20 while his mother subsequently became a servant of Anne of Denmark.21 George himself served under Sir Henry Wotton* in Venice before returning to England to resume his legal studies. His father conveyed his property to him in late 1622, and early the following year he succeeded to the larger Baunton estate of his cousin Robert, together with his chambers in the Temple, his ‘barrister’s gown faced with velvet’ and some of his law books.22
After unsuccessfully contesting Cirencester in 1624, George was returned for the borough in both 1626 and 1628;23 he was described as being ‘of Cirencester’ in the 1626 indenture,24 as Baunton was still then in the hands of his cousin’s widow. He left no mark on the records of the second Caroline Parliament, but during the third he brought in a bill (26 May 1628) to liberalize the cloth trade, which proceeded no further than its first reading.25 His only committee appointment was in the 1629 session, when he was added to those ordered to consider a trade petition (13 February).26
During the 1630s George laid claim to the mastership of the Cirencester hospitals of St. Edmund and St. Lawrence, but with what success is not clear.27 In 1637, under a reversionary grant of 1622, he succeeded a younger brother as clerk of the wardrobe, and was on that account excused completion of his reading at New Inn,28 but he surrendered the office after less than two years. He was re-elected for Cirencester in the spring and winter of 1640. As agent to the Thames conservancy, he narrowly escaped expulsion from the Long Parliament as a monopolist, but he nonetheless entered the Civil War on the parliamentary side.29 After his capture by Prince Rupert at Cirencester in February 1643,30 however, he joined the king and sat in the Parliament at Oxford.31 He lost his Westminster seat in 1646,32 but escaped punishment as a delinquent. Re-elected for Cirencester to the Cavalier Parliament, he died intestate shortly before its dissolution, having settled his estates on a nephew,33 and was buried at Baunton on 6 Jan. 1679.34 No later member of the family sat in Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Alan Davidson
- 1. Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 247-9.
- 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
- 3. Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton ed. L. Pearsall Smith, ii. 127.
- 4. Bp. of London Mar. Lics. 1611-1828 ed. G.J. Armytage (Harl. Soc. xxvi), 189; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 248-9.
- 5. C142/430/166.
- 6. Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 73.
- 7. C66/2253/3; MTR, 860; CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 617.
- 8. MTR, 860; 1031, 1128.
- 9. C193/13/2, f. 29; C66/2761; C231/5, pp. 299, 528, 231/6, p. 340; C193/12/3, f. 41.
- 10. LJ, v. 291.
- 11. A. and O. i. 91.
- 12. Ibid. ii. 1369; SR, v. 331, 459, 531, 759, 811.
- 13. A. and O. i. 113.
- 14. Ibid. 148.
- 15. Ibid. 169.
- 16. Ibid. ii. 1325
- 17. CTB, 1672-5, p. 789.
- 18. S. Rudder, New Hist. of Glos. 267.
- 19. HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 182.
- 20. J. Smyth, Berkeley Mss ed. J. Maclean, ii. 297.
- 21. HMC Hatfield, xxiv. 67; HMC 4th Rep. 316.
- 22. Glos. RO, P86/1/CH1/4; PROB 11/141, f. 62; MTR, 683.
- 23. ‘Earle 1624’, f. 152v.
- 24. OR.
- 25. CD 1628, iii. 613.
- 26. CJ, i. 929b.
- 27. C2/Chas.I/G22/56.
- 28. MTR, 860.
- 29. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 185.
- 30. Bibliotheca Gloucestrensis ed. J. Washbourn, 170.
- 31. Historical Collections ed. J. Rushworth, v. 573.
- 32. CJ, iv. 712.
- 33. Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 248.
- 34. Glos. RO, P86/1/CH1/4.