ENGLAND, George I (1643-1702), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.
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Family and Education
bap. 22 Sept. 1643, 1st s. of Sir George England of Great Yarmouth; bro. of Benjamin England*. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. matric. 1660; G. Inn 1661, called 1668. unm. suc. fa. 1677.1
Freeman, Great Yarmouth 1663, sub-steward Oct. 1688–91, recorder 1691–d.2
England, who was classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in 1690 as a Whig, was an active Member with a particular interest in matters of trade and commerce. In the first session of this Parliament he was nominated to the committees to draft bills on the East India trade (2 Apr. 1690), the commission of accounts (14 Apr.) and the regulation of wines (9 May); and, similarly, shortly after the House reconvened in October, to draft a bill to regulate the militia. In December Carmarthen forecast England as a likely supporter should the Commons proceed with an attack on his ministerial position. Robert Harley*, in April 1691, saw grounds to note him as a doubtful supporter of the Country party. On 25 Jan. 1692 he told against the Dover harbour bill, the provisions of which were considered to be detrimental to the interests of other ports, including Yarmouth. On 18 Nov. he was appointed to the drafting committee on the bill to extend the patent on convex lights. He was marked as a Court supporter in Samuel Grascome’s list in 1693. On 26 Jan. 1693 he was a teller in favour of amending a resolution of the committee of ways and means, to lower the rate of duty on spirits, which, it was agreed, would lead to an overall increase in the yield of the duty: in this proposal the interests of merchants and of the Court coincided. He assisted in the parliamentary management of two private bills in January–February. Over the next two sessions he was involved in the preparatory stages of bills to encourage the clothing trade, to regulate the assize of bread, to facilitate the recovery of minors’ debts, to improve the administration of prisons, and to regulate printing presses. He told on 15 Mar. against giving leave of absence to Sir Jonathan Raymond, and on 5 Apr. on a clause in the poll tax bill.3
Re-elected in 1695, England was named on 1 Jan. 1696 to the committee to bring in a bill imposing duties for the war against France. Possibly with a view to his concern for local commercial interests, he was forecast as likely to oppose the government on 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade. He signed the Association promptly and voted in March against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In November 1696 he and Samuel Fuller I* were negotiating with the Admiralty on behalf of Great Yarmouth corporation over a claim concerning a captured privateer, and both Members voted on 25 Nov. for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. England, in his capacity as recorder of the borough, inquired in mid-December of the Yarmouth bailiffs ‘whether your thoughts are to go on with the quarter sessions, that [I] may dispose of [myself] accordingly’, and on 5 Jan. 1697 he was granted leave of absence for three weeks. Almost certainly he did not return to the House before the end of the session, for in early February he had been taken so seriously ill at Yarmouth that he seemed ‘to decay sensibly’. On 30 Dec. 1697 he was again allowed leave of absence. He told with Fuller on 10 Mar. in favour of referring to the committee on Anglo-Irish trade a petition from Yarmouth on the local herring trade. England was given another leave of absence on 11 May.
England was listed among the Country party in a comparative list of the old and new Parliaments in 1698. From December to February 1699 he managed the Yarmouth harbour bill through the Commons, while in January he also assisted with the management of an estate and a naturalization bill. He told on 27 Mar. in favour of the Burscott highway bill, and in favour of receiving a grievance petition on 26 Apr. He was forecast in February 1701 as likely to support the Court over continuing the ‘Great Mortgage’, and on 20 Mar. was named to the drafting committee on the bill to prevent bribery at elections.4
England lost his seat at the second 1701 election, and died on 30 June 1702, leaving an estate that included the manor of Billockby in Norfolk to his brother Benjamin, with a remainder to his nephew, George England II*. His memorial in Yarmouth parish church described him as ‘a true friend’ to the borough and to ‘the liberty of his country’.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. East Anglian Peds. (Harl. Soc. xci), 67–68; D. Turner, Sepulchral Reminiscences, 30, 110, 113.
- 2. Cal. Yarmouth Freemen, 95; C. J. Palmer, Hist. Gt. Yarmouth, 345, 351.
- 3. Norf. RO, Gt. Yarmouth corp. mss, letters of England and Fuller to Yarmouth bailiffs, 29, 31 Oct., 7, 12, 14, 24 Nov., 3, 12 Dec. 1696, Richard Ferrier* to Thomas Godfrey, 18, 20 Mar. 1696[–7]; Palmer, 345.
- 4. Luttrell Diary, 387–8.
- 5. H. Swinden, Hist. Gt. Yarmouth, 882; Turner, 113.