MYNGE, John (d.c.1605), of New Romney, Kent.
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Family and Education
?s. of Daniel Myoge of Rye, Suss. by Ann Rybaulte. m. 1593, Judith Hamon of Acrise.
Jurat, New Romney, town clerk by 1582, mayor 1598, 1604; brodhull rep. in at least the years 1582, 1583, 1593, 1594, 1597; bailiff to Yarmouth 1594.
As town clerk, Mynge was involved in the disputes which disrupted New Romney in the middle years of Elizabeth’s reign. At first associated with William Southland, he afterwards identified himself with the lord warden, Lord Cobham, who was increasingly hostile to Southland. By 1588 Mynge was described by the Southland faction as ‘a pernicious enemy to the good government, state, quiet and commonwealth of this corporation’. After Southland’s fall in 1590, Mynge remained on good terms with Lord Cobham, and was chosen as senior Member of Parliament for Romney in 1593, perhaps with Cobham’s support. It was necessary for the Cinque Ports as a whole to encourage Cobham’s friendship at this date, in view of their lawsuit with the City of London. Mynge, as one of those appointed by the brodhull meeting in 1593 to further their case, provided an important link with Cobham, especially as the proceedings kept him in London for much of the time. The case had still not been resolved when in 1597 Lord Cobham’s son Henry (equally well disposed to Mynge) succeeded to the office of lord warden. In a long letter, dated October 1597, Mynge sent the mayor and jurats of Romney a report on Cobham’s position:
He is very desirous to be in person in the common pleas when our matter of withernam shall be heard, and because his health would not serve him to be there this day, which should have been the day of argument, he hath wrought the means to have it deferred until the week after All-Hallowtide. In the mean season he purposeth to solicit the judges himself, one after another, and to move her Majesty also, for he saith [that] if he may not keep us in as good state of our liberties as he found us, he will pray her Majesty to take back her patent again.
At the same time the question of Romney’s representation in the forthcoming Parliament was under discussion. Cobham wished to nominate Mynge for one of the seats, but Mynge
told his lordship nay, for I had entreated my friends to spare me this Parliament. ‘Nay, by my faith’, said my lord, ‘you shall not be spared now. I will rather write specially to the mayor and jurats that you should be chosen’. I told his lordship he should not need to do so, for they were too forward that way already, but rather entreated his lordship to write that I might be spared by reason of my business in the country.
Mynge went on to warn his fellow townsmen that attempts would be made in Parliament to remove some of the Ports’ legal privileges, and also to impose fifteenths on them. This made it doubly important that they retain Cobham’s friendship. Mynge sat for Romney for the second time in the last Parliament of the reign. He was paid 2s. a day, the same amount as in 1593, and 4s.for the five day’s travel to and from London. He may have attended three committees, to which the burgesses for New Romney were appointed, concerning the explanation of statutes (28 Nov. 1593), the order of business (3 Nov. 1601) and the Severn harbour (21 Nov. 1601).
Mynge was involved in other lawsuits during his long membership of the brodhull and he may have had some legal training, no trace of which has been found. In 1582 he was censured for his behaviour at one of their meetings. He acted as bailiff to Yarmouth in 1594, and a diary which he and his colleague kept during the visit has been preserved. In 1596 he was commissioned to collect money from Romney to help finance the navy. The date of his death is not known. Administration of his property was granted 23 Jan. 1606. His widow, a sister of Sir Thomas Hamon, or Hamond, lived until 1616. Vice-admiral Sir Christopher Mings, whose funeral Pepys attended 13 June 1666 was a descendant.
J. Cowper, Canterbury Mar. Lic. 1568-1618, p. 297; Cinque Ports black bk. ff. 43, 45, 60, 61, 68, 73, 81, 107; Arch. Cant. xx. 3; xxxvii. 52; xlii. 22; HMC 13th Rep. IV, pp. 36, 60; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 611; 1581-90, pp. 167-8; 1603-10, p. 302; New Romney assembly bk. 1577-1622, ff. 47, 65, 119; New Romney recs. bundle 54; D’Ewes, 511, 624, 647; K. M. E. Murray, Const. Hist. of the Cinque Ports, 114; APC, xxv. 374; information from C. S. Fry of Hove.