GORING, Sir William, 1st. Bt. (1595-1658), of Burton, Suss.

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




Family and Education

bap. 28 Apr. 1595,1 1st s. of Sir Henry Goring of Burton and Eleanor, da. of Sir William Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hants.2 educ. travelled abroad (France) 1611-14, academy, Angers 1612.3 m. lic. 26 July 1611, Bridget (bur. 23 Mar. 1653), da. and h. of (Sir) Edward Fraunceys* of Petworth, Suss., 6s. 3da. cr. bt. 14 May 1622; suc. fa. 1626. bur. 25 Feb. 1658.4

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Suss. 1617, 1630-7, 1655;5 j.p. Suss. 1627-at least 1642, 1646-8;6 commr. maltsters 1636,7 piracy 1637, oyer and terminer, Home circ. 1639-42,8 assessment 1643-4, sequestration 1643, southern assoc. 1643.9


Goring’s ancestors owned property in the small west Sussex parish of Burton in the fifteenth century, and first represented their shire in Parliament in 1467.10 The courtier Sir George Goring*, one of the trustees of a 1616 settlement of the family estates, came from a junior branch of the family.11 Goring’s father was on good terms with the 9th earl of Northumberland, who lived at Petworth, three miles from Burton, and in 1611 Goring married the daughter and heir of the earl’s steward, Sir Edward Fraunceys, who had himself purchased a significant estate in Sussex.12 Immediately afterwards he went abroad in the care of his kinsman Edward Dowse*, later a Percy servant, and spent some time at the Angers riding academy, doubtless on the recommendation of Northumberland’s brother, (Sir) Allan Percy*, who had previously attended that establishment.13 In 1622 he acquired a baronetcy, possibly purchased from a courtier thanks to Sir George Goring’s good offices, as he was not required to pay money into the Exchequer.14 Inheriting his estates in 1626, he was returned for the county two years later, but left no trace on the records of the 1628-9 Parliament.

Goring was an energetic local magistrate. A visitor to Sussex in the mid-1630s described his residence at Burton as a ‘fair house and park’. Goring also owned a forge nearby, where the same visitor beheld ‘hot swarthy vulcans, sweating, puffing, hammering and drawing out those rusty saws into bars’.15 By this date the members of Goring’s household were virtually the only inhabitants in the parish of Burton. Consequently Christopher Elderfield, whom he presented to the living in 1632, was effectively Goring’s private chaplain. Elderfield wrote a defence of tithes dedicated to Archbishop James Ussher, and was praised by the Nonconformist Richard Baxter, but there is no evidence that he was a puritan. Indeed, on his death in 1652 he bequeathed money to poor ministers who had been ejected by the parliamentarians.16

Goring failed to respond when asked to contribute to the army raised by Charles I to fight the Scottish Covenanters in 1639 and was nominated, though not appointed, sheriff of Sussex in 1641.17 He remained neutral in the Civil War, refusing to serve on Parliament’s county committee.18 His eldest son, however, joined the king in December 1642, and was later fined a modest £250 on the ground that he had received £60 a year from his father before the war, but nothing thereafter. He died in early 1658 and administration of his estate was granted to his son on 28 June. One of his younger sons, Percy, sat for Bramber in 1661 and 1681, but his baronetcy became extinct on the death of his grandson, who had converted to Catholicism.19

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Add. 43446, f. 8.
  • 2. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 46.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 67; A. Joubert, ‘Les Gentilshommes Etrangers ... a l`academie d’equitation d’Angers au xviie siecle’, Revue d’Anjou, xxvi. 14.
  • 4. Mar. Lics. at Chichester ed. E.H.W. Dunkin (Suss. Rec. Soc. ix), 45; Add. 43446, ff. 25, 38; Vis. Suss. 46; C66/2272/4; Notes of Post Mortem Inquisitions taken in Suss. ed. E.W.T. Attree (Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv), 106.
  • 5. C181/2, f. 293; 181/4, f. 53v; 181/5, f. 69; 181/6, f. 106
  • 6. C231/4, f. 222; ASSI 35/84/8; Q. Sess. Order Bks. ed. B.C. Redwood (Suss. Rec. Soc. liv), p. xxviii.
  • 7. PC2/46, p. 273.
  • 8. C181/5, ff. 68v, 163, 222.
  • 9. LJ, vi. 53; A. and O. i. 335, 540.
  • 10. Danny Archives ed. J.A. Wooldridge, p. xi; OR.
  • 11. Notes of Post Mortem Inquisitions taken in Suss. 107.
  • 12. HMC Hatfield, viii. 82.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 67.
  • 14. Ibid. 1619-23, p. 390; SCL, EM 1284(b).
  • 15. Fletcher, 143; ‘Relation of a Short Survey of the Western Counties’ ed. L.G. Wickham Legg Cam. Misc. xvi. (Cam. Soc. ser. 3. lii) pt. 3, p. 38.
  • 16. Ath. Ox. iii. 336-8; PROB 11/227, f. 289.
  • 17. Historical Collections ed. J. Rushworth, iii. 914; CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 154.
  • 18. Fletcher, 258, 325
  • 19. CCC, 907; PROB 6/34, f. 151; CB, i. 19-45.