PANTON, John (-d.1619), of St. Clement Danes, Westminster and Henllan, Denb.
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Family and Education
s. of John Panton (d.1614) of Henllan, Denb. educ. L. Inn 1594. m. by 1608, Eleanor (bur. 27 Nov. 1619), da. of Sir William Booth† of Dunham, Massey, Cheshire, 3da. d. 12 Mar. 1619.1 sig. Jo[hn] Panton.
Servant to Sir Thomas Egerton I† (later ld. chan. Ellesmere) by 1594-at least 1615.2
Recorder, Denbigh, Denb. by 1597-d.3
Described by a fellow Welshman as ‘the most efficient of their countrymen at Court’,7 Panton was by the mid-1590s servant to Sir Thomas Egerton and the owner of a small estate in Denbighshire and Flintshire, part of which his father had purchased from the Elizabethan earl of Leicester (Sir Robert Dudley†).8 Returned to the last two Elizabethan Parliaments for Denbigh Boroughs, where he exercised the office of recorder through his brother, he was set aside by the town’s electors in 1604 in favour of Hugh Myddelton. He nevertheless obtained a seat at Harwich in the following year at a by-election occasioned by the death of Sir Richard Browne. He undoubtedly owed his place to the influence of Egerton, now lord chancellor Ellesmere, who had recently played a key role in granting the town a new charter and was custos rotulorum of the Harwich bench.9 During the course of the first Jacobean Parliament Panton made no recorded speeches and was named to just five legislative committees and two joint conferences. As a Welshman he was naturally appointed to committees for bills to exempt the four English border counties from the jurisdiction of the president and Council of Wales (21 Feb. 1606) and to repair Chepstow bridge (31 Mar. 1606). His inclusion on the committee to consider the measure regarding legal copies (13 Mar. 1610) perhaps reflected his position as the lord chancellor’s secretary, while he was undoubtedly nominated to the committee for the Booth bill because the measure concerned his brother-in-law Sir George Booth (24 Mar. 1610). His remaining appointments were to the committee for a bill concerning elections to Parliament (3 Apr. 1606), and to conferences with the Lords regarding the implementation of the recusancy laws (3 Feb. 1606) and the proposed Union (24 Nov. 1606).10
Panton travelled abroad in 1609 in some official capacity, reporting to the clerk of the Privy Council, Sir Thomas Edmondes* on his return.11 Shortly before his father’s death in 1614, he increased his family’s estates in Denbighshire by purchasing both parts of Ystrad manor, in his native parish of Henllan. He subsequently pursued in Chancery one of the vendors, Edward Wynn, despite the mediation of Sir Roger Mostyn*.12 Panton probably remained in Ellesmere’s service until the latter’s death in March 1617. Within days of the lord chancellor’s demise, Panton was added to the commission of the peace for Denbighshire, suggesting that he planned to return to north Wales. In the event he remained at Westminster, and consequently his name was struck off the commission the following year.
Panton was listed in April 1617 as owing £87 10s. for lands farmed from the king 11 years earlier.13 He drew up his will in March 1618 and died 12 months later, being buried in Westminster Abbey. He left his entire property to his wife, Eleanor with remainder to their three daughters, each of whom were to receive £500 on attaining their majority.14 Eleanor Panton, who may have served in the household of the earl and countess of Arundel, outlived her husband by just eight months. In accordance with her wishes, the wardship of her two surviving daughters was sold to three named individuals, including her late husband’s ‘cousin’ John Williams, bishop of Lincoln, who had served as Ellesmere’s chaplain during his early career.15
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Andrew Thrush
WCA, B1 f. 217v.
- 1. Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd ed. D.R. Thomas, 48; LI Admiss.; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. Reg. lix), 28; Regs. Westminster Abbey ed. J.L. Chester, 115-16; C142/378/120.
- 2. LI Black Bk. ii. 39; R.C. Bald, John Donne, 140; HEHL, EL208; The Eagle, June 1890, p. 8.
- 3. J. Williams, Ancient and Modern Denbigh, 105; J. Williams, Recs. of Denbigh, 65; Denb. RO, BD/A/26 (we are grateful to Alan Leeson for drawing this document to our attention).
- 4. Lansd. 1217, f. 56v.
- 5. C66/1664; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 207 (misdated 1625).
- 6. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 65-6.
- 7. Cal. Wynn Pprs. 70.
- 8. C142/378/120; CHES 3/94/17.
- 9. C181/1, f. 50.
- 10. CJ, i. 263a, 272b, 291a, 293a, 324b, 410a, 414a.
- 11. HMC Downshire, ii. 162.
- 12. Cal. Wynn Pprs. 101, 109-10, 122. The bill of complaint has not been traced.
- 13. BL, Royal ms 17C XXXVI, f. 20v.
- 14. C142/378/120; PROB 11/133, ff. 99-100.
- 15. PROB 11/134, f. 353r-v; HMC Downshire, iv. 119; WARD 9/162, f. 367v. For the relationship between Panton and Williams, see Bald, 375 and The Eagle, June 1906, p. 2.