VINCENT, Sir Francis, 1st Bt. (c.1568-1640), of Stoke d'Abernon, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1568, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Vincent† of Barnack, Northants. and Jane, da. and h. of Thomas Lyfield† of Stoke d’Abernon.1 educ. Corpus, Oxf. 1582, aged 14; L. Inn 1587.2 m. (1) 29 June 1589, with £2,000, Sarah (d. 13 June 1608), da. of Sir Amias Paulet† of Hinton St. George, Som., 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) Mary, da. of Henry Archer of Theydon Garnon, Essex, s.p.;3 (3) lic. 27 Mar. 1617, Eleanor (d. 10 Aug. 1645), da. and h. of Robert Malet of Woolleigh, Beaford, Devon, wid. of Sir Arthur Acland of Killerton, Broadclyst, Devon s.p.4 kntd. 34 July 1603;5 suc. fa. 1613;6 cr. bt. 26 July 1620.7 d. 14 Mar. 1640.8 sig. Fr[ancis] Vincent.
J.p. Surr. by 1608-at least 1636, Devon 1621-at least 1636;9 commr. subsidy, Surr. 1608, 1622, 1624, Devon 1622, 1624;10 dep. lt. Surr. by 1615-at least 1627;11 commr. oyer and terminer, Home circ. 1622-d., Western circ. 1629-d.,12 martial law, Surr. 1626;13 collector of Forced Loan, Kingston and Elmbridge hundreds, Surr. 1626-7;14 commr. Forced Loan, Devon and Surr. 1627,15 piracy, Devon 1630, sewers, Surr. 1632, Devon 1634,16 execution of the poor law, Exeter dioc. 1632,17 repair of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Devon 1633,18 maltsters 1636.19
Gent. of the privy chamber extraordinary by d.20
Of Leicestershire origin, the Vincents migrated to Northamptonshire in the fifteenth century and to Surrey in the early sixteenth. Vincent’s father, Sir Thomas, married the heiress to the manor of Stoke d’Abernon, three miles north-east of Leatherhead, sold his Northamptonshire holdings, and rose to become a deputy lieutenant of Surrey by 1601. He sat for Poole in 1584.21
According to his funeral sermon Vincent was educated first at ‘the inferior schools of good learning’ before proceeding to Oxford ‘for some small space of time’. He inherited a heavily indebted estate in 1613, but thanks to careful management was able to not only restore the family’s finances but also add to his property.22 Vincent paid £20 towards the 1614 Benevolence and was a deputy lieutenant by the following year.23 He became the first Surrey baronet in 1620, acquiring the title without paying money into the Exchequer.24 In February 1622 he was called before the Council to explain his failure to respond to the Benevolence for the Palatinate, but subsequently contributed £30.25
In 1620 Vincent presented a pulpit to Stoke d’Abernon church.26 He also augmented the living of a nearby parish and, at his funeral sermon, his parish minister paid tribute to his religious learning. His household devotions included not only prayers but also psalm singing and ‘repetition of sermons’. However there is no evidence that he was a puritan, and indeed, one recipient of his patronage was the Laudian clergyman Thomas Turner, subsequently dean of Canterbury Cathedral.27
Vincent was returned for Surrey in 1626 when, according to his funeral sermon, ‘he served his country with that gravity and sincerity, that he gained thereby no small honour and applause’.28 He was appointed to ten committees but made no recorded speeches. On 16 Feb, he was named to consider a bill to cancel a long lease of the Surrey manor of Malden, unduly procured from Merton College.29 He was appointed to two committees concerning recusancy, one to explain a Jacobean statute (23 Feb.) and the other for ensuring ‘true and real conformity’ (8 May).30 His other bill appointments included measures against adultery (4 Mar.), to regulate attorneys (4 Mar.), to allow creditors to extend the lands of outlaws (27 Mar.), and to punish the coal patentee Sir Robert Sharpeigh (1 June).31 He was also ordered to attend the conference of 4 Mar. on the duke of Buckingham’s activities as lord admiral, and 12 days later was appointed to consider the merchants’ petitions against the embargo on trade with France.32
In late 1626 Vincent was appointed collector of the Forced Loan for the middle division of Surrey. By 26 Jan. 1627 he had paid £460 into the Exchequer but subsequently produced no further cash.33 In the autumn of 1627 his fellow Surrey commissioners stated that he had paid over £200 on local military expenses and that he was owed £24 6s. Over £600 remained uncollected but it was claimed this included sums assessed on royal officials who had paid at Court.34
Vincent was pricked as sheriff of Surrey in 1636 but was excused due to illness, and replaced by his eldest son, Sir Anthony.35 He seems to have been removed from the bench around this time but was nonetheless ‘in good health’ when he made his will in 1639. He left £200 for a tomb at Stoke d’Abernon. His overseers were his nephew Sir Ambrose Browne* and his kinsman Henry Rolle*. He died on 14 Mar. 1640 and was buried on 10 April. 36 His eldest son initially supported Parliament during the Civil War but was subsequently suspected of royalism: his grandson, another Sir Francis, was certainly a royalist and was returned for Dover in 1661.37
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates
- 1. Manning and Bray, Surr. i. 480; CB, i. 158.
- 2. Al. Ox.; LI Admiss.
- 3. Manning and Bray, ii. 725; C142/247/99; PROB 11/183, f. 142; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), ii. 101.
- 4. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 4; Exeter Mar. Lics. ed. J.L. Vivian, 55.
- 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 115.
- 6. Manning and Bray, i. 480.
- 7. C66/2225.
- 8. WARD 7/94/157.
- 9. SP 14/33, f. 60; SP16/405; C231/4, f. 131.
- 10. SP14/31/1; C212/22/21, 23.
- 11. HMC 7th Rep. 670; Manning and Bray, iii. 670.
- 12. C181/3, ff. 64v, 259; 181/5, ff. 158v, 163.
- 13. C66/2384/3.
- 14. E401/1386, mm. 42, 47
- 15. C193/12/2, ff. 10, 57.
- 16. C181/4, ff. 52, 121v, 163v.
- 17. Cal. of Docquets of Ld. Kpr. Coventry ed. J. Broadway, R. Cust and S.K. Roberts (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xxxiv-vii), 37.
- 18. GL, ms 25475/1, f. 14v.
- 19. PC2/46, f. 273.
- 20. LC3/1, unfol.
- 21. VCH Surr. iii. 463; Bridges, Northants. ii. 492; HP Commons, 1558-1603, iii. 558-9.
- 22. T. Neesham, Sermon Preached at the Funerall of the Honorable Sir Francis Vincent (1642), pp. 22, 26.
- 23. E351/1950.
- 24. SCL, EM 1284(b).
- 25. SP14/127/80; 14/56/14.
- 26. I. Nairn, N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of Eng.; Surr. 468.
- 27. Neesham, 22-3, 26; Oxford DNB sub Turner, Thomas.
- 28. Neesham, 25.
- 29. Procs. 1626, ii. 53
- 30. Ibid. 102; iii. 190.
- 31. Ibid. ii. 196, 348, 374; iii. 340.
- 32. Ibid. ii. 195, 297.
- 33. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 215.
- 34. SP16/79/73; 16/83/56.
- 35. CSP Dom. 1636-7, pp. 189, 191.
- 36. PROB 11/183, f. 142; Neesham, 1.
- 37. J. Gurney, ‘Gerrard Winstanley and the Digger Movement in Walton and Cobham’, HJ, xxxvii. 787; HP Commons, 1660-90, iii. 640.