GLYNNE, John (c.1603-66), of Portugal Row, Westminster; Henley Park, Ash, Surr. and Hawarden, Flints.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1640
1656 - 10 Dec. 1657

Family and Education

b. c.1603, 2nd s. of Sir William Glynne (d.1620) of Glynllifon, Caern. by Jane, da. of John Griffith of Caernarvon; bro. of Thomas Glynne. educ. Westminster 1615; Hart Hall, Oxf. matric. 9 Nov. 1621, aged 18; L. Inn 1621, called 1628. m. (1) 2 May 1633, Frances (bur. 17 Nov. 1646), da. of Arthur Squibb, later Clarenceux King of Arms, of Henley Park, 2s. 5da.; (2) Anne, da. of John Manning of London, and coh. to her bro. John Manning of Cralle Place, Warbleton, Suss., wid. of Sir Thomas Lawley, 1st Bt., of Spoonhill, Salop, 1s. 1da. Kntd. 16 Nov. 1660.2

Offices Held

Dep. steward, Westminster by 1639-48; bencher, L. Inn 1641; commr. for sequestrations, Westminster 1643, assessment, Westminster 1643, Mdx. 1644-7, Aug. 1660-3, Surr. 1645-7, London and Caern. 1647, Oxon., Surr., Anglesey, Caern., Denb. and Flints. 1657, Anglesey and Flints. Jan. 1660-1, Caern. Aug. 1660-1, Oxon., Caern. and Flints. 1665-d., accounts, Westminster 1643; recorder, London 1643-9; commr. for volunteers, Mdx. 1644, new model ordinance, Mdx. and Surr. 1645, defence, Surr. 1645, Westminster Abbey 1645; protonotary and clerk of the crown, Denb., Flints. and Mont. 1646-7; j.p. Mdx. and Westminster 1648-9, Caern. 1650-d., Anglesey, Denb. and Merion. Mar.-July 1660, Mdx., Westminster, Surr. and Flints. Mar.-July 1660, 1662-d., Oxon. 1662-d., commr. for North Wales association, Caern. 1648, militia, Cheshire, Mdx., Westminster, Caern. and Merion. 1648, Mdx., Westminster, Oxon., Surr. and North Wales Mar. 1660, oyer and terminer, London 1653-4, Western circuit 1655, Mdx. Mar. 1660.

Commr. for Westminster Assembly 1643-8; member, committee of both kingdoms 1644-8; commr. for distressed captives 1645, abuses in heraldry 1646, plantations 1646, exclusion from sacrament 1646, bishops’ lands 1646, indemnity 1647-9, counsel, sale of bishops’ lands 1647-8; commr. for scandalous offences 1648; serjeant-at-law 1648-54, June-Nov. 1660, Protector’s serjeant 1654-5, King’s serjeant Nov. 1660-d.; c.j. Upper Bench 1655-9; commr. for trade 1655-7, relief of Piedmontese Protestants 1656, great seal 1656-8; contractor, sale of excise farms 1657; chairman, committee of ways and means 30 May-8 Sept. 1660.3


Glynne was descended from Tudur Goch who acquired Glynllifon by marriage under Edward III. His elder brother was the first of the family to sit, representing Caernarvonshire in 1624, 1625 and the Short Parliament. Glynne himself, a successful and adaptable lawyer, took a prominent part in the impeachment of Strafford, and remained at Westminster during the Civil War; but he was disabled as a Presbyterian moderate in 1647 and secluded at Pride’s Purge. He resumed office under the Protectorate as a judge, in which capacity he tried and sentenced the Cavalier rebels in 1655. A strong supporter of the Humble Petition and Advice, he was summoned to the Other House in 1657. Having resigned his judgeship on the overthrow of the Protectorate, he was less compromised than if he had served the Rump or the military regime.4

Glynne was returned for his native county at the general election of 1660, and listed by Lord Wharton as a friend, but excluded from the meetings of the Presbyterian cabal, at which he was ‘so piqued ... as to offer his services to the King’. Together with William Prynne he was sent to thank Dr Reynolds, a conformable Presbyterian and future bishop, for his sermon at the opening of Parliament. A very active Member, he was appointed to 70 committees, and made eleven recorded speeches. He was appointed to the committees to consider the legal forms of the Restoration and the land purchases bill, and given special responsibility for the proclamation ordering officers of justice to perform their duties. He was particularly active over the continuity of judicial proceedings, in which he had his own ends to serve. He helped to draft a proviso for resuming the use of Latin in the courts, and acted as chairman of ways and means in the first session. A member of the committee for the indemnity bill, he helped to prepare for a conference on the regicides who had given themselves up, to draw up the clauses of exception and to consider two provisos. On 12 July he moved to reject the disbandment bill on a technicality. He was also appointed to the committee for settling ecclesiastical livings. When a bill was introduced to enable Sir George Booth to sell land, Glynne pointed out that he had received none of the £10,000 voted to him as a reward, and was appointed to the committee. He took the chair to consider the Lords’ amendments to the judicial proceedings bill, presented two reports, and returned it to the Upper House on 17 Aug. He also carried the bill for continuing the levy of excise and the indemnity bill, after reporting that the amendments agreed during its passage through the Commons had been made to cohere. He was added to the managers of the conference which followed. When the Lords sent down a petition from some maimed Cavaliers, Glynne protested that the Upper House ‘ought not to meddle with matters of money’, and was among those ordered to prepare a memorial on the subject. He helped to manage a conference on disbandment on 7 Sept., and reported draft addresses for the preservation of timber and the abolition of the court of wards. On the following day he was ordered to assist Heneage Finch in drafting an assessment bill.5

During the recess Glynne, who had already sued out his pardon, received a copy of Wharton’s case for modified episcopacy, though without the possible objections, circumstances and considerations, but he took no part in the debate when Parliament reassembled. He was replaced by Richard Rainsford I as chairman of ways and means, and his hopes of regaining judicial office were dashed by a Welsh petition organized by Sir Thomas Myddelton; but he was promoted to King’s serjeant and knighted. He was given special responsibility with Edward King and Nicholas Pedley for an inquiry into obstructions in the poll-tax. He was appointed to the committees to prepare the impeachment of the author of the pamphlet The Long Parliament Revived, and to bring in two additional clauses in the bill for the abolition of feudal tenures, those to compensate the crown with a perpetual excise and to repeal Henry VIII’s statute. After serving on the committee for the attainder bill, he secured on the report stage the deletion of the dangerously vague reference to ‘divers others’. He helped to prepare reasons for the conferences on college leases and confirming civil marriages, and was appointed to the committee for the wine licences bill, though he opposed the attempt of (Sir) Thomas Clarges to establish maximum prices. With Edward King and Nicholas Pedley he was given special responsibility for an inquiry into obstructions in the poll-tax, helped to manage a conference on the Lords’ amendments, and closed his parliamentary career with a typical speech on the last day of the session: ‘They could not justify taxing the commons and taking no care that the lords should pay too; though he was not much averse, and would agree with them rather than hinder the bill’.6

Glynne was reported to be seeking re-election in 1661 with the support of (Sir) John Carter, but is unlikely to have gone to the poll. He added to the gaiety of the coronation by falling off his horse during the procession, ‘which people do please themselves with, to see how just God is to punish that rogue at such a time’. His life was thought to be in danger, but he recovered to take part in the prosecution of Sir Henry Vane. He died on 15 Nov. 1666, and in accordance with his will was buried with his first wife beneath the altar of St. Margaret’s, Westminster.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Disabled 7 Sept. 1647 and readmitted 7 June 1648; did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648 and readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), i. 43-44; Proc. Dorset Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. lxviii. 60-62; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. xvii), 78.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1639-40, p. 351; 1655-6, p. 100; CJ, iv. 474; Thurloe, iii. 296.
  • 4. DWB.
  • 5. Cal. Cl. SP., iv. 674; v. 41; CJ, viii. 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 20, 105, 123, 125, 128, 139, 140, 144, 148; Bowman diary, ff. 76v, 105; Old Parl. Hist. xxii. 467.
  • 6. Cal. Hawarden Deeds, 92; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 358; CJ, viii. 179, 219, 221, 233; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 43, 68, 69, 79.
  • 7. Cal. Wynn Pprs. 364; Pepys Diary, 23 Apr. 1661.