Fiennes, John (DNB00)

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FIENNES, JOHN (fl. 1657), parliamentarian, was the third son of William, first viscount Saye and Sele [q. v.] At the outbreak of the civil war he commanded a troop of horse in the army of the Earl of Essex (Peacock, Army Lists, p. 55, 2nd ed.) He took part with his brother Nathaniel in the unsuccessful attack on Worcester in September 1642, and in February 1643 was sent with him to garrison Bristol (A Full Declaration concerning the March of the Forces under Colonel Fiennes, 1643, p. 1). He was present at the surrender of that city in the following June, defended his brother's conduct in capitulating, and assaulted one of the witnesses against him for impugning it (Prynne, A True Relation of Colonel Fiennes, his Trial, Depositions, p. 12). Some time during the summer of 1643 he obtained a commission as colonel of a regiment of horse, and is henceforth prominent in the civil war in the district round Oxford. He besieged Banbury from 27 Aug. 1644 to 25 Oct. of the same year, when the siege was raised by the Earl of Northampton and Colonel Gage (Sanderson, Charles I, pp. 729, 730; Mercurius Aulicus, 20, 25 Oct. 1644). In April 1645 Fiennes was for a time under the command of Cromwell, who specially commends him in a letter to the committee of both kingdoms, 28 April 1645: ‘His diligence is great, and this I must testify, that I find no man more ready to all services than himself. … I find him a gentleman of that fidelity to you and so conscientious that he would all his troop were as religious and civil as any, and makes it a great part of his care to get them so’ (Carlyle, Cromwell, Appendix, No. 7). At the battle of Naseby he fought on the right wing, under the command of Cromwell, and was entrusted with the duty of conducting the royalist prisoners to London (Rushworth, vi. 32). He was elected M.P. for Morpeth in 1645. In 1657 Fiennes was summoned by Cromwell to his House of Lords. A republican pamphleteer describes him as ‘such a one as they call a sectary, but no great stickler,’ and adds that he was entirely under the influence of his brother Nathaniel (Harleian Miscellany, iii. 486). He survived the Restoration, and escaped all penalties for his political conduct. Fiennes married Susannah, daughter of Thomas Hobbs of Amwell Magna in Hertfordshire. Lawrence, his son by her, became in 1710 fifth Viscount Saye and Sele (Collins, Peerage, ed. Brydges, vii. 22, 24, 32). Fiennes's wife died at Bath 22 July 1715, aged 58, and was buried at Broughton.

[Authorities above mentioned; also Noble's House of Cromwell, i. 402.]

C. H. F.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.122
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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430 i 18f.e. Fiennes, John: before In 1657 insert He was elected M P. for Morpeth in 1645.