Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/265

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Grimston
Grimston
257

piece of composition, containing good advice for moral guidance and on the choice of a wife; it is reprinted in W. C. Hazlitt's 'Prefaces, Dedications, and Epistles,' 1874. Two later and undated editions of the 'Miscelanea' were published, enlarged by the addition of six other short essays.

[Dedication to Miscelanea; Corser's Collect. Anglo-Poetica, vii. 100; Brydges's Cens. Lit. vi. 161; Parkin's Hist. of Norfolk, viii. 305; Catalogue of Huth Library.]

A. V.

GRIMSTON, Sir HARBOTTLE (1603–1685), judge and speaker of the House of Commons, was second son of Sir Harbottle Grimston, a puritan gentleman of old family and moderate estate in Essex (created a baronet in 1612), by Elizabeth, daughter of Ralph Coppinger. Sir Harbottle the elder, who was grandson of Edward Grimston [q. v.], represented his county in parliament in 1625-6 and 1627-8, and was imprisoned in 1627 for refusing to contribute to the forced loan of that year. He sat for Harwich in the Long parliament, and died on 19 Feb. 1647-8. The son was born on 27 Jan. 1602-3 at Bradfield Hall, near Manningtree, Essex, and was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he appears as a 'pensioner' in 1619. He subsequently entered Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar, but on the death of his elder brother abandoned the idea of practising. He changed his mind, however, in consequence of Sir George Croke, to whose daughter Mary he had become attached, refusing his consent to their union unless he would devote himself to his profession. The marriage took place on 16 April 1629 at St. Dunstan's-in-the-West. Grimston was returned to parliament at a by-election in 1628 as member for Harwich, and succeeded Coke as recorder of that town in 1634 (Dale, Harwich, p. 222). In August 1638 he was elected recorder of Colchester, which borough he represented in the first parliament of 1640, and also in the Long parliament (Morant, Essex, i. 464-5; Burnet, Own Time, fol. i. 381; Lists of Members of Parliament (Official Return of); Commons' Journal, v. 500; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. p. 417; Rep. on Gawdy MSS. (1884-5), p. 125; Col. Top. et Gen. v. 218 ; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1639, p. 57).

In the first parliament of 1640 he opened the debate on grievances (16 April) in a speech of rather verbose and ponderous but not unimpressive oratory. In the Long parliament Grimston spoke in support of Lord Digby's motion for a select committee to frame 'a remonstrance on the deplorable estate of the kingdom' for presentation to the king, and was himself chosen a member of the committee appointed for the purpose (9 Nov.) He was also a member of the committee for preparing resolutions to be submitted to the House of Lords on the subject of the 'new canons' recently framed by convocation,which had been voted (16 Dec.) contrary to the fundamental laws of the realm. The committee was directed to inquire into the part played by Archbishop Laud in connection with the canons. Their report was followed (18 Dec.) by a motion for the impeachment of the archbishop, in support of which Grimston spoke with great vehemence, denouncing Laud, with much variety of metaphor, as 'the sty of all pestilential filth that hath infested the state and government of this commonwealth,' as 'a viper' which should no longer be permitted to 'distil his poison' into the 'sacred ears' of the king. Grimston also sat on a committee appointed on 12 Jan. 1640-1 to examine into the legality of warrants of commitment signed only by officers of state.

The debate on episcopacy of 1 Feb. 1640-1 gave occasion to a curious piece of fencing between Grimston and Selden. On 3 May Grimston signed the 'protestation and vow' 'to defend the protestant religion, the power and privileges of parliament, and the rights and liberties of the subject.' He was also one of the committee which sat at Guildhall and Grocers' Hall after the attempt to arrest the five members in the House of Commons in January 1641-2. Grimston made an elaborate speech on the occasion, which was published in pamphlet form, and will be found in Cobbett's 'Parliamentary History ,'ii. 1020, and 'Somers Tracts,' iv. 342. After the militia ordinance (by which the command of the forces was transferred from the crown to the parliament) he accepted (June) the office of deputy-lieutenant of Essex, but only on the assurance that it was not intended to make war upon the king. In spite, however, of his aversion to strong measures,he took on 22 Aug. the decided step of committing the royalist Sir John Lucas and his lady to prison as traitors, and he does not seem to have resigned office on the outbreak of hostilities. From that date, however, he kept much in the background, being an extremely moderate man. According to Burnet, who was intimate with him for many years, 'when the Long parliament engaged into the league with Scotland he would not swear the covenant,' and 'discontinued sitting in the house till it was laid aside.' His name, however, appears in Rushworth's list of those who took the covenant on 22 Sept. 1643. Probably he did take it, but kept away from the house to escape the necessity of acting up to it (Own Time, fol.

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