Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 43.djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


trary, in high violation of the liberties and privileges of the Commons of England.’ In an address to the queen they prayed that Lloyd might be removed from his position of lord almoner; and the attorney-general was ordered to prosecute Lloyd's son when his privilege as a member of the lower House of Convocation expired. The House of Lords urged that every one had a right to be heard in his own defence before suffering punishment; but on 20 Nov. the commons were informed that Anne had agreed to remove Lloyd from his place of almoner. On the 25th the evidence was ordered to be printed (The Evidence given at the Bar of the House of Commons upon the complaint of Sir John Pakington … together with the Proceedings of the House, 1702; Rapin, cont. by Tindal, 1763, iii. 436–7). The feud continued till 1705, when (6 June) Pakington wrote to Lloyd that dissenters were more in the bishop's favour than churchmen, and complained of annoyance to his friends, which would compel him, if it did not stop, to right himself again (Hearne, Collections, ed. Doble, i. 25,125; British Museum, Add. MS. 28005, f. 299).

When the bill for preventing occasional conformity came before the house in November 1703, Pakington made a speech in which he denounced those who stood neutral in matters so nearly concerning the church, and said that the trimmers had a hatred of the Stuarts which came to them by inheritance (Cobbett, Parl. Hist. vi. 153). In a debate on 7 Dec. 1705, which arose out of a resolution of the lords that any one who said the Church of England was in danger was an enemy to the queen, church, and kingdom, Pakington drew attention to the licentiousness of the press, the numerous libels against the church, the increase of presbyterian conventicles, and the lords' resolution itself, as proofs that the church was in danger. The commons, however, agreed with the lords, in spite of Pakington's argument that the lords' resolution would be a convenient weapon in the hands of any evil minister who might wish to abolish episcopacy (ib. vi. 508). Pakington found another opportunity for expressing his high tory views on 4 Feb. 1707, when the Act of Ratification of the Articles of Union with Scotland was before the house. He said he was absolutely against the union, ‘a measure conducted by bribery and corruption within doors, and by force and violence without.’ When the tumult that followed had subsided, he modified slightly his remark, asked whether persons who had betrayed their trust were fit to sit in the house, and pointed out difficulties in having in one kingdom two churches which claimed to be ‘jure divino’ (ib. vi. 560). The union, however, was soon approved by the house.

On Harley's dismissal from the office of lord treasurer on 27 July 1714, Pakington was singled out for high office, and was probably offered a commissionership of the treasury (Boyer, Annals, p. 713). Upon Queen Anne's death, five days later, he and his friends were necessarily much alarmed, and on 5 Aug. Pakington made a complaint against Dr. Radcliffe for not attending her majesty when sent for by the Duke of Ormonde; but the matter dropped when it was found that Radcliffe was not in his place in the house, no one seconding the motion of expulsion (Boyer, Political State, August 1714, p. 152; Wentworth Papers, 410). In September 1715, immediately after the outbreak of the rebellion on behalf of the elder Pretender, Stanhope acquainted the house that there was just cause to suspect six members, including Pakington, and that the king desired the consent of the commons to their arrest. The house readily concurred, and an address of thanks was presented. Pakington received warning through the landlord of a posthouse between Oxford and Worcester, where he was a good customer; for a friendly messenger got the first horse, and the king's messenger did not arrive at Westwood until six hours after Sir John knew of the warrant of arrest. He was, however, waiting for the messenger, and said he was quite willing to go up to town by the stage-coach next day, which he did; and, after examination before the council, he proved his innocence, and was honourably acquitted (A full and authentick Narrative of the intended horrid Conspiracy and Invasion: Containing the Case of … Sir John Packington, &c., 1715). Four years later (7 Dec. 1719) Pakington spoke against the peerage bill, when he found himself on the same side as the Walpoles and Steele. ‘For my own part,’ he said, ‘I never desire to be a Lord, but I have a son and may one day have that ambition; and I hope to leave him a better claim to it than a certain great man [Stanhope] had when he was made a peer.’ He also opposed the measure because it was prejudicial to the rights of the heir to the throne, and would render the division between George I and his son irreconcilable (History and Proceedings of the House of Commons, 1741, i. 202, 209–10).

Pakington was made recorder of Worcester on 21 Feb. 1725, and he died on 13 Aug. 1727, and was buried with his ancestors at Hampton-Lovett, in accordance with the