Pulton, Ferdinando (DNB00)

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PULTON, FERDINANDO (1536–1618), legal author, son of Giles Pulton of Desborough, Northamptonshire, where the family had been settled for fourteen generations, was born at Desborough in 1536. Scholar of Christ's College, Cambridge, where he matriculated on 23 Nov. 1552, he in 1555–6 graduated B.A., being fellow from Lady-day 1556 to Lady-day 1557. Meanwhile on 28 June 1556 he was admitted a commoner at Brasenose College, Oxford. Although admitted on 5 June 1559 to Lincoln's Inn, he, being a Roman catholic, was not called to the bar. His chief occupation was editing the statutes, he being the first private person so employed. He resided at Desborough, and had also a house at Bourton, near Buckingham, where he died on 20 Jan. 1617–18. His remains were interred in Desborough church. Shortly before his death Pulton presented to Christ's College, Cambridge, a copy of Robert of Gloucester's ‘Chronicle,’ ‘for the love and affection which he did bear to the said college, his nurse and schoolmistress, and in token of goodwill to the said house.’ An elegy upon him is among the poems of his friend, Sir John Beaumont. He left a widow, four sons (two of whom became Roman catholic priests), and two daughters. One of his sons, Thomas Pulton, alias Underhill, was among the jesuits discovered in Lord Shrewsbury's house at Clerkenwell in March 1627–8.

Pulton's compilations of statute law, all of which were published in London, are entitled as follows:

  1. ‘An Abstract of all the Penal Statutes which be general, wherein is contained the effect of all those Statutes which do threaten the offenders thereof the loss of life, member, lands, goods, or other punishment, or forfeiture whatsoever,’ 1579 and 1586, 4to.
  2. ‘A Kalender, or Table, comprehending the effect of all the Statutes that have been made and put in print, beginning with Magna Charta, enacted Anno 9 H. 3, and proceeding one by one until the end of the Session of Parliament 3 R. Jacobi. … Whereunto is annexed an Abridgment of all the Statutes whereof the whole or any part is general in force and use,’ 1606, 1608, 1618, 1632, 1640, fol.
  3. ‘Collection of Statutes repealed and not repealed,’ 1608, fol.
  4. ‘A Collection of sundry Statutes frequent in use, with notes in the margent, and references to the Book Cases, and Books of Entries and Registers, where they be treated of. Together with an Abridgment of the residue which be expired,’ &c., 1618, 1632, 1636.
  5. ‘The Statutes at large concerning all such Acts which at any time heretofore have been extant in print from Magna Charta to the 16 of Jac. I, or divided into two volumes, with marginal notes,’ &c., 1618, fol.

Pulton was also author of ‘De Pace Regis et Regni—viz. A Treatise declaring which be the great and general offences of the realm, and the chief impediments of the peace of the King and the Kingdom,’ London, 1609, 1610, 1615, fol.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. ii. 214; Lincoln's Inn Reg.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 214; Bridges's Northamptonshire, ii. 27; Lipscomb's Buckinghamshire, ii. 588; Ayscough's Cat. Sloane MSS. p. 261; Camden Miscellany (Camden Soc.), vol. iv.; Discovery of a Jesuit College, p. 9; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. xi. 344.]

J. M. R.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.229
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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36 ii 25 Pulton, Ferdinando: after afterwards insert (from Lady-day 1556 to Lady-day 1557)