Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fenwick, John (1579-1658?)

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FENWICK or FENWICKE, Sir JOHN (1579–1658?), politician, was the son of Sir William Fenwicke of Wallington, Northumberland, by Grace, daughter of Sir John Forster of Edderstone in the same county. From his father and maternal grandfather he derived extensive estates in Northumberland, to which he added considerably by purchase. He held the command of Tynemouth Castle during the restraint of the Earl of Northumberland, of gunpowder-treason celebrity. His influence in Northumberland was immense, and appears to have been unscrupulously used. He is coupled with Lord Howard of Walden as one of ‘the great thieves of the county,’ in a letter of William Morton to Winwood in 1617 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1611–18, pp. 358, 465). He represented Northumberland in the Short parliament of 1623–1624, and in every succeeding parliament down to and inclusive of the Long parliament. In 1628 he bought the title of baronet (ib. 1628–9, p. 137). In November 1635 he was placed on a special commission appointed for the purpose of putting down crimes of violence in the border districts (ib. 1635, p. 510). He was a deputy-lieutenant of Northumberland, and in that capacity displayed such energy in mustering forces for the king, that on 9 March 1639–40 he was appointed muster-master-general of the army (ib. 1638–9, pp. 310, 437, 1639–40, p. 529). He was one of the members excluded from the House of Commons for deserting the cause of the parliament and adhering to the king, on 22 Jan. 1643–4 (Comm. Journ. iii. 374; Rushworth, Hist. Coll. v. 575). In December 1644 he was taken prisoner by the parliamentarian forces between Banbury and Northampton (Whitelocke, Mem. p. 121). He subsequently made his peace with the parliament, was appointed high sheriff of Northumberland, was readmitted to the House of Commons on 26 June 1646, and was a member of the commission for the conservation of peace between England and Scotland appointed in the same year (Thurloe State Papers, i. 79; Comm. Journ. iv. 588). He died about 1658. Fenwicke married twice. His first wife was Catherine, daughter of Sir Ralph Slingsby of Scriven in the West Riding of Yorkshire, by whom he had one son (John, who served in the royal army as a colonel of dragoons, and was killed at Marston Moor on 3 July 1644) and two daughters. His second wife was Grace, daughter of Thomas Lorain of Kirk-Harle, Northumberland, by whom he had two sons (William and Allan) and one daughter, Grace. His successor, Sir William, was father of Sir John Fenwick (1645?–1697) [q. v.]

[Burke's Extinct Baronetage; Hodgson's Northumberland, pt. ii. i. 256; Hill's Langton, 218.]

J. M. R.