Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Moore, John (1620-1702)

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MOORE, Sir JOHN (1620–1702), lord mayor of London, second son of Charles Moore of Stretton, Derbyshire, afterwards lord of the manor of Appleby Parva, Leicestershire, and Cicely Yates, was born at Norton, near Twycross in Leicestershire, and baptised there on 11 June 1620. His father, who had five other children, was lineally descended from the Moores of Moor Hall and Bank Hall, Lancashire. Moore came to London, entered the East India trade, carrying on business in Mincing Lane (Little London Directory, 1677), and soon realised an ample fortune. He was a member, and became master, of the Grocers' Company. He was in due time elected to the offices of alderman and sheriff, but was discharged on payment of the usual fines, on account of his religious scruples as a nonconformist. These scruples were overcome in 1671, when he was elected alderman for W. Talbrook ward and conformed to the sacramental test. On the death of Sir Jonathan Dawes, one of the sheriffs, who was buried on 16 May 1672, Moore was elected sheriff in his place. He had been knighted by Charles II at Whitehall three days before. In 1681 Moore was next in seniority for the mayoralty, but, being known to be favourably disposed to the court, a determined though vain attempt was made to set him aside. Moore carried the election after a poll, and the day ended 'with shouts, ringing of bells, and bon-fires in some places' (Luttrell, Relation of State Affairs, i. 128-30). On 29 Oct. Charles and his queen came to the city to see the show, and afterwards dined at the Guildhall. The pageant was prepared, at the cost of the Grocers' Company, by Thomas Jordan [q. v.], the city poet. The book of sixteen pages describing the 'triumph' is entitled 'London's Joy, or the Lord Mayor's Show,' London, 1681. In the British Museum are two ballads celebrating Moore's election as lord mayor, 'Vive le Roy, or London's Joy,' and 'A Congratulatory Poem to Sir John Moor, Knight;' the former is reprinted by Heath in his 'History of the Grocers' Company' (pp. 293-6). During his mayoralty (30 May) he was appointed colonel of the yellow regiment of London militia (Luttrell, i. 191). A trial of strength between the court and popular parties again took place on 15 June on the election of an alderman for Aldersgate ward, when Moore was one of the four candidates of the court party who were returned by the ward to the court of aldermen, but he declined to change his ward, and Sir Richard Howe was elected (ib. p. 194). The whig party being in the ascendency in the city, the tories rallied under the lord mayor in an attempt to secure the election of sheriffs in their favour on Midsummer day.

Moore was induced by court influence to use the lord mayor's privilege of nominating one of the sheriffs (though the custom had long been in abeyance) by drinking to a citizen at the bridgemaster's feast. Dudley North, brother to the lord chief justice, was thus nominated; the other court candidate was Ralph Box. The whigs brought forward Thomas Papillon [q. v.] and Dubois. Although Moore declared North and Box duly elected at the common hall, the sheriffs then in office, who belonged to the popular party, opened a poll, and, after two adjournments, declared the result on 5 July, when it appeared that Papillon and Dubois had a majority of nearly two to one over the court candidates. At the close of the proceedings the lord mayor was jostled and had his hat knocked off, and the sheriffs were accused before the king of having occasioned a riot, and were sent to the Tower. The lord mayor ordered another poll, and the court party eventually gained the day, North and Peter Rich (Box having declined to take office) being sworn in as sheriffs on 28 Sept. (Luttrell, passim; A. F. W. Papillon, Memoirs of Thomas Papillon, 1887, pp. 205 et seq.)

Moore's action in connection with the shrievalty election was prompted throughout by the king and his ministers, and during the struggle the Duke of Ormonde dined with him twice or thrice a week (Carte, Ormonde, 1736, ii. 522-4). The episode called forth many controversial tracts. Burnet says that Moore was originally a nonconformist till he grew rich and aspired to the dignities of the city, and that though he conformed to the church he was still looked on as one who favoured the sectaries. The influence of secretary Jenkins brought him over to the court, and the opposition to his election determined him in his new resolve (Burnet, History of his own Time, 1 823, vii . 324-5). Roger North in his 'Examen' gives a more flattering picture of Moore and his motives (1740, pp. 596 et seq.) Dryden, in his 'Absalom and Achitophel,' celebrates Moore as Ziloah (Works, ed. Scott, 1808, ix. 402-4). Moore was elected one of the city representatives in the parliament which met in 1685, and one of James II's last acts as king was to grant him a general pardon under the great seal, 22 Oct. 1688 (now belonging to J. G. Moore, esq., J.P., D.L., of Appleby Hall, near Atherstone).

On 20 March 1688–9, on the death of Sir John Chapman, Moore and Sir Jonathan Raymond were put forward by the tory party for election as lord mayor, by way of protest against the vote of a committee of the House of Commons, which declared Moore a betrayer of the liberties of the city of London in 1682. Alderman Pilkington, who was one of the whig sheriffs during his mayoralty, was, however, elected by a majority of two to one (Luttrell, i. 513–14). Moore in 1682 defrayed nearly the entire cost of rebuilding the Grocers' Company's Hall, the company then being on the verge of financial ruin; in acknowledgment they ordered his portrait to be painted and preserved in their hall (Heath, Grocers' Company, 1854, pp. 287-8).

Moore died 2 June 1702, aged nearly 82, and was buried in the church of St. Dunstan's-in-the-East. In the church, on the south side, is a marble monument, the inscription on which states that Moore 'for his great and exemplary loyalty to the crown was impower'd by King Charles the 2nd to bear on a canton gules one of the lions of England as an augmentation to his arms' (Hatton, New View of London, 1708, pp. 216–17). The king's grant was dated 25 Aug. 1683, and was conferred upon his father's descendants also. A manuscript ode on Moore's death by Elkanah Settle, finely bound, belongs to Mr. Moore of Appleby Hall.

Moore was married in 1652 to Mary Maddox, who died on 16 May 1690 in her fifty-eighth year, and was buried beneath a sumptuous monument in the church of St. Dunstan's-in-the-East (ib. p. 216). He had no children, and left the principal part of his estates, amounting to about 80,000l. in value, to his nephews, John Moore, son of his brother Charles, and John Moore, son of his brother George, the latter being appointed his executor and residuary legatee. His will, dated 25 May 1702, was proved in the P.C.C. on 3 June 1702 (Hern, 101).

Moore was a liberal benefactor to the charitable institutions of the city. He gave 500l. to the hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlehem, and in 1694 built, at an expense of 10,000l., the writing and mathematical schools in Christ's Hospital, of which he was president in 1681. A statue was erected there to his memory, and a portrait is in the court-room of the hospital. At his home-town of Appleby, Leicestershire, he founded and endowed a grammar school in 1697 for the education of boys in Appleby and the neighbouring parishes, which was, under the statutes of 1706, made free for all England. The building was erected by Sir Christopher Wren, and at the upper end of the hall is a statue of Moore with an inscription. There is a good mezzotint of Moore sitting in a chair in his lord mayor's robes, engraved by McArdell from a portrait by Lely, and another print by Clamp, in 1796, from a portrait by Harding.

[Granger's Biographical History of England, 5th ed. v. 171; Roger North's Examen, 1740, pp. 596 et seq.; Guillim's Display of Heraldry, 1721, p.194; Nichols's History of Leicestershire, iv. 440, 851; Le Neve's Pedigrees of Knights, pp. 277-8; Mainland's History of London, 1739, i. 473-6; City Records; Records of the Grocers' Company; authorities above cited.]

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