King, John (d.1637) (DNB00)

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KING, Sir JOHN (d. 1637), Irish administrator, came of a family formerly seated at Feathercock Hall, near Northallerton, Yorkshire. By July 1585 he was acting as secretary to Sir Richard Bingham [q. v.], governor of Connaught (Cal. State Papers, Irish, 1574–85, p. 571). His services were rewarded by Queen Elizabeth with a lease of the abbey of Boyle, co. Roscommon. Under James I he enjoyed many profitable offices and privileges, and had lands granted to him in twenty-one different counties (ib. 1603–6, pp. 113, 269, &c.). On 12 July 1603 he was made clerk of the crown in chancery and clerk of the hanaper, both of which places he surrendered on 20 Jan. 1606, and with Francis Edgeworth had a new grant thereof on 29 Jan. (ib. 1603–6 p. 430, 1606–1608 pp. 81, 387). In 1603 he was receiver of the revenue (ib. 1606–8, p. 54), and in March 1605 deputy vice-treasurer (ib. 1603–1606, p. 429). In May 1607, being then constable of the abbey of Boyle, he commenced to build, along with John Bingley, a massive castle on the river Boyle, and to cultivate much of the surrounding district (ib. 1606–1608, pp. 87, 150, &c.). On 11 May 1609 he was appointed mustermaster-general and clerk of the cheque for Ireland, with a reversionary grant of both offices to his eldest son; in June of the same year he was sworn of the privy council (ib. 1608–10, pp. 202, 218, 507), and on 7 July following he was knighted (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 161). In October 1611 he was a commissioner for compositions; in 1613 was returned M.P. for co. Roscommon by the aid of Vice-president Oliver St. John's soldiery, and in 1614 was appointed to assist in the plantation of Wexford (Cal. State Papers, Irish, 1611–14, pp. 138, 362, 496). On 20 May 1615, when living at Baggotrath, near Dublin, he was appointed one of the council for the province of Munster; and on 9 June following he was authorised, with Sir Thomas Rotherham, to act as governor of Connaught during the absence of the president and vice-president. On 24 Sept. 1616 he was joined in commission with Lord-deputy St. John and others to aid in the settlement of the British ‘undertakers’ in Ulster. On 23 Sept. 1617 he was nominated a commissioner of the court of wards in Ireland, and on 18 Jan. 1621 was made, with Francis Edgeworth, receiver of the fines of that court, and of all other fines upon letters and grants.

By privy seal (8 Aug. 1619) King was appointed a commissioner for the plantation of co. Longford and the territory of Elye O'Carroll in King's County, and on 15 July 1624 was constituted a commissioner, justice, and keeper of the peace in Leinster and Ulster during the absence of Lord-deputy Falkland. By commission dated 9 Dec. 1625 he was authorised, with four others, to examine abuses committed in the army in order to their redress, and to take a general muster of all the forces throughout the kingdom.

King died in the Close at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 4 Jan. 1636–7, and was buried in the church of Boyle on 30 March following. He married Catherine (d. 1617), daughter of Robert Drury, nephew of Sir William Drury, lord deputy of Ireland. Of his six sons, Sir Robert King (1599?–1657) and Edward King (1612–1637), Milton's friend, are separately noticed. Of three daughters, Mary (d. 1663) married William Caulfeild, second baron Charlemont, and Margaret married Sir Gerard Lowther, chief justice of the common pleas in Ireland.

[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland (Archdall), iii. 223; Cal. State Papers, Irish, 1585–1625; Carew MSS. 1603–24.]

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