Peckham, George (DNB00)

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PECKHAM, Sir GEORGE (d. 1608), merchant venturer, was third son of Sir Edmund Peckham [q. v.] George succeeded to the paternal estate at Denham, and was knighted in 1570. In 1572 he was high sheriff of Buckinghamshire. In 1574 he, together with Sir Humphrey Gilbert [q. v.], Sir Richard Grenville [q. v.], and Christopher Carleill [q. v.], petitioned the queen 'to allow of an enterprise by them conceived ... at their charges and adventure, to be performed for discovery of sundry rich and unknown lands . . . fatally reserved for England and for the honour of her Majesty.' In 1578 a patent was granted to Gilbert, and in the enterprise, which finally took form in 1583, Peckham was the chief adventurer, Gilbert assigning to him large grants of land and liberty of trade. In November 1583 he published 'A true reporte of the late discoveries and possession taken . . . of the Newfound-landes . . . Wherein is also breefely sette downe her highnesse lawfull Tytle thereunto, and the great and manifolde commodities that is likely to grow thereby to the whole Realme in generall, and to the adventurers in particular. . . .' It is reprinted in Hakluyt's 'Principal Navigations,' iii. 165. Whether by unsuccessful ventures or otherwise, he afterwards became embarrassed in his circumstances, and in 1595 the estate and manor of Denham came to the queen 'by reason of his debt to the crown.' They were conferred on William Bowyer, in whose family they still remain. He died in 1608, the inquisition of his, property being taken on 21 June. He married, in 1554, Susan, daughter and heiress of Henry Webbe. She died in childbed, at the age of seventeen, on 11 Dec. 1555 (Lipscomb, ii. 544). By a second wife two sons are mentioned–Edmund the elder, who would seem to have predeceased him, and George, who was his heir.

[Calendars of State Papers, Dom. and Colonial (America and West Indies); Lipscomb's Hist, of Buckinghamshire, freq. (see Index); Brown's Genesis of the U.S.A.; Prowse's Hist, of Newfoundland.]

J. K. L.