James HARRINGTON of Ridlington

(1 Bt.)

Born: ABT 1542

Died: 2 Feb 1613/4

Buried: 10 Mar 1613/4, Ridlington, Rutlandshire, England

Father: James HARRINGTON of Exton (Sir)

Mother: Lucy SIDNEY

Married 1: Frances SAPCOTE (d. 1599) (dau. of Robert Sapcote of Elton)


1. Theodosia HARRINGTON








9. Edward HARRINGTON (2 Bt.)

10. Sapcote HARRINGTON


12. Bridget HARRINGTON

13. Frances HARRINGTON

Married 2: Anne BARNARD (dau. of Francis Barnard of Abington and Anne Hazelwood) (w. of John Doyley of Merton) 24 Sep 1601

The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Third son of James Harrington of Exton and his wife, Lucy, dau. of Sir William Sidney of Penshurst, Kent. Educ. Shrewsbury 1564; King's, Camb. 1570-1, Married first Frances, dau. and coh. of Robert Sapcote (Sapcotts) of Elton, Hunts., 8s. 5da.; (2) 24 Sep 1601, Anne, dau. of Francis Barnard of Abington, Northants., wid. of John Doyley of Merton, Oxon., ?s.p. Kntd. 1603; cr. Bt. 1611. J.p. Rutland from c.1591, sheriff 1593-4, 1601-2; j.p. Oxon. 1602, sheriff 1606.

As a third son, Harrington did not inherit a great estate: instead he built up one for himself. Harrington's election as knight of the shire can be seen as a move by his family to maintain its lien on the county seat during the illness of his eldest brother John. He stood again, at a by-election in 1601, after the election of the sheriff, Sir Andrew Noel, had been declared invalid. But he was a reluctant candidate, induced to stand because his brother, the senior Member, objected to the sheriff's wish to bring in his son Edward, a minor. In the event Harrington was defeated, possibly because of malpractices by the sheriff or because the Rutland gentry objected to the Harringtons monopolizing the county representation. Harrington was named to two committees in 1597, the first on a private bill concerning the will of George Durant (8 Nov), the second on the poor law (22 Nov). On 1 Dec he was licensed to depart, and neglected to leave the usual sums for the poor and for the minister. He was back by 26 Jan 1598.

Early in 1603 he travelled north with his brother to meet the new King, who knighted him at Grimston in Yorkshire, and he was among the first baronets, paying a first instalment of 360. He died 2 Feb 1614 and was buried at Ridlington. Having assured his principal estates to his son Edward, he bequeathed a life interest in Thornbury and Morton to his wife, together with household stuff. He provided annuities for his wife and four of his younger sons, and left Gunthorpe, Knossington, Oldebury and a few small properties, in all worth 10,000, to his executors, his sons Edward and Sapcote, to pay his debts and legacies. These included 2,000 to one daughter, 1,000 to another, 500 to his second son, and 1,500 to his five youngest sons. He left a colt to his nephew Lord Harrington and nominated him supervisor of the will.


GEC Baronetage, i. 53

Vis. Rutland (Harl. Soc. iii), 38-9; VCH Rutland, ii. 17

Nichols, Leics. ii. 656-8, 760

I. Grimble, Harrington Fam. 145, 165
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