Sir John CONWAY, Knight

Governor of Ostend

Born: 1535, Ragley, Warwickshire, England

Died: 4 Oct 1603

Father: John CONWAY

Mother: Catherine VERNEY

Married: Helen (Eleanor) GREVILLE


1. Edward CONWAY (1 V. Conway) (See his Biography)

2. Fulke CONWAY (b. ABT 1565 - d. ABT 1624)

3. Elizabeth CONWAY (b. ABT 1578) (m. Hugh ?)

4. Mary CONWAY (b. 1580 - d. 8 Apr 1621) (m. John Tracy, Gov. of Berkeley Colony, Virginia)

5. John CONWAY

6. Thomas CONWAY

7. Catherine CONWAY

8. Frances CONWAY

Son and heir of Sir John Conway, knight-banneret of Arrow, Warwickshire, by Catherine, daughter of Sir Ralph Verney (Lipscomb, Buckinghamshire, i. 179). He was knighted in 1559 (Addit. MS. 32102, f. 122 a).

As he was walking in the streets of London in 1578, Ludovic Greville came suddenly upon him, and struck him on the head with a cudgel, felling him to the ground, and then attacked him with a sword so fiercely that, but for the intervention of a servant, who warded off the blow, he would have cut off his legs. The privy council sent for Greville, and committed him to the Marshalsea. The outrage occasioned much excitement, because on the same day Robert Rich, 2 Lord Rich was also violently attacked in the streets (Strype, Annals, ii. 547, folio).

In Dec 1583 he seems to have been imprisoned in connection with the SOMERVILLE-ARDEN case, and it was probably during this imprisonment that he wrote 'Meditations and Praiers'.

John Conway was made Governor of Ostend in 29 Dec 1586 by the Earl of Leicester, who was then general of the English auxiliaries in the United Provinces (Thomas, Hist. Notes, i. 408, 436). Lived Arrow & Ragley. For some reason he was made a prisoner, as appears from an original letter addressed by him to Sir Francis Walsingham, dated at Ostend 8 Sep 1588, concerning his imprisonment and the uses which might be made of one Berney, a spy, who had great credit with the Duke of Parma (Harl. MS 287, f. 102); Notes and Queries, 1st series, xi. 48). In Jul 1590 he was licensed to return to England, and the office of Governor of Ostend was granted to Sir Edward Norreys (Murdin, State Papers, p. 794).

He died on 4 Oct 1603, and was buried in Arrow church, where a monument, with a Latin inscription, was erected to his memory (Dugdale, Warwickshire, ed. 1730, p. 852).

By his wife Helen, or Eleanor, daughter of Sir Fulke Greville of Beauchamp's Court, Warwickshire, he had four sons: Edward, who was created Viscount Conway [q.v.] (Birch, Elizabeth, ii. 98); Fulke, John and Thomas; and four daughters: Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary and Frances (Dugdale, Warwickshire, p. 850; Lipscomb, uckinghamshire, i. 268).

to Bios Page

to Home Page