1663, Charles Goring, 2nd Earl of Norwich requests financial assistance from the King

Transcription from ‘Petitions in the State Papers: 1660s’, in Petitions in the State Papers, 1600-1699, ed. Brodie Waddell, British History Online, Charles, Earl of Norwich. SP 29/67 f. 153 (1663).

To the Kings most excellent majestie.

The humble peticion of Charles Earle of Norwich.

Humbly sheweth.

That the stewardshipp of the honour of Peverell in the county of Nottingham with its fees and appurtenances was formerly granted to the petitioners deceased father George Earle of Norwich then Sir George Goring and Sir Edward Goring his brother for their lives as alsoe a lease of the cole pitts and other perquisitts belonging to the said honour for 50ty yeares, whereof aboute 5 yeares are yett in being which said stewardshipp [illegible] is now fallen to your majestie by the deaths of the petitioneres said uncle and father and the farme of the said cole pitts forfeited to your majestie for non payment of rent.

That your majestie by letteres patents was graciously pleased to graunt unto his said father a pencion of 2000 pounds per annum for 7 yeares in consideracion of his surrender of the place of captain of your majesties guard and for enabling him to sattisfie the supernumeraries thereof and for the better support of the dignity of the earledome and in respect of his fathers long and faithfull services to your majestie and glorious father and grandfather, and your petitioner finding himselfe oblidged by his said fathers promisses to your sacred majestie and in justice to the said persons (who demand the said sattisfaccion) to provide for the same.

Hee most humbly prayes that for enabling him thereunto (there being judgments and other assignments of his said fathers, which may otherwise prevent the sume) and for the better support of the earledome aswell as for sattesfying the summe of 780 pounds assigned by his said father to bee paid out of the said pencion: your majestie wilbee graciously pleased in liew of the said former pencion to graunt unto him a pencion duering life proporcionable to the value of the 5 yeares and halfe yett remaineing thereof and that the same by your majesties further grace may bee contynued upon your majesties customes where the same hath been heitherto assigned and paid. Or out of such other certaine revenew as your majestie in your wisedome shall thinke fitt to direct and that in reference to the said stewardshipp and lease your majestie wilbee pleased to renew the said graunt and lease for such lives and termes of yeares and under such reserved rents and covenants as was formerly graunted and demised.

And hee shall ever pray etc.


[For the response to this petition, see the transcription here.] 

Report by Pauline Brown 

In this petition, Charles Goring, 2nd Earl of Norwich petitioned the King ‘for a pension for life, proportionable to the 5½ years still due’ of a £2,000 per annum pension ‘granted to his late father, on surrendering his place of Captain of the Guard’, and also requested the ‘renewal of the lease of the Stewardship of Peverel honour’.[1] 

Sir George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich

George Goring the 1st Earl of Norwich died in 1663 and was succeeded by his youngest son, Charles, who became the 2nd Earl. It was probably due to his father’s reckless extravagance that his son was forced to present this petition to the King.  The inheritance for Charles, apart from the title, was therefore not as substantial as one might have imagined.

George Goring had been born in 1585 to George Goring of Danny Park, Sussex, and Anne Denny of Waltham Abbey, Essex. He was educated at Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge, and gained an important position at the court of James I and subsequently of Charles I. In fact, so close was he to the crown that he was involved in the negotiations which resulted in the marriage of the future King to Henrietta Maria of France.[2]

James I died in 1625 and three years later George Goring was elevated to Baron Goring and received a number of important positions at court.  By 1641/42 his income was estimated at £26,800 from pensions and property.[3]  By 1635 he had lent the King £15,000.

When the First Civil War began in 1642, this committed royalist, elevated to Captain of the Sovereign’s Body Guard, fought bravely and in 1644 he was created the first Earl of Norwich. He then gave generously of his own money to the King to support the war and he was involved in assisting the King in raising other funds by taxation. In 1648 after the battle of Colchester, he was forced to surrender expecting mercy, but was imprisoned at Windsor Castle and found guilty of treason by parliament; it was only by one casting vote that he was reprieved.  He subsequently fled to France and spent the following years in exile until Charles II was restored to the throne.   His fortunes were somewhat improved when he returned to court and was again made Captain of the King’s Guard. However, it seems that he never regained any of the lucrative posts which he had previously enjoyed, neither was he repaid the money that he had given to the King.

George Goring died at Brentford on 6 January 1662/63 aged about eighty.  He was buried on the 14 January, in Westminster Abbey in St John Baptist’s Chapel though no monument was placed to commemorate his service to the King.  The title thus went to Charles Goring his youngest son, whose two elder brothers had pre-deceased their father.

At the time of George’s death. Charles Goring wrote the following news to Lord Wentworth that he:

Had just heard of his father’s recovery, when the tidings came of his death at an inn at Brentford, on the road to London, with only servants about him. Has sent for the body most privately, and will think how to bury him befitting his quality. Sees nothing but ruin, unless the King will look on the poor remains of a family of loyalty and passionate affection to him, and not grant away things bestowed on them by the late King.’[4]

Charles Goring, 2nd Earl of Norwich

Charles Goring, the 2nd Earl of Norwich, was born about 1615 and like his father had an illustrious military career; he became Colonel of the Regiment of Horse where he fought at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644.  He was unfortunately captured but then escaped to fight again at Newbury later in the same year. At the Restoration he remained close to the court of Charles II.  He was, as his father before him, appointed Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard and also Clerk to the Council of Wales.  When his father the 1st Earl died on 4 January 1662/63 he succeeded to the title.[5]

Despite the extravagances of his father, Charles Goring’s fortunes were somewhat restored when he married a wealthy widow in 1658.[6] Alice Baker was the eldest daughter of Robert Leman of Brightwell Hall in Suffolk, and the widow of Thomas Baker.[7] She came to the marriage with a jointure of £1,000 per annum and a personal estate of £10,000. Her home, Forest House on the edge of Epping Forest, was an estate of forty-four acres which was later known as Goring House.[8]

Charles Goring died in 1670 and was buried at St Mary’s Leyton.[9] An elaborate monument on the east wall of the north aisle was placed in his memory with the following inscription:

‘To the memory of the most accomplished Cavalier and right valiant Commander, Charles Goring, Baron of Hurst-Pierpont, and Earl of Norwich, who, 3 Mart. 1670/71, in the 46th year of his Age departed this life’.

This Christian Hero, having passed his Youth
In those wild Mazes which fond Mortals tread,
Finding at length the peaceful Paths of Truth,
There Saints accompany and Martyrs lead:
In those he walked worthy his second Birth,
Till, tired, Death laid him to rest in Earth.’

Shortly before her death in 1689, when she was again in financial difficulties, the Countess of Norwich assigned Forest House to Henry Capel, the husband of her niece and next-of-kin, Dorothy Capel. Eleven years later the house was sold.  The couple had died without children so the title became extinct.

The Honour of Peverel

The Stewardship of Peverel referred to in the petition was named after William de Peverel who was said to be the illegitimate son of William the Conqueror. He was awarded 162 manors of the Honour of Peverel in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, including large tracts of land in Sherwood Forest.  These were recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, which also describes William de Peverel as having built castles such as Peveril Castle in Derbyshire.[10]  The area was rich in deposits of coal, as mentioned in Charles Goring’s petition. In fact, there are still traces of the old workings to be found in Sherwood Forest.[11] George Goring was awarded the stewardship for services to the King and thence it came to his youngest son, Charles.

Captain of the Yeoman of the Guard

The post to which both George Goring and his sons were honoured is one which began in 1485 and is formally titled Captaincy of the Royal Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard. This was not a paid service but the sovereign would sometimes present the recipient with a ‘gown’ which in James l’s reign cost £14.  The honour is still held by a peer of the realm who attends state occasions wearing the official uniform of scarlet coat, trimmed with gold lace paired with dark blue trousers, with gold lace stripes down the side.[12]


[1] ‘Charles II – volume 67: January 1663’, in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1663-4, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1862), pp. 1-36. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/domestic/chas2/1663-4/pp1-36

[2] ‘George Goring’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Goring,_1st_Earl_of_Norwich

[3] GORING, Sir George (1585-1663), of Danny Park, Hurstpierpoint; Lewes, Suss. and Goring House, Westminster, in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010, https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/member/goring-sir-george-1585-1663

[4] ‘Charles II – volume 67: January 1663’, in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1663-4, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1862), pp. 1-36. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/domestic/chas2/1663-4/pp1-36

[5] Cracrofts Peerage, http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/norwich1644.htm

[6] The National Archives, The Danny Archives (Goring Papers) https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/ccdba997-35d3-40ab-a656-ff25030910fa#0

[7] ‘Leyton: Manors and estates’, in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6, ed. W R Powell (London, 1973), pp. 184-197. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol6/pp184-197

[8] Frederick Temple, An Account of the House and Estate known as Forest House and for a time as Goring House in Leyton And Walthamstow, Essex’ (1957).

[9] ‘Charles Goring 2nd Earl of Norwich’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Goring,_2nd_Earl_of_Norwich

[10] ‘William Peverel’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Peverel; ‘The honour of Peverel’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour_of_Peverel

[11] ‘The Honour of Peverel’: http://sherwoodforesthistory.blogspot.com/2011/11/honour-of-peverel.html

[12] ‘Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_of_the_Yeomen_of_the_Guard

This report is part of a series on ‘Petitioners in the reign of Charles II, 1660-1685’, created through a U3A Shared Learning Project on ‘Investigating the Lives of Seventeenth-Century Petitioners’.