John Parkhurst (1643 - 1731) was the grandson of a lord mayor of London.
His father, Sir Robert Parkhurst MP (d.1651) of Pyrford, Surrey, sat for Guildford in all Parliaments from 1625 until secluded at Pride’s Purge. On his death, Parkhurst was fortunate to come under the care of his uncle John Crew.
On coming of age in 1664 John Parkhurst (a third son) bought a small estate in Northamptonshire worth £400 p.a. and married Catherine, da. of John Dormer of Lee Grange, Quainton, Bucks. (the license is dated April 23, 1667). They had 2 sons and 3 daughters.
In 1674 his cousin, Nathaniel Crew, became bishop of Durham and appointed him steward of his estates, which lasted until 1679. His income was doubled by the grant of Greatham hospital (1676-1711), and his accumulation of degrees at both universities suggests that higher preferment was intended.
As constable of Durham Castle (1676-84), John Parkhurst stood on bishop Crew’s interest when the city was enfranchised. On March 27, 1679 he narrowly defeated William Tempest, but he was not active in the Cavalier Parliament being named to only two committees for Northamptonshire estate bills.
John Parkhurst MP was one of the Members on the working lists ‘to be fixed’; bur Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’, and his hostility to the Court was well enough known to compel him to look for another seat at the general election.
More, way beyond the Diary years, at
John's mother's name was Silence Crewe (1611 - 1651. What a marvelous name, but it does remind us that women were expected to be seen and not heard, even in Puritan homes.
She was sister to John Crew, 1st Baron Crew of Stene.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.