Daughter of John Dormer of Quainton, Bucks, she married John Parkhurst in 1667.

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Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

As usual, not much can be found about Catherine Dormer Parkhurst. Most sites agree she lived from about 1647 until 1730, and married John when she was 20.

However, at the end of his Parliamentary bio. there is a lovely story.

"Commr. prize appeals 1689–99; collector, prize arrears 1699–at least 1705."

We know what a boondoggle that implies, and John Parkhurst was also accused of embezzlement. Parliament thought there were 1,200 prize ships taken during the recent war, and Parkhurst and his fellow Commissioners could only account for 700. It took months for them to produce the accounts. Nothing could be proved; Parliament was prorogued; Parkhurst went home to run for office again.

"In Northamptonshire indignation against him ran high, and when he sought re-election at the end of 1701 much was made of his recent censure by the Commons. ... But the campaign proved difficult to sustain, as was clear from the ugly scenes that greeted Parkhurst’s decision to give up the poll:

"About midnight, Parkhurst went privately out of town, and it was well he did, for the mob was so enraged against him that the gentlemen would have been hard set to have protected him from their fury if he had stayed till next morning.
"But, he being gone, they dressed a fellow as like him as they could, and put him in a tub with a glass window at his back, a halter about his neck, a chamber pot by his side, and a pen, inks and paper, very busy writing his accounts. In this manner they carried him all over the town on men’s shoulders, cringeing and bowing to everyone, and desiring time to make up his accounts and using several expressions in his excuses that Parkhurst printed in his case ... the meaning of the glass window is Parkhurst has a servant that has a place worth about £40 per annum in the tax.
"And the chamberpot is his wife once broke his head with one."

Catherine Dormer Parkhurst ... I like you.


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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.