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Sir John Glynne, Lord Chief Justice

Sir John Glynne KS (1602 – 15 November 1666) was a Welsh lawyer of the Commonwealth and Restoration periods, who rose to become Lord Chief Justice of the Upper Bench, under Oliver Cromwell. He sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1660.

Early life

John Glynne was born at Glynllifon, Carnarvonshire, the second son[1] of Sir William Glynne of Glynllifon, a very ancient family that claimed a fanciful descent from Cilmin Droed-tu, founder of one of the 15 tribes of North Wales,[2] by Jane, the daughter of John Griffith (of Plas Mawr), Caernarvon.[3] His elder brother was Thomas Glynn, MP for Caernarvonshire.

Glynne was educated at Westminster School and Hart Hall, Oxford, where he matriculated 9 November 1621, aged 18.[4] He entered Lincoln's Inn on 27 January 1620 and was called to the Bar on 24 June 1628.[5]


In April 1640, Glynne was elected Member of Parliament for Westminster in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Westminster for the Long Parliament in November 1640.[6] His first major parliamentary triumph was the summing-up of the case against the Earl of Strafford, and he enjoyed a successful career during the commonwealth, becoming a serjeant-at-law, judge of assize, and finally Lord Chief Justice of the Upper Bench, and was a member of the Committee of Both Kingdoms.[5] However, his Presbyterianism put him out of favour with the army, and he was expelled from Parliament in 1647 and imprisoned in the Tower for almost a year. He was counsel for the University of Cambridge from 1647 to 1660.[7] He returned to Parliament for Caernarvonshire from 1654 to 1655 in the First Protectorate Parliament. In 1656 he was elected MP for both Carnarvonshire and Flintshire in the Second Protectorate Parliament and chose to sit for Flintshire.[6][8] He was nominated and accepted a seat in Cromwell's Other House.[9]

In 1656 he was judge in a criminal case involving George Fox. After several allegations against Fox failed to stand up, he demanded Fox remove his hat, and on his refusal to do so, ordered him to pay a fine of 20 marks and committed him to prison until he did so.[10]

In the later years of the Protectorate, Glynne resigned his legal offices and turned to favour the Restoration. He was returned again for Caernarvonshire in the Convention Parliament, and was knighted on 16 November 1660, and shortly thereafter made Prime Serjeant.

Death and succession

Glynne died at his home in London on 15 November 1666, and was buried on 27 November at St Margaret's Church, Westminster, in his own vault under the altar.[11] He left his estate of Hawarden in Flintshire (which he had bought in 1654) to his son Sir William Glynne, 1st Baronet;[5] his estates at Henley-by-Normandy and Pirbright in Surrey descended to his son John by his second marriage.[12]


Glynne married firstly Frances Squib, eldest daughter of Arthur Squib. Glynne purchased Henley Manor,[13] Normandy, Surrey from Squib, whom he assisted through his influence to the positions of Clarenceux Herald and Teller of the Exchequer. They had the following children, 2 sons & 5 daughters:[14]

  • Sir William Glynne, 1st Baronet
  • Thomas, unmarried, s.p.
  • Frances, died an infant
  • Jane, wife of Sir Robert Williams, Bt., of Penrhyn, Carnarvonshire, nephew & heir of John, Archbishop of York & Lord-Keeper of the Great Seal of England
  • Margaret, died an infant
  • Anne, wife of Sir John Evelyn, Bt., of Lee Place, Godstone, Surrey
  • Frances, wife of William Campion (1639–1702) of Combwell, Goudhurst, Kent, eldest son of Sir William Campion (d. 1648, siege of Colchester) of Danny Park, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, and Grace, eldest da. of Sir Thomas Parker of Ratton in Willingdon.

He married secondly Anne Manning, daughter. & co-heiress of John Manning of London & Cralle, Sussex, widow of Sir Thomas Lawley, Bt., of Cornwall. They had the following children:

  • John Glynne, of Henley Park, Surrey, who m. Dorothy, da. of Francis Tylney of Tylney Hall, Rotherwick, Hants. They had 2 daughters, Elizabeth, who died unmarried and Dorothy, who married Sir Richard Child, Bt., later 1st Earl Tylney. John was educated at Hart Hall, Oxon. where he matriculated on 16 November 1666, aged 16. He entered Lincoln's Inn.[4] John purchased Pirbright Manor, Surrey, from Francis, Lord Montagu in 1677[15] and sold Henley Manor, Surrey, to Frederick Tylney on 20 October 1679.[16]
  • Mary, wife of Sir Stephen Anderson of Eyeworth, Beds.



  1. ^ Variously given also as 1st son & 3rd son (the latter by Alumni Oxonienses 1500–1714 Abannan-Kyte, 1891
  2. ^ Betham's Baronetage of England, taken from The Genealogy of the Ancient and Worthy Family of Glynne said to be in possession of J. Glynne, Barrister in 1741
  3. ^ "Glynne, John" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  4. ^ a b Alumni Oxonienses
  5. ^ a b c Jenkins
  6. ^ a b Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. 229–239.
  7. ^ Glynne
  8. ^ W R Williams The Parliamentary History of the Principality of Wales
  9. ^ Noble, 390
  10. ^ Fox, George. George Fox's Journal. Isbister, limited, 1903. p.174f
  11. ^ Betham's Baronetage, vol.2, pp.258–262
  12. ^ Both these manors were subsequently sold by Earl Tylney in 1739.
  13. ^ Victoria County History, Surrey, vol.3, (1911) pp.340–344, Ash Parish
  14. ^ Betham, William. The Baronetage of England, vol.2, pp. 258–262, item 151, Glynne of Bisseter, Oxon
  15. ^ Victoria County History, Surrey, vol.3, Pirbright, pp.363–365
  16. ^ Surrey Archives G30/2/4;

6 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro.  •  Link

Sir John Glynne (1602-66), second son of Sir William Glynne of Glynllifon, who succeeded his brother Thomas to the Glynllifon estate, purchased the castle and manor of Hawarden, together with the estate in 1654. Like his brother he was a parliamentarian during the Civil War. He became recorder of London and afterwards Lord Chief Justice.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Warrington adds: Glynne did Charles II great service and was in consequence knighted and appointed King's Serjeant, and his son created a baronet.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

John Glynne had been Recorder of London; and during the Protectorate, Chief Justice of the Upper Bench; nevertheless, he did Charles II. great service, and was in consequence knighted and appointed King's Serjeant, and his son created a Baronet. Ob. 1666.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

The popular feeling respecting Glynne and Maynard was echoed by Butler, who wrote : —

"Did not the learned Glynne and Maynard
To make good subjects traitors strain hard?"

---Wheatley, 1899.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... he enjoyed a successful career during the commonwealth, becoming a serjeant-at-law, judge of assize, and finally Lord Chief Justice of the Upper Bench, ..."

Serjeant at Law means a senior barrister, senior even to a Queen's/King's Counsel (QC/KC).…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lord Chief Justice John Glynne, MP, was one of the critical and influential "monarchical Cromwellians" who, in 1659, Hyde believed could be influenced into supporting the restoration of Charles II.
For an understanding of why Glynne found favor after the Restoration, see…

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