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George Goring

Born(1585-04-28)28 April 1585
Died6 January 1663(1663-01-06) (aged 77)
Brentford, England
Allegiance Royalists
Spouse(s)Mary Neville

George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich (28 April 1585 – 6 January 1663) was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1621 and 1628 when he was raised to the peerage.


Goring was the son of George Goring of Hurstpierpoint and Ovingdean, Sussex, and his wife Anne Denny, sister of Edward Denny, 1st Earl of Norwich. He matriculated from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge in 1600,[1] and may subsequently have spent some time in Flanders.[2] He was knighted in 1608, became a favourite at court and benefitted from successful overseas policy and monopolies granted by King Charles I.[3] In 1621 he was elected Member of Parliament for Lewes.[4] He was made Knight Marshal in 1623. He was re-elected MP for Lewes in, 1624, 1625, 1626 and 1628.[4] In 1628 he was created Baron Goring. He became a privy councillor in 1639 and Vice-Chamberlain of the Household.

One year later the troubles between Charles and his Parliament became acute and Goring devoted his fortune freely to the royal cause; the king in November 1644 recreated for him the title which he created in 1628 for Lord Denny, Earl of Norwich, his uncle, which had just become extinct on his death. He went with Queen Henrietta Maria to the Netherlands in 1642 to raise money for the king, and in the autumn of the next year he was seeking arms and money from Cardinal Mazarin in Paris. His acts were revealed to the parliament in January 1644 by an intercepted letter to Henrietta Maria. He was consequently impeached of high treason but prudently remained abroad until 1647, albeit deprived of his lands and income, when he received a pass from parliament under a pretext of seeking reconciliation.[3]

Arms of Goring, Earl of Norwich: Argent, a chevron between three annulets gules[5]

Thus he was able to take a prominent part in the Second Civil War of 1648. He commanded the Kentish levies, which Fairfax dispersed at Maidstone and elsewhere and was forced to surrender unconditionally at Colchester.[3] Norwich's refusal to surrender, even after the cause was known to be hopeless and the people of the town begged him to surrender, was considered to be against the rules of war. Two of his commanders were executed after the siege for their part in it.[6] Norwich was condemned to exile in November 1648 by a vote of the House of Commons, but the next month the vote was annulled.[3]

Early in the next year a court formed under John Bradshaw and tried: Norwich, the Duke of Hamilton, Lord Capel, the Earl of Holland and Sir John Owen. Each received a death sentence on 6 March 1649, but petitions for mercy were presented to parliament, and Norwich's life was spared by the Speaker's casting vote. Shortly after his liberation from prison in May 1649, he joined the exiled court of Charles II who employed him in fruitless negotiations with the duke of Lorraine. He became captain of the king's guard at the Restoration, and in consideration of the fortune he had spent or income he had foregone in the king's service a pension of 2000 pounds per year was granted him.[3]

Norwich died at Brentford on 6 January 1663.


By his wife Mary Nevill (died 1648), daughter of Edward Nevill, 8th Baron Bergavenny and Rachel Lennard, he had four daughters and two sons: George, Lord Goring; and Charles, who fought in the Civil War, succeeded his father in the earldom, and died without heirs in March 1671.[7]


  1. ^ "Goringe, George (GRN600G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ "Goring, George (1583?-1663)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chisholm 1911, p. 818.
  4. ^ a b Browne Willis Notitia parliamentaria, or, An history of the counties, cities, and boroughs in England and Wales: ... The whole extracted from mss. and printed evidences 1750 pp176-239
  5. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard, The General Armory, London, 1884, p.413, Goring, Earl of Norwich, also arms of Goring baronets
  6. ^ Michael Braddick, God's Fury, England's Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars, London, Allen Lane, 2008, pp545-548
  7. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 818–819.

4 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

Lord Goring, Duke of Norwich…
"George, Lord Goring (1583 - 1663) was a well educated man, having studied at the same college (Sidney Sussex College) as Oliver Cromwell.

"He was also keen supporter of the monarchy and played a key part in the marriage of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France.

"Goring was also responsible to help raise military funding for the Kings' armies at the start of the English Civil War (1642 - 48) and rewarded with the title 'Earl of Norwich' for his efforts.

"Goring helped raise an army in Kent who, having been diverted from London, joining Sir Charles Lucas' forces at Brentwood where they marched into Colchester on their way to Norfolk.
After the Siege of Colchester (1648), Goring was tried and acquitted by Parliament. Goring died in 1663 and is buried in Westminster Abbey."

"He was condemned to exile in November 1648 by a vote of the House of Commons, but in the next month the vote was annulled. Early in the next year a court was formed under Bradshaw to try Norwich and four others. All five were condemned to death on the 6th of March, but petitions for mercy were presented to parliament, and Norwich

vk  •  Link

Father of the general
Note that this is not the famous General George Goring who commanded during the civil war. This is instead the father of the general. The son died in Madrid in 1657, aged 49.

helena murphy  •  Link

Lord George Goring's life was that of an exemplary courtier. In 1625 he went to Paris on behalf of Charles I with the all important documentation concerning the King's marriage to Henriette Marie de Bourbon,then aged sixteen. The betrothal took place in the audience chamber of the Louvre on May 8th 1625, and on May 11th the marriage by proxy was celebrated in the cathedral of Notre Dame,the Duc de Chevreuse, a distant relative of Charles ,standing proxy for the groom. The ceremony was performed by Cardinal de la Rochfoucauld and the bride was dressed in cloth of silver and gold decorated in diamonds and gold fleur de lys. Goring witnessed the ceremony and hurried back to his master in England with the news.
In 1628 he was appointed to the Queen's household as Vice Chamberlain, later becoming Master of the Horse. Such appointments would denote catholic sympathies as Henriette retained her faith on her marriage.
In 1634 he greeted Madame de Chevreuse, an old friend of Henrietta's at her arrival in Portsmith,fleeing the fury of Cardinal Richelieu for her political conniving .In February 1642 he accompanied Henrietta to Holland with her daughter, Princess Mary, who was taking residence there with her husband , William of Orange. The queen had also in mind to sell her jewels to finance the forthcoming conflict.
Lord Goring was a man of greater integrity than his son , George Goring , who betrayed a royalist plan to free Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and Charles'most capable minister from the Tower of London pending his 1641 and execution in May of that year.The latter was defeated by the New Model Army at Langport in 1645.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

GORING, GEORGE, Earl Of Norwich (1583?-1663), royalist; educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; gentleman of the privy chamber to Henry, prince of Wales, 1610: one of James I's three 'chief and master fools'; accompanied Prince Charles to Spain, 1623; negotiated his marriage with Henrietta Maria of France; became her master of the horse and Baron Goring, 1628; received numerous offices and grants; 'the leader of the monopolists' ; privy councillor, 1639; spent money freely for Charles I during the civil war; accompanied the queen to and from Holland, 1642-3; as envoy to France obtained from Mazarin promise of arms and money, 1643; impeached for high treason by parliament, 1644; created Earl of Norwich, 1644; subsequently commanded in Kent and Essex; after capitulation at Colchester (1648) sentenced to death, but respited by casting vote of Speaker Lenthall; with Charles II on the continent, 1649; employed in negotiations with Sexby and the Levellers; captain of the guard and pensioned, 1661.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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