John De Pelham

JOHN DE PELHAM, who was one of the captors of John II. of France at Poitiers, acquired land at Winchelsea by his marriage with Joan Herbert, or Finch. His son, JOHN DE PELHAM (d. 1429), was attached to the party of John of Gaunt and his son Henry IV. In 1393 he received a life appointment as constable of Pevensey Castle, an honour subsequently extended to his heirs male, and he joined Henry on his invasion in 1399, if he did not actually land with him at Ravenspur. He was knighted at Henry's coronation, and represented Sussex in parliament repeatedly during the reign of Henry IV., and again in 1422 and 1427. As constable of Pevensey he had at different times the charge of Edward, duke of York, in 1405; Edmund, earl of March, with his brother Roger Mortimer in 1406; James I. of Scotland in 1414; Sir John Mortimer in 1422, and the queen dowager, Joan of Navarre, from 1418 to 1422. He was constantly employed in the defence of the southern ports against French invasion, and his powers were increased in 1407 by his appointment as chief butler of Chichester and of the Sussex ports, and in 1412 by the grant of the rape of Hastings. He was treasurer of England in 1412-1413, and although he was superseded on the accession of Henry V. he was sent in the next year to negotiate with the French court. He was included among the executors of the wills of Henry IV., of Thomas, duke of Clarence, and of Henry V. He died on the 12th of February 1429, and was succeeded by his son John, who took part in Henry V.'s expedition to Normandy in 1417.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth Sir WILLIAM PELHAM (c. 1530- 1587), third son of Sir William Pelham (d. 1538) of Laughton, Sussex, became lord justice of Ireland. He was captain of pioneers at the siege of Leith in 1560, and served at the siege of Havre in 1562, and with Coligny at Caen in 1563. He then returned to Havre, at that time occupied by English troops, and was one of the hostages for the fulfilment of its surrender to Charles IX. in 1564. After his return to England he fortified Berwick among other places, and was appointed lieutenantgeneral of ordnance. He was sent to Ireland in IS79, when he was knighted by Sir William Drury, the lord justice. Drury died in October, and Pelham was provisionally made his successor, an appointment subsequently confirmed by Elizabeth. Alarmed by the proceedings of Gerald Fitzgerald, i5th earl of Desmond, and his brother John Desmond, he proclaimed the earl a traitor. Elizabeth protested strongly against Pelham's action, which was justified by the sack of Youghal by Desmond. Thomas Butler, loth earl of Ormonde, was entrusted with the campaign in Munster, but Pelham joined him in February 1 580, when it was believed that a Spanish descent was about to be made in the south-west. The English generals laid waste northern Kerry, and proceeded to besiege Carrigafoyle Castle, which they stormed, giving no quarter to man, woman or child. Other strongholds submitted on learning the fate of Carrigafoyle, and were garrisoned by Pelham, who hoped with the concourse of Admiral Winter's fleet to limit the struggle to Kerry. He vainly sought help from the gentry of the county, who sympathized with Desmond, and were only brought to submission by a series of " drives." After the arrival of the new deputy, Lord Grey of Wilton, Pelham returned to England on the ground of health. He had retained his office as lieutenant-general of ordnance, and was now made responsible for debts incurred during his absence. Leicester desired his services in the Netherlands, but it was only after much persuasion that Elizabeth set him free to join the army by accepting a mortgage on his estates as security for his liabilities. The favour shown by Leicester to Pelham caused serious jealousies among the English officers, and occasioned a camp brawl in which Sir Edward Norris was injured. Pelham was wounded at Doesburg in 1586, and accompanied Leicester to England in 1587. Returning to the Netherlands in the same year he died at Flushing on the 24th of November 1587. His half-brother, Sir Edmund Pelham (d. 1606), chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland, was the first English judge to go on circuit in Ulster.

Sir William married Eleanor, daughter of Henry Neville, earl of Westmorland, and was the ancestor of the Pelhams of Brocklesby, Lincolnshire. In the fourth generation Charles Pelham died in 1763 without heirs, leaving his estates to his great-nephew Charles Anderson (1749-1823), who thereupon assumed the additional name of Pelham, and was created Baron Yarborough in 1794. His son Charles (1781-1846), who was for many years commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, was created earl of Yarborough and Baron Worsley in 1837. Charles Alfred Worsley, the 4th earl (b. 1859), exchanged the name of Anderson- Pelham for that of Pelham in 1905. He married in 1886 Marcia Lane-Fox, eldest daughter of the izth Baron Conyers, who became in 1892 Baroness Conyers in her own right.

Sir NICHOLAS PELHAM (1517-1560), an elder half-brother of Sir William Pelham, defended Seaford against the French in 1545, and sat for Arundel and for Sussex in parliament. He was the ancestor of the earls of Chichester. His second son, Sir THOMAS PELHAM (d. 1 6 24) , was created a baronet in 1 6 1 1 . His descendant, Sir THOMAS PELHAM, 4th baronet (c. 1650-1712), represented successively East Grinstead, Lewes and Sussex in parliament, and was raised to the House of Lords as Baron Pelham of Laughton in 1706. By his second marriage with Grace (d. 1700), daughter of Gilbert Holies, 3rd earl of Clare, and sister of John Holies, duke of Newcastle, he had five daughters, and two sons Thomas Pelham, earl of Clare, duke of Newcastle-on-Tyne and 1st duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme (see NEWCASTLE, DUKES OF), and Henry Pelham (q.v.Y The duke of Newcastle died without heirs, and the dukedom of Newcastleunder-Lyme descended to his nephew, Henry Fiennes Clinton, afterwards known as Pelham-Clinton, and his heirs, but the barony of Pelham of Laughton became extinct. In 1762 Newcastle had been created Baron Pelham of Stanmer, with reversion to his cousin and heir-male, THOMAS PELHAM (1728- 1805), who became commissioner of trade (1754), lord of the admiralty (1761-1764), comptroller of the household (1765- 1774), privy councillor (1765), surveyor-general of the customs of London (1773-1805), chief justice in eyre (1774-1775) and keeper of the wardrobe (1775-1782), and was created earl of Chichester in 1801. His third son, George (1766-1827), was successively bishop of Bristol, Exeter and Lincoln. THOMAS PELHAM, 2nd earl of Chichester (1756-1826), son of the 1st earl, was surveyor-general of ordnance in Lord Rockingham's ministry (1782), and chief secretary for Ireland in the coalition ministry of 1783. In 1795 he became Irish chief secretary under Pitt's government, retiring in 1798; he was home secretary from July 1801 to August 1803 under Addington, who made him chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster in 1803. Pelham went out of office in 1804, and in the next year succeeded to the earldom. He was joint postmaster-general from 1807 to 1823, and for the remaining three years of his life postmaster-general. His son and heir, HENRY THOMAS PELHAM (1804-1886), 3rd earl, was an ecclesiastical commissioner from 1850 until his death, and was greatly interested in various religious, philanthropic and educational movements; and two other sons were well-known men Frederick Thomas Pelham (1808-1861), who became a rear-admiral in 1858, and subsequently lord-commissioner of the admiralty, and John Thomas Pelham (1811-1894), who was bishop of Norwich from 1857 to 1893. The third earl's son, Walter John Pelham (1838-1892), succeeded his father in 1886, and his nephew Jocelyn Brudenell Pelham (b. 1871) became 6th earl of Chichester in 1905.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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