John Lenthall (Roundhead)

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Sir John Lenthall (c. 1625–1681) was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was elected M.P. for Gloucester in 1645 and was knighted by Oliver Cromwell in 1658. After the Restoration he was made governor of Windsor Castle in 1660 and Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1672. He was knighted by Charles II in 1677.[1]


John Lenthall was the son of William Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Ambrose Evans of Loddington in Northamptonshire. At the age of 14 he matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford on 12 September 1640 and entered Lincoln's Inn the same year.[2][3]

Lenthall was elected Member of Parliament for Gloucester in 1645.[4] He was one of the judges appointed for the trial of Charles I, but did not participate in the trial.[3] He was one of the Six Clerks in Chancery, 9 March 1657.[3][5] He was knighted by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell on 9 March 1658.[6][lower-alpha 1] On 18 January 1660, he was made colonel of a regiment of foot and Governor of Windsor Castle.[7] Lenthall was returned to the Convention Parliament for Abingdon, but was expelled from the house on 12 May 1660.[8] In 1672 he was Sheriff of Oxfordshire.[2] His Cromwellian knighthood was not recognised after the Restoration and on 13 March 1677 Charles II knighted him at Whitehall. He died at Besselsleigh on 9 November 1681,[2] and was buried in the parish church at Besselsleigh in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), adjoining his country estate.[5] Wood terms him "the grand braggadocio and liar of the age he lived in".[9]


His first wife was Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Bennet, an alderman of London.[5] After her death, he married Mary Bluett, a daughter of Sir John Bluett (d.1634) of Holcombe Rogus in Devon and widow of Sir John Stonehouse, Bt. They had three children: William, his successor, John and James (died 1686). Lenthall third wife was Catherine, daughter of Eusebius Andrews, of Edmonton, Middlesex.[10] They had no children.[5]


  1. Mark Noble records that the Lord Protector granted John Lenthal a baronetcy, but give no date for the honour. It is not clear how Mark Noble drew this conclusion, and having reviewed the sources, including Masson's Life of Milton and the [old] Parliamentary History (vol. xxi, p. 220), George Cokayne concluded that Nobel was mistaken.[3]
  1. Lee 1903, p. 767.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Firth 1893, p. 60.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Cokayne 1903, p. 8.
  4. Firth 1893, p. 60 cites Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, iii. 902.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Burke 1833, p. 179.
  6. Firth 1893, p. 60 cites Le Neve, Pedigrees of Knights, p. 324; Mercurius Politicus, 4–11 March 1657.
  7. Firth 1893, p. 60 cites Commons' Journals, vii. 814.
  8. Firth 1893, p. 60 cites Commons' Journals, viii. 24.
  9. Firth 1893, p. 60 cites Wood, Athenæ, iii. 902.
  10. Helms & Jaggar 1983.


  • Burke, John (1833). A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. p. 179.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Helms, M. W.; Jaggar, Geoffrey (1983). "Lenthall, John (c.1625-81), of Burford Priory, Oxon. and Besselsleigh, Berks.". In Henning, B.D. (ed.). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690. Boydell and Brewer.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1903). "Lenthall, John". Dictionary of National Biography. Index and Epitome. Cambridge University Press. p. 767.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Cokayne, George Edward (1903). Complete baronetage: 1649 – 1664. 3. Exeter: W. Pollard & Company. pp. 8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainFirth, C.H. (1893). [ "Lenthall, William" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 60.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Singleton
Henry Brett
Member of Parliament for Gloucester
With: Thomas Pury, senior
Succeeded by
Gloucester was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
Preceded by
Laurence Singleton
James Stephens
Member of Parliament for Gloucester
With: Thomas Pury, senior
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Massey
James Stephens