Life and Children of Sir Gilbert Pickering

Life of Sir Gilbert Pickering

Baronet of Nova Scotia 1st


Sir Gilbert Pickering was the son of Sir John Pickering of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire by Susannah Dryden, an aunt of John Dryden the Poet Laureate. Gilbert was baptised at Titchmarsh on 10th March 1610-11. He was admitted to Gray's Inn on 6th November 1629 and created [1st] Baronet of Nova Scotia at some uncertain date [circa 1632]. In the Short Parliament of 1640 and throughout the Long Parliament, he represented the County of Northampton.

At the beginning of the war he adopted the Parliamentary cause and, as Deputy-Lieutenant and one of the Parliamentary Committee, was active in raising troops and money for Parliament in his county. In the Revolution of 1648 he sided with the Army and was appointed one of the King's judges, but attended two sittings of the Court only and did not sign the Death Warrant. Nevertheless he was successively appointed a member of each of the five Councils of State of the Commonwealth, of the smaller Council installed by the Army on 29th May 1653, and of that nominated in accordance with the Instrument of Government in December 1653.

He sat for Northamptonshire in the "Little Parliament" of 1653 and in the two Parliaments called by Cromwell as Protector.

To the Parliament of 1656 his election is said to have been secured only by the illegal pressure which Major-General Butler put upon the voters. On 12th July 1655 Gilbert was appointed one of the Committee for the Advancement of Trade. In December 1657 he was summoned to Cromwell's House of Lords and about the same time was appointed Lord Chamberlain to the Protector. While in this capacity he employed his cousin, John Dryden, as secretary.

Pickering signed the proclamation of the Council of State declaring Richard Cromwell his father's successor,and continued to act both as Councillor and Chamberlain under his government. Though qualified to sit in the restored Long Parliament, he took little part in its proceedings and obtained leave of absence in August 1659. When the Army quarrelled with the Parliament he once more became active and was appointed by the officers in October 1659 one of the Committee of Safety and, in December following, one of the Conservators of Liberty. With the re-establishment of the Parliament in December 1659 Pickering's public career came to an end, and he owed his escape at the Restoration to the influence of his brother-in-law, Edward Montague, Earl of Sandwich. Pickering's name was inserted in the list of persons excepted by the Commons from the Act of Indemnity for penalties not reaching to life, and to be inflicted by a subsequent Act for the purpose. But thanks to Montague's intervention he obtained a pardon, was not excepted from the Act of Indemnity, and was simply punished by perpetual incapacitation from office.

Sir Gilbert's wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of Sir Sidney Montague. Samuel Pepys, the diarist, makes one or two minor references to Lady Elizabeth. On 14th June 1660 he returned to her a quantity of plate which she had recently loaned to her brother, Sir Edward Montague. Some five days later, "Lady Pickering told me the story of her husband's case, and desired my assistance with my Lord (the Earl of Sandwich,her brother) and did give me, wrapped up in paper, 5 in silver". Eight years later, on 14th July 1668; "This afternoon my Lady Pickering came to see us; I busy, saw her not. But how natural it is for us to slight people out of power, and for people out of power to stoop to see those that while in power they condemned!".

It is not clear when Sir Gilbert obtained his conditional pardon and it may be that, while Lady Pickering considered it worthwhile to offer a goodly bribe to Pepys, they were compelled to live in a somewhat frugal manner. This is borne out by his entry for 29th November 1660 (the Restoration year); (The Lord Mayor's) Show being over, we got as far as Paul's with much ado where I left my Lady in the coach and went on foot with my Lady Pickering to her lodging, which was a poor one in Blackfriars, where she never invited me to go in at all, which methought very strange". His only reference to Sir Gilbert himself comes on 21st October 1668; "But I hear that Sir Gilbert Pickering is lately dead, about three days since, which makes some sorrow there, though not much, because of his being long expected to die, having been in a lethargy long".

Sir Gilbert was buried on 17th October 1668 at Titchmarsh and was succeeded in the Baronetcy by his son, John who passed the title to his son, Gilbert, to his son, Edward who died without issue July 3rd 1749, at which time the title became extinct. (The title of Baronet is only passed through the direct male line.)


Notes for the above essay [by Ken Pickering] were compiled from: 1/ The Dictionary of National Biography, vol.XLV; 2/ The Visitation of Northants,1681,published by the Harleian Society,vol.LXXXVII.; 3/ Pepys' Diaries.

Pepys' first reference to Elizabeth is dated 15th September 1663; "-- to Hinchinbrooke -- here I saw Mrs. Betty Pickering, who is a very well-bred and comely lady, but very fat". Praise indeed! He again makes passing reference to her on 19th February of the folowing year when; "Took my wife and, taking a coach, went to visit my Ladies Jemima and Paulina Montague and Mrs. Elizabeth Pickering, whom we find at their father's new house in Lincoln's Inn Fields".








Sir Gilbert Pickering, Baronet of Nova Scotia 1st [5 Jun 1638]
Born: 11 Feb 1610/1611 - baptised 10 Mar 1610/1611
Place: Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England
Died: Oct 1668 - buried 17 Oct 1668 according to Parish Register
Place: London, England - buried in Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England
Married: Sydney [Elizabeth] Montegue - daughter of Sir Sydney Montegue
Born: circa 1620
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Died: 1679
Place: London, England - buried in Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England
Date Married: circa 1639
Married/Associated: Elizabeth Pepys - daughter of John Pepys
Born:
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Died:
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Date Married/Associated: circa 1664

business loans

Children of Sir Gilbert Pickering, Baronet of Nova Scotia 1st

son of Sir John Pickering and Susannah Dryden

and Elizabeth Montegue

daughter of Sir Sydney Montegue and Paulina Pepys


Sir John Pickering, Baronet of Nova Scotia 2nd [1668]
Born: 1640
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Died: 1703
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Montegue Pickering
Born: 1654
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Died: 1694
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Sidney Pickering
Born: circa 1655
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Date Married: 1673


Lewis Pickering
Born: 16 April 1656
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Gilbert Pickering
Born: 1656
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Francis Pickering
Born: 1657
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Jane Pickering
Born: 1659
Place: London, England
Died: 1685
Place: At sea enroute to the colonies
Married: George Stileman
Born: 1654
Place: Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, England
Died: 7 Nov 1728
Place: Wethersfield, CT
Date Married: 1677


Theophilus Pickering
Born: 1662
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Died: 1710
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Oliver Pickering
Born: circa 1663
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Elizabeth Pickering
Born: circa 1664
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Frances Pickering
Born: circa 1665
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Ann Pickering
Born: circa 1666
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Mary Pickering
Born: circa 1667
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The first account of the life of Sir Gilbert Pickering along with the data related to his children has been graciously provided by Ken Pickering of England in February 1999. Ken Pickering is the Pickering Family Historian
Additional data and information related to Jane Pickering is extracted from The Stillman Family published by Frances Duane Stillman in 1989
The Pickering Coat of Arms is borrowed from Designs of Wonder

Additional information and data has obtained from ancestry.com