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George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich (28 April 1585 – 6 January 1663) was an English soldier.

He was the son of George Goring of Hurstpierpoint and Ovingdean, Sussex, and of Anne Denny, sister of Edward Denny, 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 and became a favourite at court, benefitting largely from monopolies granted by King Charles I. He became Baron Goring in 1628, and a privy councillor in 1639.

When the troubles between Charles and his Parliament became acute, Goring devoted his fortune freely to the royal cause; and the king in November 1644 renewed for him the title of Earl of Norwich which had become extinct at his uncle's 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 proceedings were revealed to the parliament in January 1644 by an intercepted letter to Henrietta Maria. He was consequently impeached of high treason, and prudently remained abroad until 1647, when he received a pass from the parliament under a pretext of seeking reconciliation.

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. 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 formed under John Bradshaw to try Norwich and four others. All five 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 expended in the king's service a pension of 2000 pounds per year was granted him.

Norwich died at Brentford on 6 January 1663. By his wife Mary Nevill (died 1648), daughter of the 8th Baron Bergavenny, 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.

References

  1. ^ Goringe, George in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ Barbara Donagan, ‘Goring, George, first earl of Norwich (1585–1663)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, accessed 30 Dec 2008
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Jermyn?
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
1639–1644
Vacant
Preceded by
The Earl of Morton
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard
1644–1649
Vacant Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard
1660–1662
Succeeded by
The Viscount Grandison
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Norwich
1644–1663
Succeeded by
Charles Goring
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