Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet

Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet

Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet (c. 1645 – 28 January 1697) was an English Jacobite conspirator, who succeeded to the Baronetcy of Fenwick on the death of his father in 1676

He was the eldest son of Sir William Fenwick, or Fenwicke, a member of an old Northumberland family. He entered the army, becoming major-general in 1688, but before this date he had been returned in succession to his father as one of the Members of Parliament for Northumberland, which county he represented from 1677 to 1687. He was a strong partisan of King James II, and in 1685 was one of the principal supporters of the act of attainder against the Duke of Monmouth; but he remained in England when William III ascended the throne in the Revolution of 1688.

He began at once to plot against the new king, for which he underwent a short imprisonment in 1689. Renewing his plots on his release, he publicly insulted Queen Mary in 1691, and it is practically certain that he was implicated in the schemes for assassinating William which came to light in 1695 and 1696. After the seizure of his fellow-conspirators, Robert Charnock and others, he remained in hiding until the imprudent conduct of his friends in attempting to induce one of the witnesses against him to leave the country led to his arrest in June in 1696.

To save himself he offered to reveal all he knew about the Jacobite conspiracies; but his confession was a farce, being confined to charges against some of the leading Whig noblemen, which were damaging, but not conclusive. By this time his friends had succeeded in removing one of the two witnesses, and in these circumstances it was thought that the charge of treason must fail. The government, however, overcame this difficulty by introducing a bill of attainder, which after a long and acrimonious discussion passed through both Houses of Parliament (Act "8 & 9 Will. III c. 4"). His wife persevered in her attempts to save his life, but her efforts were fruitless, and Fenwick was beheaded in London on the 28 January 1697, with the same formalities as were usually observed at the execution of a peer.

His difficuties added to his existing financial problems and in 1688 he sold the rump of the family estates and Wallington Hall to Sir William Blackett for £4000 and an anuity of £2000 a year.

By his wife, Mary (d. 1708), daughter of Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, he had three sons and one daughter, all of whom died young, and are buried like Fenwick at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Macaulay says that of all the Jacobites, the most desperate characters not excepted, he (Fenwick) was the only one for whom William felt an intense personal aversion. Fenwick's hatred of the king is said to date from the time when he was serving in Holland, and was reprimanded by William, then Prince of Orange. A horse, "White Sorrel," owned by Fenwick was among items of his estate confiscated by the Crown on his attainder and a fall from that horse was responsible for William's death. The horse purportedly stumbled when it stepped on a mole hill. In recognition of this, the Jacobites' secret toast was to 'The little Gentleman in Black Velvet.'


* [ Northumbrian Jacobites]

External links

An Act to attaint Sir John Fenwick Bt of High Treason. [Ch IV. Rot. Parl. 8&9] ', Statutes of the Realm: vol 7: 1695-1701 (1820), p. 165. URL: Date viewed: 18 Sept 2007.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Fenwick — may refer to:*Sir John Fenwick, 1st Baronet (c. 1570–c. 1658) *Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet (c. 1645–1697) *John Fenwick Burgoyne Blackett …   Wikipedia

  • Fenwick Baronets — The Fenwick of Fenwick Baronetcy was created in the Baronetage of England for Sir John Fenwick of Wallington, Northumberland on 9 June 1628.The ancient family of Fenwick had its seat from the 12th century at Fenwick Tower, Matfen, Northumberland …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Bennet, 3rd Earl of Tankerville — (6 September 1716 – 27 October 1767), styled Lord Ossulston between 1722 and 1753, was a British peer and politician. Contents 1 Background 2 Political career 3 Family 4 References …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle — For other people named Charles Howard, see Charles Howard (disambiguation). The Right Honourable The Earl of Carlisle PC …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle — For other people named Charles Howard, see Charles Howard (disambiguation). The Earl of Carlisle. Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle (1629 – 24 February 1685) was an English politician and military leader. The first in the Howard line of earls …   Wikipedia

  • 1658 in England — Events from the year 1658 in the The Protectorate.Incumbents*Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell (to 3 September), Richard CromwellEvents* 4 February Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Second Protectorate Parliament.cite… …   Wikipedia

  • High Sheriff of Northumberland — This is a list of the High Sheriffs of the English county of Northumberland.The High Sheriff is the oldest secular office under the Crown. Formerly the High Sheriff was the principal law enforcement officer in the county but over the centuries… …   Wikipedia

  • William Bruce (architect) — Infobox Architect caption = Painting of Bruce by John Michael Wright, c. 1664. name = Sir William Bruce nationality = Scottish birth date = circa 1630 birth place = Blairhall, Fife, Scotland death date = 1 January 1710 (aged circa 79) death place …   Wikipedia

  • Williams Baronets — There have been twenty Baronetcies created for persons with the surname Williams, eight in the Baronetage of England, three in the Baronetage of Great Britain and nine in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. Only six of the creations are extinct …   Wikipedia

  • Constable of the Tower — General Sir Richard Dannatt, dressed in the ceremonial attire of the Constable of the Tower The Constable of the Tower is the most senior appointment at the Tower of London. In the middle ages a constable was the person in charge of a castle when …   Wikipedia