(5th M. Winchester)
Born: 1598, probably Basing House, Hampshire, England
Died: 5 Mar 1675, Englefield House, Berkshire, England
Father: William PAULET (4° M. Winchester)
Mother: Lucy CECIL (M. Winchester)
Married 1: Jane SAVAGE (M. Winchester) 18 Dec 1622, London, Middlesex, England (Licence)
1. Charles PAULET (1º D. Bolton)
Married 2: Honora BURGH (M. Winchester)
2. Anne PAULET
Married 3: Isabel HOWARD-STAFFORD (M. Winchester) 1669
© Copyright of David Nash Ford.
Biography reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Berkshire History Website.
Third, but eldest surviving, son of William, 4th Marquis of Winchester, by Lucy (d. 1614), second daughter of Sir Thomas Cecil, afterwards 2nd Lord Burghley and Earl of Exeter. From 1598 until 1624, he was styled Lord Paulet. He kept terms at Exeter College, Oxford, but did not matriculate and, on 7 Dec 1620, was elected Member of Parliament for St. Ives, Cornwall. He was summoned to the House of Lords as Baron St. John on 10 Feb 1624, became Captain of Netley Castle in 1626 and succeeded to the Marquisate on 4 Feb 1629, becoming also keeper of Pamber Forest, Hampshire. In order to pay off the debts incurred by his father's lavish hospitality, he passed many years in comparative seclusion. But on 18 Feb 1639, he wrote to Secretary Windebank that he would be quite ready to attend the King on his Scottish expedition 'with alacrity of heart and in the best equipage his fortunes would permit'.
Winchester being a Roman Catholic, Basing House, Hampshire, his chief seat - on every pane of which he had written within a diamond 'Aimez Loyauté' - became, at the outbreak of the Civil War, the great resort of the Queen's friends in South-West England. It occurred to the King's military advisers that the house might be fortified and garrisoned to much advantage, as it commanded the main road from the Western Counties to London. The journal of the Siege of Basing House forms one of the most remarkable features of the Civil War. It commenced in Aug 1643, when the whole force with which Winchester had to defend it, in addition to his own inexperienced people, amounted only to one hundred musketeers sent to him from Oxford, on 31 Jul under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Peake. He subsequently received an additional force of 150 men under Colonel Rawdon. In this state of comparative weakness, Basing resisted, for more than three months, the continued attack of the combined Parliamentary troops of Hampshire and Sussex, commanded by five colonels of reputation. The Catholics at Oxford successfully conveyed provisions to Basing under Colonel Gage. An attempt by Lord Edward Paulet, Winchester's youngest brother, then serving under him in the house, to betray Basing to the enemy was frustrated and he was turned out of the garrison. On 11 Jul 1644, Colonel Morley summoned Winchester to surrender. Upon his refusal, the besiegers tried to batter down the water-house. On 13 Jul, a shot passed through Winchester's clothes and, on the 22nd, he was struck by a ball. A second summons to surrender was sent by Colonel Norton on 2 Sep, but was at once rejected. About 11 Sep, the garrison was relieved by Colonel Gage who, being met by Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson by the Grange, routed Morley's and Norton's men and entered the house. He left with Winchester one hundred of Colonel Hawkins' white-coated men and, after taking Basingstoke, sent provisions to Basing. Meanwhile, Winchester, with the white-coats and others under Major Cuffaud and Captain Hull, drove the besiegers out of Basing. On 14 Nov, Gage again arrived at Basing and, on the 17th, the Siege was raised. Norton was succeeded by a stronger force under the command of Colonel Harvey, which had no better fortune. At length, Sir William Waller advanced against it at the head of seven thousand horse and foot. Still Winchester contrived to hold out. But after the Battle of Naseby, Cromwell marched from Winchester upon Basing and, after a most obstinate conflict, took it by storm on 16 Oct 1645. Winchester was brought in a prisoner, with his house flaming around him. He broke out and said "that if the King had no more ground in England but Basing House, he would adventure it as he did, and so maintain it to the uttermost", comforting himself in this matter "that Basing House was called Loyalty". Thenceforward, he was called the 'great loyalist'. What remained of Basing, which Hugh Peters, after its fall, told the House of Commons 'would have become an emperor to dwell in', the Parliamentarians levelled to the ground, after pillaging it of money, jewels, plate and household stuff to the value, it is said, of £200,000.
Winchester was committed to the Tower on a charge of high treason on 18 Oct 1615 and his estates were ordered to be sequestered. An order was made for allowing him £5 a week out of his property on 15 Jan 1646. Lady Winchester, who had escaped from Basing two days before its fall, was sent to join her husband in the Tower on 31 Jan and a weekly sum of £10, afterwards increased to £15, was ordered to be paid her for the support of herself and her children, with the stipulation that the latter were to be educated as Protestants. An ordinance for the sale of Winchester's land was passed on 30 Oct and, by the Act of 16 Jul 1651, a portion was sold by the trustees for the sale of forfeited estates. On 7 Sep 1647, Winchester was allowed to drink the waters at Epsom and stayed there by permission of Parliament for nearly six months. The House of Lords, on 30 Jun 1648.
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