Bennet, Sir John

, knt. grandfather to the preceding, and second son of sir Richard Bennet, was created on the 6th of July, 1589, doctor of laws by the university of Oxford, having been one of the proctors there. He was afterwards vicar-general in spirituals to the archbishop of York, and prebendary of Langtoft in the church of York. In the 24th of ELz. bearing the title of doctor of laws, he was in commission with the lord-keeper Egerton, the lord-treasurer Buckhurst, and several other noblemen, for the suppression of heresy. He was also in that reign returned to parliament for the city of York, and was a leading member of the house of commons, as appears from several of his speeches in Townshend’s collections. He received the honour of knighthood from king James before his coronation, on the 23d of July 1603, at Whitehall, and was made in that reign chancellor to queen Anne (consort of king James), judge of the prerogative court of Canterbury, and chancellor to the archbishop of York. In the beginning of 1617, he was sent ambassador to Brussels to question the archduke, in behalf of his master the king of Great Britain, concerning a libel written and published, as it was supposed, by Erycius Puteanus, but he neither apprehended the author, nor suppressed the book, until he was solicited by the king’s agent there: he only interdicted it, and suffered the author to fly out of his dominions. In 1620, sir John Bennet being entitled judge of the prerogative court of Canterbury, was in a special commission with the archbishop of Canterbury, and other noblemen, to put in execution the laws against all heresies, great errors in matters of faith and religioH, &c. and the same year bearing the title of chancellor to the archbishop of York, he was commissioned with the archbishop of York, and others, to execute all manner of ecclesiastical | jurisdiction within the province of York. He died in the parish of Christ church in London, in the beginning of 1627, having had issue by Anne his wife, daughter of Christopher Weekes of Salisbury, in the county of Wilts, esq. sir John lien net, his son and heir; sir Thomas Bennet, knt. second son, doctor of the civil law, and master in chancery; and Matthew, third son, who died unmarried. His eldest son, sir John Bennet of Dawley, received the honour of knighthood in the life-time of his father, at Theobalds, on the 15th of June, 1616. He married Dorothy, daughter of sir John Crofts of Saxham, in the county of Norfolk, knt. by whom he had issue six sons, the second of whom was afterwards created earl of Arlington. This account drawn up also by Dr. Campbell as a note to his life of Arlington, partakes of the partiality of that account by suppressing that in 1621, certain mal-practices were detected in the judicial conduct of sir John, and he was committed to the custody of the sheriffs of London, and afterwards to prison, fined 20,000l. and deprived of his offices. In consequence of this, according to Mr. Lodge, he died in indigence and obscurity, in the parish of Christ church, in Surrey, not in London, at the time mentioned above; but another account says that he was merely j*equired to find security to that amount for his appearance to answer to the charges brought against him. If the fine was imposed, wo may conclude it was remitted; for in a letter from lord Bacon to king James, we read these words, ie Your majesty hath pardoned the like (corruption) to sir John Bennet, between whose case and mine (not being partial to myself, but speaking out of the general opinion), there was as much difference, I will not say, as between black and white, but as between black and grey or ash-coloured." 1

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Biog. Brit, Lodge’s Illustrations, vol. Hi. Coote’s Catalogue of English Civilians