Englefield History

John Paulet, 5th Marquess of Winchester


John Paulet had the manor from 1635 as well as Basing House, which he defended heroically but unsuccessfully in 1645. Paulet was imprisoned in the Tower and his lands, including Englefield, were sequestered. Paulet was released some time in the 1650s and retuned to Englefield where he remained until his death in 1675. The Lysons in 1813 trace a simple line of descent from Sir Francis Walsingham, who they say had been granted the manor by Queen Elizabeth after Sir Francis Englefield was attainted, through his daughter and granddaughter (Paulet's second wife). This is not true, however, for there is documentary evidence of an alternative passage.


His ledger stone is at the east end of the south aisle, where according to both the Lysons (1813) and Fletcher (1841) this monument originally stood, together with those of his second wife Honora de Burgh, son John and daughter, also Honora. The monument, erected by his third wife Isabella, daughter of Viscount Stafford, now stands on the north wall of the nave, probably having been moved there during the rebuilding in the 1850s: it was certainly there by 1911. Unusually the monument does not bear the name of the man it commemorates but carries his arms, impaled with those of his third wife, and surmounted by a marquess’s cornet and supported by a unicorn and a swan. Underneath is the motto: “Donec pax reddit terris”.


In recognition of his stout defence of Basing the monument carries an inscription by the Poet Laureat John Dryden:


He who in impious times untainted stood,

And ‘midst Rebellion durst be just and good;

Whose Armes asserted, and whose sufferings more

Confirm’d the cause for which he fought before,

Rests here, rewarded by an Heavenly Prince

For what his earthly could not recompence.

Pray (Reader) that such times no more appeare,

Or, if they happen, learn true Honour here.

Ark of thy Age’s faith and Loyalty,

Which (to preserve them) Heav’n confined in thee.

Few subjects could a King like them deserve,

And fewer such a King so well could serve.

Blest King, blest Subject, whose exalted state

By suffrings rose, and gave the law to fate.

Such Soules are rare, but mighty patterns given

To Earth, were meant for ornaments to Heaven.


On the death of John Paulet the estate passed to Francis, his younger son by his second wife, Honora de Burgh, the elder son John having died in 1660.

© 2020 Richard J Smith

Englefield History

Englefield History
Englefield History
Englefield History