Sir William Goring of Burton, Sussex
- Born: Bef 1500
- Marriage (1): Elizabeth Covert before 1521 1
- Died: 2 Mar 1554, London, GB
- Buried: 10 Mar 1554, St. Richard's Church, Burton Park, Duncton, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0QU, GB
Find a Grave ID: 176577048.
Family and Education
b. by 1500, 1st s. of John Goring of Burton by Constance, da. of Henry Dyke of Suss. m. by 1521, Elizabeth (d. 10 Nov. 1558), da. and h. of John Covert of Slaugham, 3s. inc. George † 2da. suc. fa. 1520. Kntd. 1526.2
Sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1530-1, 1535-6, 1550-1; j.p. Suss. 1532-d.; knight of the body by 1533; commr. musters, Suss. 1539, chantries 1548, relief 1550, church goods Suss., Chichester 1552; chamberlain, household of Queen Anne of Cleves 1540-6; gent. the privy chamber by 1547-d.3
William Goring's forbears took their surname from the village near Worthing where they lived until the late 15th century, when they settled at Burton, some three miles south of Petworth. Goring's father married a local heiress and thereby gained a modest estate, once belonging to the Dawtreys, which enabled John Goring and his descendants to take part in local government.4
Nothing has come to light about William Goring's upbringing or about his life in the years after he became head of the family. In 1526 the King made a progress through the southern counties and while in Sussex he knighted Goring. Although Goring was to make his career as a courtier, Household official and local administrator, it was not for four years after this honour that he continued his upward progress, his first shrievalty being followed by his appointment to the local bench, where he was soon to be rated indispensable. As a justice Goring came to the notice of Cromwell, and fragments of an official correspondence between them survive. In 1533 he attended the coronation of Anne Boleyn, where he acted as a server at the banquet, and not long afterwards he appears on a list of members of the royal household. He was serving his second term as sheriff when the north rebelled in 1536: on account of ill-health and official duties he excused himself from answering the summons to help suppress the rebellion, but he did muster troops which were sent northwards and he claimed to have thwarted any possibility of a rising in Sussex. In 1537 he attended the christening of Prince Edward and a year later his loyalty to the regime was instrumental in the uncovering of the Pole conspiracy. His dislike of Cardinal Pole was not simply a matter of personal incompatibility, for Goring apparently thought all popery suspect, particularly monks displaced by the Dissolution. This nascent Protestantism presumably commended him to Cromwell and helped to procure for him in 1539 the minister's approval of his nomination by Sir William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton, as one of the knights of the shire for Sussex in the Parliament of that year. No trace has been found of his part in this Parliament, but between its sessions he helped to demolish St. Richard's shrine in Chichester cathedral and after its dissolution he was the recipient with his fellow-knight Sir John Gage of a letter about the collection of the recently granted subsidy.5
It was doubtless with Cromwell's assistance that Goring obtained his chamberlainship in the household of Anne of Cleves, but he did not suffer in the palace revolution of the summer of 1540, retaining his post under the displaced Queen, although in August of that year he took the precaution of obtaining permission to return home before leaving the court. In 1543 he served with the military expedition against France and a year later he accompanied the King on the campaign which ended in the capture of Boulogne. His ascendancy may have led to his being re-elected with Gage for Sussex in either or both of the last two Parliaments of Henry VIII's reign, in 1542 and 1545, but the loss of the returns makes this uncertain. On leaving the service of Anne of Cleves, Goring became a gentleman of the privy chamber and at the accession of Edward VI he was given charge of some of the Howard property in Sussex before it was granted to Admiral Seymour. With Seymour he seems to have stood well, as his responsibility for these properties was renewed by the admiral, who also gave him other charges and leases in the county. In the autumn of 1547 Goring took his place in the Commons as the senior knight for the shire, his colleague being his 'cousin' John Palmer. He is not mentioned in the Journal. When Seymour was executed for treason he dissociated himself from the admiral and was confirmed in all the posts and leases which he had held of that patron; two years later his third shrievalty showed that he was trusted by the new government headed by the Duke of Northumberland. After the dissolution of the Parliament of 1547 he was granted, perhaps as a mark of Northumberland's favour, the reversion of two manors in Sussex held by Anne of Cleves, but it is unlikely that he sat in the Parliament of March 1553, which met under the duke's aegis, for in the course of that month he was ordered by the Council to inquire into sedition at Chichester: the names of the two knights for Sussex on this occasion have been lost, but one was almost certainly Sir Richard Sackville and the other may have been John Palmer.6
As Edward VI approached his end, Goring himself fell ill and on 6 May 1553, as he lay in his great chamber at Burton, he made his will. After asking to be buried in the parish church, he ordered the following inscription to be placed over his tomb:
O God forget my sins and impute them not unto me
But forgive me for thy dear son Jesus Christ's sake
And indict me according unto thy inscrutable mercy
For if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves
And there is no truth in us.
He divided his property, chattels and livestock between his wife, children and grandchildren. He also left to his wife all the plate given to him by Anne of Cleves and Edward VI and to his eldest son Henry the rich clothes presented by the King. After remembering his servants he appointed his son Henry executor and Thomas, 9th Lord La Warr, Sir John Kingsmill, John Covert, Edward Shelley and his own son George Goring supervisors. Unlike the King, Goring made a recovery which prolonged his life until 2 Mar 1554, when he died in London on a visit to Queen Mary. His body was taken by barge to Kingston-upon-Thames, and then overland to Burton where eight days later it was buried.7
Author: R. J.W. Swales
1. E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2].
2. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 45-46; Comber, Suss. Genealogies (Ardingly), 180; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxiii. 142; H. H. Leonard, 'Knights and knighthood' (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1970), 163.
3. LP Hen. VIII, v. ix, xiii-xv, xx; CPR, 1547-8, p. 90; 1548-9, p. 135; 1550-3, pp. 52, 142, 395-6; E179/69/48; Stowe 571, f. 30.
4. J. R. Mousley, 'Suss. country gentry in the reign of Eliz.' (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1956), 541-9.
5. LP Hen. VIII, ii, vi, x-xv; Leonard, 321; Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxvi. 133.
6. LP Hen. VIII, xvi-xxi; SP10/1, f. 28v; CPR, 1550-3, p. 300; HMC Bath, iv. 336; APC, iv. 238; Stowe 571, f. 55.
7. PCC 38 More; Machyn's Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 58; Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv. 105; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxiii. 142; Nairn and Pevsner, Suss. 123.
[The History of Parliament 1509-1558]
The said Sr. Wm. Goring (the common Ancestor) dyed on or about the year 1553 leaving Henry Goring his Eldest Son and Heir...
[An Acct. of Mr Goring's Title to the Manor of Balneth] 2
Memorial for Sir William Goring (d1553) and his wife Elizabeth (d1558): the shafts of the crested canopy have shallow incised renaissance decoration. However, it has a miniature pendant vault, the sides have Gothic panelling and there are cusped quatrefoils on the base. Though more modest, it is stylistically as mixed as contemporary monuments at Arundel or Boxgrove. Instead of effigies, kneeling brasses were placed on the back together with seemingly randomly distributed coats of arms and inscriptions. These have been ascribed to the Nayle Group, an offshoot of Group G of the London workshops. The effigy of the man is missing, as are those of the eight children. However, the surviving female effigy is unusual for uniquely for a woman then, Elizabeth Goring wears a tabard over her dress, probably because she was heiress of the Coverts of Slaugham.
Noted events in his life were:
• Manorial Estate, 1520-1554, Lancing Manor, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15, GB. 3 In 1400 Richard Radmyld died seised of Lancing, his brother and heir Ralph being named as lord in 1412. From 1426 Lancing descended with the Radmyld moiety of Broadwater (after 1457 the whole manor). After the death of William Radmyld in 1499, however, it diverged from that descent, passing after complicated transactions to Radmyld's cousin and co-heir John Goring of Burton, whose family had held lands in Lancing since the late 14th century. After John's death in 1520 the manor passed from father to son through Sir William (d. 1553/4), Sir Henry (d. 1594), Sir William (d. 1601-2), Sir Henry (d. 1626), Sir William (d. 1658), Sir Henry (d. 1671), and Sir William (d. 1724).
• Will, 16 Oct 1520. 4 John Goringe, 16th October, 12 Henry VIII, 1520. My body to be buried in the Church of Bukedon, nigh my father, and I will my executors make a tomb upon my burial, with this writing:
Also I will that a priest be found to pray for my soul in the Church of Bukedon for the space of seven years; I will that William Goringe, my son, have all my books at Gray's Inn, in London; I will that my evidences be safely kept in the Priory of Heringham, until William Goringe be of the full age of twenty-four years; to each of my four daughters unmarried, that is Sybil, Eleanor, Jane and Ann cl [100£]; to my sister Shirley a ring of gold value iv nobles; John Goringe my grandfather. And I constitute John Dautrey the elder, and the Prior of Heryngham, my executors, and my brother Robert Shirley, Cofferor to the King, surveyor.
• Title: Knight of the Body, 1526, Sussex, GB. King Henry VIII
• Residence: Burton Park, Duncton, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0QU, GB.
• Occupation: High Sheriff of Sussex, 1530-1531.
• Occupation: High Sheriff of Sussex, 1535-1536.
• Property, 1542, Chithurst Manor, Petersfield, West Sussex, GU31, GB. 5 By 1494 the manor was in the hands of James Bartelott, who in that year bequeathed it to his nephew Thomas Burdeville (son of his sister Elizabeth and John Burdeville). In default of issue to Thomas or his brother Richard it was to revert to the testator's nephew, Thomas Bartelott. Thomas Burdeville conveyed it in 1532 to John Warde and others; but this was presumably in trust for a settlement, as in 1542 Thomas Bartelott sold it to Sir William Goring, whose son George Goring, and his wife Mary, sold it in 1579 to Peter Bettesworth.
• Manorial Estate: Balneath Manor, Chailey, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 4AP, GB. 6 Balneath (or Balneth) formed part of the possessions of St. Pancras Priory at Lewes until the Dissolution. It was perhaps identical with the land which William de Warenne granted to the priory about 1095, being his demesne land 'from Beuehorne (Bevern) Bridge to Cheagele (Chailey) from the east road to the road beside the Bridge of Hamwde', which seems roughly to correspond with its present situation. The tenants of this manor had to carry 600 cartloads of wood yearly to the priory from Homewoodand Balneath Wood.
After the Dissolution Balneath, with the other possessions of the priory, was granted first to Thomas Cromwell in 1538, and later, in 1541,to Anne of Cleves for her life. The reversion of the manor was granted in 1552 to Sir William Goring, who died in 1554. His son Sir Henry obtained possession of it, and Balneath remained in the Goring family without a break until the end of the 19th century, being purchased from them about 1900 by Sir William Grantham, K.C., from whom it descended to his son William Wilson Grantham, esq., V.D., K.C., J.P.
• Occupation: High Sheriff of Sussex, 1550-1551.
• Will, 6 May 1553.
• Manorial Estate, 1554, Cokeham Manor, Cokeham, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15, GB. 7 In 1262 Cokeham manor was settled by Thomas de Brom on Walter de la Hyde and his wife Joan. Their daughter may have been Hawise, wife of Robert le Veel, who in 1304 sold the manor's reversion to Sir William Paynel and his wife Margaret. It was then held for life by Henry of Guildford. In 1316, when it was held of Sompting Peverel, Sir William Paynel gave it to Hardham priory to provide four secular chaplains. At the dissolution of the priory in 1534 the prior attempted to sell Cokeham to Richard Scrase and others, but the sale presumably never took effect.
Although the manor may have been given to Queen Anne Boleyn in 1534 it was later granted to Sir William Goring, patron of Hardham, who held it at his death in 1553/4. It then descended with Lancing in the Goring family until 1658, when it appears to have passed to Percy, the youngest son of the Sir William who died in that year. He held it in 1668, and died in 1697.
In the early 18th century the manor seems to have been held by trustees but by 1755 it belonged to Francis Winton. By 1795 he had been succeeded by his son Harry, and in 1836 Cokeham belonged to Caroline Winton, presumably Harry's widow. In 1838 the manor and circa 330 acres of land passed to George Wyndham of Petworth, thereafter descending with Coombes until 1920. In 1922 Charles Wyndham, Lord Leconfield, sold it, with c. 700 acres in Sompting, to F. E. Sparkes, whose son E. M. Sparkes held it by 1949.
Cokeham manor-house stood east of Cokeham Lane in 1840. In 1922 it was described as a square building of stuccoed brick. It survived in 1938 but by the 1960s the site had been built over.
William married Elizabeth Covert, daughter of John Covert of Slaugham, Sussex and Elizabeth Pelham, before 1521.1 (Elizabeth Covert was born about 1500,8 died on 16 Nov 1558 and was buried in St. Richard's Church, Burton Park, Duncton, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0QU, GB.)