John Harington, M.P., of Kelston

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John Harington, M.P., of Kelston

Also Known As: "Herrington", "Harrington"
Birthplace: Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Death: 1654 (65-66)
Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John ‘the writer’ Harington, Kt., of Kelston and Mary Rogers
Husband of Lady Dionis Harington
Father of Phoebe Rous
Brother of Frances Egerton; Henry Harington; George Harington; Helena Chetwynd; James Harington and 2 others

Occupation: Politician, diarist
Managed by: Anne Langley
Last Updated:

About John Harington, M.P., of Kelston

John Harington, of Kelston was born 1589 at Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, the eldest son of Sir John ‘the writer’ Harington, Knt., of Kelston and Mary Rogers. He died in 1654 and was buried at Kelston.

He became a noted parliamentarian and diarist. His wife was Lady Dionis Harington



The "John Harrington" supposed to have drowned in Boston Harbor in 1630 was NOT a son of Sir John and Mary (Rogers) Harington of Kelston, Somerset. Their actual son John Harington (born in London, or at Kelston, 1588; d. Kelston 1654) served as a Member of Parliament for Kelston for many years before and during the English Civil War and kept a journal edited and published in 1977 by the Somerset Record Society as their publication volume for that year. In the introduction to this diary, the editors note a story from another source that the diarist John Harington was known for his anecdote was told that during the Civil War, when King Charles I encountered him (I believe during some negotiation), the King sniffed "That man's pride shows through the hole in his stocking" or equivalent phrase. Although his father had been the old Queen's godson, John Harington, M.P. was a Puritan and very much a Parliamentarian (explaining perhaps the King's less than delighted response). The Puritan son, deeply preoccupied with religious questions, seems humorless and much less sympathetic to modern sensibilities than his brilliant father.

John Harington (the son) married in 1613 Lady Dioness Ley [pronounced Lee] (1597-1674), daughter of James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough (d. 1628) by his first wife Mary Pettie, daughter of John Pettie (d. 1589) of Stoke Talmage, Oxfordshire (the 1st Earl of Marlborough married 3 times, the third wife being a niece of the notorious 1st Duke of Buckingham, but all the Ley children were by the first wife). John and Lady Dioness (Ley) Harington had a large family, never left England, and were buried in St. Nicholas Church, Kelston.

Their son and heir, Capt. John Harington, Esq. (1627-1700) married four times, and had children by each wife; the family suffered financially by having to provide lands and property for all the resulting children. In 1766 Capt. Harington's youngest son had to sell the Kelston estate and move into Bath. About 1860, when St. Nicholas church at Kelston, somewhat rundown, was badly remodeled and many fine old things destroyed, many of the Harington monuments were moved outside to the churchyard, but some of the wall tablets remain inside, where I saw them in 1982. They had escaped the attentions of whitewash-happy Victorian remuddlers who had painted over the last, fading vestiges of some medieval wall paintings.

For the Harington family of Kelston, see Rev. F.J. Poynton's Memoranda...of the Parish of Kelston, published in 4 parts, which is on Google Books; Part IV, p. 56, is a chart of that branch of the family which comes down to my great-grandfather. The author Rev. Poynton was the rector at Kelston in the late 19th century (he came well after the whitewashers). Another very good book on the Harington family of Kelston is The Harington Family (1959) by Ian Grimble.

No sixteenth- or seventeenth-century member of this family married a "Lady Anne Clinton" or came to New England.


Not the same as John Harrington, of Watertown

“Mary Rogers married Sir John Harington of Kelston (1561-November 20, 1612) and had at least nine children by him: Frances (b.c.1584), Henry (b.1589), George (b.1591), Helena (b.1591), James (b.1592), Edward (b.1593), Mary (b.1600), Hannah (b.c.1601), and Robert (b.1602).”



  • link to Francis John Poynton, “Memoranda, historical and genealogical, relating to the parish of Kelston in the County of Somerset.” Part III, 1880
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John Harington, M.P., of Kelston's Timeline

Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Age 66
Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Age 66
St. Nicholas Churchyard, Kelston, Bath and North East Somerset, England, United Kingdom