Oliver St. John, 1st Earl of Bolingbroke

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About Oliver St. John, 1st Earl of Bolingbroke

Oliver St John, 1st Earl of Bolingbroke (1580?–1646), known from 1618 until 1624 as 4th Baron St John of Bletso, was an English nobleman and politician.


Born about 1580, he was son and heir of Oliver St John, 3rd Baron St John of Bletso, by his wife Dorothy Reid, daughter and heiress of Sir John Rede or Reid, of Oddington, Gloucestershire. The title had passed from Oliver St John, 1st Baron St John of Bletso to his eldest son, John, 2nd Baron, who died without male issue on 23 October 1596 (his only daughter, Anne, married William Howard, eldest son of Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham). The barony of Bletso devolved on his brother, Oliver St John, 3rd Baron (d. 1618), known for his opposition to the benevolence of 1614. The son was in parliament, elected as member for Bedfordshire in 1601, and again in 1603–4. In 1604 he served on the committee appointed to discuss the change in the royal title. On 3 June 1610 he was made knight of the Bath at the creation of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales. In September 1618 he succeeded his father; in the following year he sumptuously entertained James I at his house, and in 1620 he took his seat in the House of Lords. On 28 December 1624 he was created Earl of Bolingbroke (a manor that had belonged to the Beauchamp family, from which he was descended). He took his seat on 22 June 1625. In December 1626 he refused to contribute to the forced loan; but in 1638-9 he contributed towards the expenses of the Bishops' War. On 28 August 1640 he signed the petition of the twelve peers, attributing the evils of the day to the absence of parliaments, and urging Charles I to summon one. He remained with the Long Parliament in 1642 when Charles retired to York, and in February 1642-3 was named by the parliament lord lieutenant of Bedfordshire; in this capacity he took an active part in raising the militia and providing for the safety of the shire. In the same year he took the Solemn League and Covenant, and was appointed a lay member of the Westminster Assembly. On 10 November he was one of the commissioners named for the custody of the Great Seal. In 1645 he was excused attendance at the House of Lords, and he died in June or July 1646.


He married, in April 1602, Elizabeth, daughter of William Paulet and granddaughter of Sir George Paulet, brother of William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester. His eldest son Oliver St John (1603–1642) predeceased him, having married Arabella, eldest daughter of John Egerton, 1st Earl of Bridgewater, but having no issue. The earldom of Bolingbroke consequently passed to Oliver St John (1634?-1688), eldest son of Paulet St John (died 1638), second son of the first earl. On the death of Paulet St John, 3rd Earl, unmarried, in 1711, the earldom became extinct, while the barony of St John of Bletso passed to Paulet St Andrew St John, a descendant of Rowland, younger brother of the first earl of Bolingbroke. [edit]References

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "St. John, Oliver (1580?-1646)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

Oliver St. JOHN (1° E. Bolingbroke)

Born: 1565, London, England

Christened: 14 Jan 1565, Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire, England

Died: 23 Mar 1625/6, Keysoe, Bedfordshire, England

Buried: 23 Mar 1625/6, Keysoe, Bedfordshire, England

Father: Oliver St. JOHN (3° B. St. John of Bletsoe)

Mother: Dorothy READ

Married: Elizabeth PAULET (C. Bolingbroke) Apr 1602


1. Oliver St. JOHN

2. Francis St. JOHN

3. Dorothy St. JOHN

4. Elizabeth St. JOHN

5. Barbara St. JOHN

6. Anthony St. JOHN

7. Anne St. JOHN

8. Paulet St. JOHN

http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/STJOHN.htm#Oliver St. JOHN (1° E. Bolingbroke)

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Oliver St. John, 1st Earl of Bolingbroke's Timeline

Age 20
Bletsoe, Bedford, England, United Kingdom
Age 63