James Harington (lawyer)

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Sir James Harington of Exton (c. 1511 – 1592) was a 16th-century English public servant who fulfilled a number of legal, legislative and law enforcement duties and was knighted in 1565.


Public career

James Harington's legal career began at a young age when he was called to the Inner Temple in 1536. He served as Justice of the Peace in Kesteven, Lincolnshire in 1547, and in Rutland he became sheriff in 1553 and Justice of the Peace circa 1559. He continued to fulfill the duties of sheriff in 1560-61 and, following his knighthood in June 1565, returned to those duties in 1566–67, 1578–79 and, near the end of his life, in 1586–87. Additionally, by 1569, he served as Rutland Commissioner Musters.

He was elected as a knight of the shire (MP) for Rutland in seven Parliamentary elections between 1554 and 1589. [1]

Harington attended the funeral of Mary, Queen of Scots. [2]

Memorial to James Harington in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Exton, Rutland Memorial to James Harington.jpg
Memorial to James Harington in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Exton, Rutland

Parentage, marriage and descendants

Sir James Harington was the son of John Harington of Exton (died 1554) and Elizabeth Moton. In 1539 he married Lucy, the daughter of Sir William Sidney of Penshurst, Kent. Their children included;

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  1. "HARINGTON, James I (by 1517-92), of Exton, Rutland". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  2. John Nichols, Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, vol. 2 (London, 1823), p. 508 citing British Library Cotton Caligula C. IX f. 210.
  3. HMC 6th Report: Leconfield (London, 1877), p. 312.