Online Encyclopedia

PETER WENTWORTH (1530-1596)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 521 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PETER WENTWORTH (1530-1596) was the elder brother of the above-mentioned Paul, and like his brother was a prominent puritan leader in parliament, which he first entered as member for Barnstaple in 1571. He took a firm attitude in support of the liberties of parliament against encroachments of the royal prerogative, on which subject he delivered a memorable speech on the 8th of February 1576, for which after examination by the Star Chamber he was committed to the Tower. In February 1587 Sir Anthony Cope (1548-1614) presented to the Speaker a bill abrogating the existing ecclesiastical law, together with a puritan revision of the Prayer Book, and Wentworth supported him by bringing forward certain articles touching the liberties of the House of Commons; Cope and Wentworth were both committed to the Tower for interference with the queen's ecclesiastical prerogative. In 1593 Wentworth again suffered imprisonment for presenting a petition on the subject of the succession to the Crown; and it is probable that he did not regain his freedom, for he died in the Tower on the loth of November 1596. While in the Tower he wrote A Pithie Exhortation to her Majesty for establishing her Successor to the Crown, a famous treatise preserved in the British Museum. Peter Wentworth was twice married; his first wife, by whom he had no children, was a cousin of Catherine Parr, and his second a sister of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's secretary of state. His third son, Thomas Wentworth (c. 1568-1623), was an ardent and some-times a violent opponent of royal prerogative in parliament, of which he became a member in 1604, continuing to represent the city of Oxford from that year until his death. He was called to the bar in 1594 and became recorder of Oxford in 1607. Another son, Walter Wentworth, was also a member of parliament.
End of Article: PETER WENTWORTH (1530-1596)
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