John Lovelace was the second, but eldest surviving, son of Richard, 1st Lord Lovelace of Hurley and his second wife, Margaret, only daughter and heiress of William Dodsworth, citizen and merchant tailor of the City of London. He matriculated from Christchurch College, Oxford on 15th June 1632, at the age of sixteen, and succeeded to his fatherís title and estates, centred on Ladye Place, only two years later. On 11th July 1638, he married, at St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Lady Anne, daughter and eventual heiress of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Cleveland, by whom he had one son and three daughters. It was this 'Lady Anne' to whom the poet (and distant relative), Richard Lovelace dedicated his 'Lucasta.' John was a staunch Royalist and when Charles I summoned the nobility to attend him "with horses and arms" for an expedition to Scotland, Lovelace was one of the few not to refuse. He wrote that he would attend with ten ready-furnished horses if the King were to be in the army in person. In June 1642, Lovelace was one of the forty counsellors to sign the declaration that Charles I had no intention of making war on the Parliament. He then joined the King in Oxford in January 1643 to sign the letter to the Earl of Essex in the interests of peace and, later, the letter to the Privy Council and the conservators of the peace in Scotland. That same year, he made some clumsy attempts at dividing Parliament on the issue of peace by writing to Sir Harry Vane Junior and other parliament men on the subject. He was declared a delinquent by Parliament on 24th March 1645 and was sent to the Tower of London. Being assessed to pay a fine of £18,373-1s-10d, he was, after numerous petitions, reviews, abatements and delays, successful in getting his sequestration suspended after payment of about only £4,000. At the Restoration of the Monarchy, Lovelace was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, from 1660 to 1668, and, on 24th September 1670, steward of the old Royal palace at Woodstock. He died, much impoverished, at the palace gatehouse on 24th September 1670 and was buried in the old priory church in Hurley.
Heavily Edited from Sidney Lee's
'Dictionary of National Biography' (1893)
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