His father Sir Nicholas Wentworth (d. 1557) was chief porter of Calais. Paul Wentworth was of Puritan sympathies, and he first came into notice by the freedom with which in 1566 he criticized Elizabeth's prohibition of discussion in parliament on the question of her successor.
Paul, who was probably the author of the famous puritan devotional book The Miscellanie, or Regestrie and Methodicall Directorie of Orizons (London, 1615), died in 1593. He became possessed of Burnham Abbey through his wife, to whose first husband, William Tyldesley, it had been granted at the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.
His brother Peter Wentworth was also a prominent Puritan. The position of both Paul and Peter Wentworth has been exaggerated. In reality, although they did contend for freedom of speech (for which they were both imprisoned), neither had any impact. Graves refers to them as "standard bearers without an army" as they had no significant following.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.