James Palmer (1585–1658)

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Dorney Court, Buckinghamshire

Sir James Palmer (January 1585 – 15 March 1658) was an English Member of Parliament and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter.[1]

He was the third surviving son of Sir Thomas Palmer, 1st Baronet of Wingham, Kent and the younger brother of Roger Palmer, MP.

Well educated, he moved to court and by 1609 had become a servant of the Earl of Montgomery. Under his patronage he was elected MP for Queenborough in 1621. He was appointed a Groom of the Bedchamber in 1622 and a Gentleman Usher of the Privy Chamber in 1629.

In 1626 he was elected MP for Canterbury, sitting until 1628. He was knighted in 1629 and in 1631 entered Gray's Inn to study law. He purchased Dorney Court in Buckinghamshire from his wife's family in 1624.

He deputised for Sir Thomas Roe as Chancellor of the Order of the Garter from 1638 to 1641, following him as Chancellor in his own right. He was also an artist and miniature painter, an adviser to the royal collection, and governor of the Royal Tapestry Works, Mortlake from 1638. His portrait of James I is in the Victoria & Albert Museum collection, his portrait of the Earl of Southampton in the Fitzwilliam Collection, Cambridge and his portrait of the Earl of Northampton is in the Royal Collection.

He married twice; firstly Martha, the daughter of Sir William Garrard of Dorney Court, with whom he had 2 sons and 2 daughters, and secondly Catherine, the daughter of Sir William Herbert of Powis Castle, Montgomery and the widow of Sir Robert Vaughan of Llwydiarth, Montgomery, with whom he had a further 3 sons and a daughter.

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