John Lovelace, 3rd Baron Lovelace

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John Lovelace in the early 1660s

John Lovelace, 3rd Baron Lovelace (1641 – 27 September 1693) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1670 when he inherited the peerage as Baron Lovelace.


Lovelace was born at Hurley, Buckinghamshire, the son of John Lovelace, 2nd Baron Lovelace, and Lady Anne, 7th Baroness Wentworth and Baroness Le Despenser.[1] He matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, on 25 July 1655, and was awarded MA on 9 September 1661.[2]

In 1661, Lovelace was elected Member of Parliament for Berkshire in the Cavalier Parliament, and sat until 1670 when he inherited the peerage on the death of his father.[1] He developed a reputation as an ardent Whig; though he professed to be a Puritan in religion he was a keen sportsman, and notorious as a heavy drinker and gambler.[3]

Lovelace was also notably anti-Catholic: he created a scandal when a Catholic magistrate sent him a summons, and he used it in public to wipe his bottom, for which action he was severely reprimanded by the Privy Council, and threatened with prosecution.[4] Kenyon remarks that a more sensible ruler than James II would have let the matter pass as a rather tasteless joke. [5]

John Lovelace circa 1670

He was admitted into the confidence of those organising the Glorious Revolution to replace the Catholic James II with the Protestant William of Orange. In March 1688, he was summoned before the Privy Council, but was released on insufficient evidence.[3] He arranged secret meetings in a cellar at his Ladye Place home in Hurley. Once he heard that William had landed in England, he set out with 70 men to join him, but was captured and imprisoned in Gloucester Castle. After his release he entered Oxford with a force of 300 cavalry to occupy the city for William.[3]

Lovelace was Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners in 1689 and was Chief Justice in Eyre south of Trent.[2] In 1692, suffering from a life of alcoholic excess, Lovelace fell down a flight of stairs and never recovered.[3] He died in 1693 in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London at the age of about 53.[1]

Lovelace married in 1662 Martha Pye, the daughter and coheiress of Sir Edmund Pye, 1st Baronet, of Bradenham, Buckinghamshire. They had one son, John, who died in infancy, and three daughters. The peerage passed to his cousin William’s son, John Lovelace, 4th Baron Lovelace, who became a Governor of the New York colony.[3] Their daughter Martha married Henry Johnson, said to be 'the greatest shipbuilder and shipowner of his day'; and succeeded her grandmother as the 8th Baroness Wentworth.




 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSeccombe, Thomas (1893). "Lovelace, John". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 34. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 166–168. 

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Richard Powle
Sir Robert Pye
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
With: Richard Powle
Succeeded by
Richard Powle
Richard Neville
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Lovelace
Baron Lovelace
Succeeded by
John Lovelace
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Huntingdon
Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners
Succeeded by
Charles Beauclerk