Sir John Germain, 1st Baronet

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Sir John Germain, 1st Baronet (circa May 1650 – 11 December 1718) was a British soldier and politician.

Memorial to Sir John Germain in St Peter's Church, Lowick

Of Dutch descent, Germain was thought to be an illegitimate half-brother of William III of England.[1] He was created a baronet in the Baronetage of England on 25 March 1698.[2] His affair with Mary, wife of the seventh Duke of Norfolk led to the breakdown of that marriage, and a much publicised action for criminal conversation by the Duke, which was followed by the public in avid detail. However the jury, which apparently thought no more of the Duke's character than Sir John's, awarded only £66 in damages, rather than the £100000 he had sought. After an 8 year battle, the Duke finally obtained a divorce in 1700. The Duchess, who succeeded to the estate of Drayton, Northamptonshire and as Baroness Mordaunt on her father's death, later married Germain as his first wife. On her death in 1705 he inherited Drayton.[1]

On 8 September 1713, during the general election of that year, he was elected Member of Parliament for Morpeth, serving until the next general election in 1715.[3] He was then elected for Totnes in a by-election on 22 April 1717, following the death of Arthur Champernowne. He sat for this seat until his death the following year at the age of sixty-eight,[4] when his baronetcy became extinct.[2]

Germain's second wife, Lady Elizabeth ("Betty") Berkeley, survived him until 1769. She left the Drayton estate to Lord George Sackville, who adopted the surname Germain. There are memorials to Sir John Germain, his two wives and his three children (who died young) in St Peter's Church, Lowick, Northamptonshire.[1]


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Richard Sandford
Christopher Wandesford
Member of Parliament for Morpeth
With: Oley Douglas
Succeeded by
Viscount Morpeth
The Viscount Castlecomer
Preceded by
Stephen Northleigh
Arthur Champernowne
Member of Parliament for Totnes
With: Stephen Northleigh
Succeeded by
Stephen Northleigh
Sir Charles Wills
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of Westminster)