Member of the English Parliament
John Pym was born sometime in 1584 to a minor noble family in the town of Brymore in Somerset, England. He lost his father at a very early age and his mother re-married to Sir Anthony Rous.
Pym later went on to study law at the Broadgates Hall (which is now known as Pembroke College) in Oxford. He attended classes there beginning in 1599 until he moved to the Middle Temple in 1602 for further studies.
Pym had an auspicious start in the field of politics; he started working for the Exchequer in Wiltshire largely on the recommendation of his benefactor, The Earl of Bedford. In 1614 he entered the Parliament of England as the representative for Calne, Wiltshire.
Pym was a strong advocate of Puritanism and throughout his tenure in Parliament, he worked hard against the advancement of Roman Catholicism in the country. Because of his efforts, he became one of the most highly regarded members of the Parliament, many of whom were strongly anti-Catholic.
In the very same year that Pym entered the Parliament, he was also married to Anne Hooke and their union produced five offspring for the couple.
When the Parliament of England was dissolved in 1621, John Pym was one of those who were tried and sentenced to house arrest beginning in January 1622.
In 1624 at the newly reconvened Parliament, John Pym changed his position and decided to represent Tavistock, Devon and held that same position for the rest of his political career.
Interestingly enough, John Pym was directly involved in actions that would lead to the dissolution of the Parliament yet again. In 1626 for instance, he was one of the main proponents for the attempted impeachment of the First Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers. These and many other events at that time paved the way for the subsequent abolition of the Parliament.
The controversies surrounding John Pym would be a constant presence throughout the rest of his political career. When Edward Coke presented the Petition of Right to King Charles in 1628, one of his many supporters was John Pym himself. Even in the intervening years between the Parliaments dissolution and reinstatement, Pym was not far from controversy; as the appointed treasurer of the Providence Island Company beginning in 1630, his name was linked to a group of Puritan hardliners who were staunchly opposed to the King of England.
His fiery speeches were well known in Parliament, which was never lacking in eloquent speakers and one such speech, at the Short Parliament of April 13 to May 4 of 1640, directly led to the dissolution of that said Parliament. Indeed, it appeared to Clarendon that John Pym was the leading voice of the opposition. Nevertheless, when what later came to be called the Long Parliament reconvened in November of 1640, Pym had somehow managed to sidestep being accused of treason and continued on as a leading figure in the opposition against the King of England.
John Pym died on December 8th, 1643 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 25/07/2008