GORING, George I (aft.1522-94), of Ovingdean, Lewes; later of Danny Park, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. aft. 152, 2nd s. of Sir William Goring of Burton by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Covert of Slaugham. educ. ?M. Temple. m. bef. 1560, Mary, da. and coh. of William Everard, wid. of Richard Bellingham, 2s. inc. George Goring II. 2da.1

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. from c.1559; commr. recusancy, grain; capt. musters; sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1578-9; receiver-gen. ct. of wards for life 3 July 1584.2


The Goring family may have been tenants on the manor of that name in Arundel rape, Sussex, as early as Henry VIII’s reign. Subsequently they settled at Lancing and in the later fifteenth century a fortunate marriage brought them lands formerly held by the Dawtrey family, including the Burton estate, south of Petworth. There they made their residence, and at the dissolution of the monasteries gained further property in the neighbourhood. Sir William Goring, who represented Sussex in the 1547 Parliament and was a gentleman of Edward VI’s privy chamber, was succeeded at Burton in 1554 by his eldest son Henry, but George, the second son, to whom he left in his will only a gold brooch and some clothes, founded a cadet branch at Ovingdean and Lewes. His interest in half the manor of Ovingdean came to him by his marriage.3

At the beginning of the reign the borough of Lewes was part of the ancient honour of Lewes, which was held jointly by four owners, one of them being Goring’s wife. It was therefore as a local man that he was returned for Lewes in 1559 and 1563, when his brother Henry was sheriff. In 1584 he aspired to represent the county, but by that time he and his brother had quarrelled with Lord Buckhurst, and Goring failed to gain election. Goring was noted as a ‘favourer’ of religion and ‘learned in the law’ in 1564. In 1579 he embarked on a building spree. First Pelham House, Lewes, for £2,000. Next, in 1582 he bought Danny Park from Lord Dacre for £10,000, plus a further £4,000 for a mansion. In 1586 he was negotiating a crown lease of the half hundred of Loxfield and the manor of South Malling. He had also a house in Chelsea. In 1588-9 he was assessed for the Armada loan at £100, the highest rate in Sussex. How he acquired such wealth before obtaining his court of wards post is not known: perhaps it was borrowed in expectation. His opportunities to dip into the till once he became receiver-general were boundless. Already by 1587 there were irregularities in the accounts amounting, on his own admission, to nearly £4,000. By the time of his death, intestate, on 28 Mar. 1594, the deficit was almost £20,000, and still his heir was insisting that Goring had not purchased £40 worth of land while he was in office.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. C142/104/79; W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Suss. (Comber’s copy at Chichester), 138.
  • 2. PRO, Assizes, 35, S. E. Circuit, Suss. 2-36; Egerton 2345; SP12/93/2; PRO Index 16774, f. 5.
  • 3. D. G. C. Elwes and C. J. Robinson, Castles, Mansions and Manors of W. Suss. 23, 56, 102n, 111, 112, 266; Suss. Arch. Colls. v. 27; vi. 79; J. Dallaway, W. Suss. ii(2), p. 34; Camden, Britannia (1806), i. 286, 289; Hutchins, Dorset, i. 225; PCC 38 More; VCH Suss. vii. 230.
  • 4. Harl. 474, ff. 81, 90, 92; 703, ff. 18, 19, 67; APC, vii. 128; viii. 166; ix. 37; x. 100, 190; xiii. 242; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 10; Suss. Arch. Colls. i. 32; ii. 59; xi. 66; xliv. 16, 20; Lansd. 53, f. 106 seq.; VCH Suss. vii. 1-7, 9; Add. 33084, ff. 8-27; HMC Hatfield, iv. 501; v. 277; xiii. 285, 292, 348, 383, 472, 530; CSP Dom. 1581-90, pp. 374, 430; 1595-7, pp. 69-70; H. E. Bell, Ct. of Wards, 37, 172; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards, 208-9.