GRIFFIN, James (1667-1715), of Dingley, Northants.
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Family and Education
bap. 15 Dec. 1667, o.s. of Edward Griffin of Dingley, treas. of the chamber 1679-88, by Lady Essex Howard, da. and coh. of James, 3rd Earl of Suffolk. m. 29 Nov. 1684, Anne, da. and h. of Richard Rainsford II of Dallington, Northants., 3s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Baron Griffin of Braybrooke 10 Nov. 1710.
Capt. indep. tp. 1685; maj. (4) Horse Gds. 1686, lt.-col. Dec. 1688.
Groom of the bedchamber to James II 1685-1702, to the Old Pretender 1702.1
Griffin’s ancestors had been landowners in the East Midlands since the reign of King John. His grandfather, a courtier, was the first of the family to become an MP, representing Downton both in the Short and Long Parliaments, and compounding in 1646 as a Royalist. Griffin was returned for Brackley at the age of 17 as a court candidate, probably on the Bridgwater interest. His only committee was to estimate the yield of the duty on French wines. He laid down his commission at the Revolution. He was arrested with his father in 1692 but released on bail, after which they seem to have gone to St. Germains. The father was a Protestant, but Griffin became a Roman Catholic. Nevertheless he had returned to England by 1704, when he promoted an estate bill. In 1708 his father was captured at sea on a Jacobite mission and died in the Tower. Griffin, ‘a plain, drunken fellow’, according to Swift, was allowed to succeed to the estates, but never assumed the title. He was buried at Dingley on 31 Oct. 1715. His son conformed in 1727 and sat in the House of Lords as a Tory, but no later member of the family was elected to the Lower House.2