1st Earl of Norwich (1644-1663)
Born 1583? Died 1663
George Goring was the son of George Goring of Hurstpierpoint and Ovingdean, Sussex, and of Anne Denny, sister of Edward Denny, Earl of Norwich. He was knighted in 1608, and became a favourite at court, benefiting largely from monopolies granted by Charles I. He became Baron Goring in 1628, and privy councillor in 1639. When the troubles between Charles and his parliament became acute Goring devoted his fortune freely to the royal cause; and the king in November 1644 renewed for him the title of Earl of Norwich which had become extinct at his uncle's death.
He went with the queen to Holland in 1642 to raise money for the king, and in the autumn of the next year he was seeking arms and money from Mazarin in Paris. His proceedings were revealed to the parliament in January 1644 by an intercepted letter to Henrietta Maria. He was consequently impeached of high treason, and prudently remained abroad until 1647 when he received a pass from the parliament under a pretext of seeking reconciliation. Thus he was able to take a prominent part in the Second Civil War of 1648 (see Great Rebellion). He commanded the Kentish levies, which Fairfax dispersed at Maidstone and elsewhere, and was forced to surrender unconditionally at Colchester. He was condemned to exile in November 1648 by a vote of the House of Commons, but in the next month the vote was annulled.
Early in the next year a court was formed under Bradshaw to try Norwich and four others. All five were condemned to death on the 6th of March, but petitions for mercy were presented to parliament, and Norwich's life was spared by the Speaker's casting vote. Shortly after his liberation from prison in May he joined the exiled court of Charles II, by whom he was employed in fruitless negotiations with the Duke of Lorraine. He became captain of the king's guard at the Restoration, and in consideration of the fortune he had expended in the king's service a pension of £2,000 a year was granted him. He died at Brentford on the 6th of January 1663.
By his wife Mary Nevill (d. 1648), daughter of the 6th Lord Abergavenny, he had four daughters and two sons: George, Lord Goring; and Charles, who fought in the Civil War, succeeded his father in the earldom, and died without heirs in March 1671.
Being the entry for NORWICH, GEORGE GORING, EARL OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.