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John Symes
Birth: Mar. 4, 1573
Somerset, England
Death: Oct. 21, 1661
Frampton Cotterell
South Gloucestershire Unitary Authority
Gloucestershire, England

Knight of the Shire, representing Somerset in the Parliament of 1624. He registered his pedigree in the 1623 'Visitation of the County of Somerset'.

John Symes matriculated February 23, 1587/8 at Exeter College, Oxford, received his B.A. in 1591, and was a student at Lincoln's Inn 1589. He served as Justice of the Peace in Somerset 1608-1645, High Sheriff of Somerset 1626-1627, member of the Court of Oyer and Terminer for the Western Circuit 1629-1643, Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset 1637-1642, commissioner of Assessment (1641-1642) and Array (1642), and several other public offices. His chief residence was Poundisford Lodge at Pitminster, Somerset, and he was also lord of the manors of Barwick and West Coker along with their advowsons.

John's opponents from a more genteel background described his father, a successful merchant, as "a peddler, and a base fellow." Indeed it was John's marriage which allied him with a lineage based family. The contract of betrothal was made on December 29, 1595, between his father William Symes, who was to settle 2000 on the couple, and the bride's father Thomas Horner of Cloford and grandfather Sir John Popham of Wellington. Along with his brother-in-law Sir John Horner, Symes oversaw part of the polls during elections in Somerset. In 1624 he was elected to Parliament and served on a few committees. Described as "a rich and decrepit man", he supported the King during the Civil War, but was charged by Sir Richard Grenville "with some inclination to the rebels" and fined 1000. He never paid the fine, but compounded with Parliament for his delinquency with a fine of 945, and then was charged with concealing mortgages to the value of 5000. He sought "a repose for his old age" in Gloucestershire where he died in his 89th year. He was the only member of his immediate family to sit in Parliament.

By his wife Amy Horner, he was the father of four sons, John, Henry, William, and Thomas, and ten daughters, including Jane (wife of Sir John Seymour of Bitton, Gloucestershire), Susanna (wife of Rev. George Newton of Taunton, Somerset), Elizabeth (wife of Sir Nicholas Martyn of Exeter, Devon, married at Pitminster, July 4, 1622), Katherine (wife of William Drewe of The Grange, Honiton, married at Pitminster, August 9, 1627), Amy, Eleanor, Dorothy, Edith Symes (wife of Col. John Gorges of Somerset House, Colraine, Northern Ireland), and Dulcibella (wife of Thomas Hodges of Shipton Moyne, married at Pitminster, December 26, 1625). 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Symes (____ - 1597)
  Elizabeth Hill Symes
 
 Spouse:
  Amy Horner Symes
 
 Children:
  Elizabeth Symes Martyn (____ - 1663)*
  Katherine Symes Drewe*
  Susanna Symes Newton (____ - 1673)*
  Edith Symes Gorges*
  Jane Symes Seymour*
  Dulcibella Symes Hodges (____ - 1628)*
  Henry Symes (1609 - 1682)*
  Thomas Symes (1621 - 1670)*
 
 Siblings:
  Jane Symes Pole (____ - 1654)*
  Margery Symes Pyne (____ - 1621)*
  John Symes (1573 - 1661)
  Henry Symes (1575 - 1599)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Here lyeth the body of John Symes of Poundisford, in the parish of Pitminster in the county of Somerset, Esquire; he was born on the 4th day of March, 1572[/73] (in the 12th year of Queen Elizabeth). He lived soberly, righteously and godly, and died on the 21st day of October, 1661.

Reader, thou treadest on the sacred ashes of John Symes, Esq. who in the late unhappy times of Rebellion, was forced (for his signal loyalty to his prince) to leave his former habitation at Poundesford, in the parish of Pitminster in the county of Somerset, and to seek a repose for his old age in this parish. He was a man greatly renowned for his wisdome, justice, integrity, and sobriety, which talents he did not hide in a napkin, but religiously exercised in the whole conduct of his life, especially in the government of that county wherein he bore all the honourable offices incident to a country gentleman, as knight of the shire (elected nemine contradicente) for the Parliaments held at Westminster in the 21st year of King James, High Sheriffe, Deputy Lieutenant for many years, and Justice of the Peace for 40 years and upwards. And as he was careful and solicitous to discharge his duty to God, his Sovereign, and Country, so God was pleased to bestow on him several badges of his special care and favour, as length of days, accompanied with a most healthy constitution of body for above 80 years, and of his mind to the last: As also a numerous posterity, even of children and children's children, to the number of 100 and upwards descended of his loyns (by his only wife Amy, the daughter of Thomas Horner, of Cloved, in the county of Somerset, Esq.), and when he was full of days and honour, having lived 88 years, 7 months, and 17 days, and seen the safe return of his Prince to his crown and kingdoms, after a long and most horrible exile, and the flourishing condition both of Church and State, having finished his work on earth, he cheerfully resigned his soul to God that gave it, the 21st day of October, Anno Domini 1661, in full assurance of a joyful resurrection.

 
Note: The main portion of his epitaph is inscribed on a brass plate, in a wall niche in Southwell's Aisle, and charged with the Arms of Symes (Azure, three escallops in pale Or), impaling those of Horner (Sable, three talbots passant Argent, two and one).
 
Burial:
St Peter Churchyard
Frampton Cotterell
South Gloucestershire Unitary Authority
Gloucestershire, England
Plot: Vault beneath Chancel
 
Created by: Todd Whitesides
Record added: Oct 07, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77808741
John Symes
Added by: JohnM
 
John Symes
Added by: Todd Whitesides
 
John Symes
Added by: Todd Whitesides
 
 
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- Carolee McGill-Barker
 Added: Jun. 21, 2016

- Todd Whitesides
 Added: May. 4, 2016

- Todd Whitesides
 Added: Apr. 1, 2016
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