Harringtons of Exton Heraldic Family Tree

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 10
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      410 x 251 mm. 1 volume (45 folios);
  • Location
      Collection available at John Rylands Library, Deansgate.

Scope and Content

Family tree of the descendants of Sir James Harington of Exton, Rutland complete with their various coats of arms up to 1685. It includes eighteenth-century annotations and corrections in red ink. Composed by John Tilston and painted by Francis Hougham.

Little is known about the creators of this manuscript. The compositor, John Tilston esq., a student of antiquities was active from 1667 to 1689. The illuminator, Francis Hougham, was Herald-painter in the Old Bailey, London.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir James Harington (c.1511-1592), of Exton Hall, Rutland, was a landowner and administrator. He was married to Lucy, daughter of Sir William Sidney. His family held the most extensive estates in Rutland during the late sixteenth century and, with the Digbys of Stoke Dry and the Noels of Brooke, monopolized the parliamentary representation of the county throughout Elizabeth I's reign.

James' eldest son, John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton (1539/40-1613), was appointed guardian to Princess Elizabeth (later Queen of Bohemia) in 1603. He incurred substantial costs in maintaining Elizabeth's household and in 1612 he petitioned for the privilege of coining brass farthings in recompense. These coins were known as Haringtons. In April 1613 Harington accompanied his former charge and her husband to Germany at his own expense and spent four months arranging the princess's financial and household affairs. During the return journey he died of fever at Worms on 23 August 1613, aged seventy-three. John Harington's elder son, Kelway, having died in infancy, he was succeeded by his younger son, John, who survived him by little more than six months. This branch of the family survived only through Anne, the child of Harington's younger daughter, Frances, and her husband, Sir Robert Chichester. Other branches of the family included many peers and gentry, including the Earls of Lindsey and the Earls of Manchester.

Source: Jan Broadway, 'Harington, John, first Baron Harington of Exton (1539/40-1613)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/12327.

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Mrs Enriqueta Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, and Elizabeth Gow, with reference to:

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 10).

Custodial History

Formerly part of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, the Library of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, from Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire.

Related Material

Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, holds a manuscript catalogue of the English nobility and officers of state by John Tilston, 1667-1689 (ref.: GB 161 MS Add C 77).