Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 23 >> Puvis De Chavannes to Radium Therapy >> Pylos


parliament, pym and charles


PYM, pim, John, English statesman: b. Brymore, Somersetshire, 1584; d. London, 8 Dec. 1643. He was educated at Oxford, and in 1602 entered the Middle Temple, but was never called to the bar. He became member of Parliament for Caine in 1614, but from 1625 sat for Tavistock. He was prominent in the im peachment of the duke of Buckingham in 1616, and in 1639, with several others, held close cor respondence with the commissioners sent to London by the Scottish Covenanters. When Parliament met again in 1640, Pym was one of its most active and leading members, and in the Long Parliament, which met later that same year, he came most prominently to the front. Pos sessed of great eloquence, he made a vigorous and effective speech as soon as Parliament had opened, dwelling at length upon the grievances of the nation with respect to parliamentary privileges and civil and religious liberty. A few days after he followed up his speech by bring ing a charge of high treason against the Earl of Strafford, prime minister of Charles I; and in the impeachment which followed, resulting in the death of Strafford, he took the leading part.

In 1641 a motion was carried by the opposition party to submit a remonstrance to- the king, ex posing the defects of his administration since ascending the throne, and the zeal of Pym in this matter led Charles into the imprudent measure of going to the Parliament in person to seize him and four other members. Clarendon relates that Charles I, feeling the necessity of gaining at any cost an enemy at once so im placable and so skilful, offered to Pym the post of chancellor of the exchequer. In November 1643, he was appointed lieutenant of the ord nance, but died the following December. He was buried with great pomp in Westminster Abbey. Consult Forster, 'Statesmen of the Commonwealth' (1841-44) ; 'The Arrest of the Five Members' (1860) ; and 'The Debates on the Grand Remonstrance> (1860) ; Smith, Gold win, 'Three English Statesmen' (1867) ; Gardiner, S. R., 'The Great Civil War' (1893) ; Wade, 'John Pym' (1912).