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William Rainsborough (1587? – 1642) was an English Captain and Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, English ambassador to Morocco and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1642.

On the orders of Charles I of England, Rainsborough led a successful naval expedition against the Barbary corsairs of Salé in June 1637. His exploits were hailed in a court masque designed by Inigo Jones [1] For his services to end white slavery Rainsborough was offered a hereditary knighthood, which he declined, and was presented with a Gold Chain and Medal by Charles I.[2]

In April 1640, Rainsborough was elected Member of Parliament for Aldeburgh in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected for Aldeburgh in November 1640 for the Long Parliament and held the seat until his death in 1642.[3] Rainsborough died in 1642 and was buried at St Katharine's by the Tower on 16 February 1642.[4]

Rainsborough married Judith Horton, daughter of Renold and Joane Horton. Their sons Thomas Rainsborough and William Rainsborowe, two influential figures in the English Civil War, fought for the Roundheads.[5]

References

  1. Tinniswood, Adrian (2011). Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the 17th-Century Mediterranean. London: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0099523864. 
  2. Pinkerton, John (1790). The Medallic History of England to the Revolution. London. 
  3. Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 .... London. pp. [1]Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected >= operator.. http://books.google.com/books?id=5V09AAAAYAAJ&pg=RA2-PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
  4. Williams, William Retlaw (1897). The Parliamentary History of the county of Worcester. p. 13. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/w-r-william-retlaw-williams/the-parliamentary-history-of-the-county-of-worcester--including-the-city-of-wor-hci/page-13-the-parliamentary-history-of-the-county-of-worcester--including-the-city-of-wor-hci.shtml. 
  5. Waters, Henry Fitz-Gilbert & Greenwood, Isaac John (1886). The Rainborowe Family. http://books.google.com/books?id=FwyTjuMnNsMC&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=William+Rainsborough%22+Admiral&source=bl&ots=gX2iNo6fsR&sig=FOd3rNHPdAPI-mlAc96TCnh6rJk&hl=en&ei=vvsLTbLKBoGwhAe_v_i2Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCoQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=William%20Rainsborough%22%20Admiral&f=false. 

Further reading

  • Andrews, Kenneth R. (1991). Ships, money, and politics : seafaring and naval enterprise in the reign of Charles I. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521401166. 
  • Tinniswood, Adrian (2013). The Rainborowes: Pirates, Puritans and a Family's Quest for the Promised Land. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0224091480. 
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Aldeburgh
1640
With: Squire Bence 1640
Alexander Bence 1640-1642
Succeeded by
Squire Bence
Alexander Bence

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