| || Notes for John Rawson:|
See Historical Document.
Sir John was admitted to the freedom of the Mercers' Company in 1492, and previous to 1497, possibly during a voyage to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, had united with the order of Knights of St. John, then established at the Isla
nd of Rhodes.He was appointed Prior of Kilmainham in 1511, and by the command of King Henry VIII, made one of the Privy Councillors of Ireland, Lord Treasurer of that kingdon, and a member of the Irish House of Peers.On March 6, 1522,
he was constrained from going to the Island of Rhodes to assist in its defence from the attacks of the Turks by Cardinal Wolsey, who felt the importance of his remaining in Ireland.But the extreme danger to which the order of St. John of
Jerusalem was exposed at Rhodes, through the impending attack by the Turkish arms under Solyman the Magnificent, and the imperative summons issued by the Grand Master calling on all the Knights in every land to rally at once to his aid, c
ompelled Sir John Rawson to proceed immediately to the Island, where he was assigned a place at the head of the English speaking Knights, and was no doubt present and took part in that memorable and heroic defence of Rhodes in 1522, when s
ix hundred Knights obtained an honorable capitulation, although they were forced to abandon the Island.As early as July 28, 1524, Sir John had returned to Ireland.In 1525, the Grand Master of the Knights visited England and was well re
ceived by King Henry VIII, who desired the Grand Master to confer the Grand Priory of Ireland upon the Turcopilier, Brother John Rawson by name, who had been very serviceable to him in the government of the Island, and whose gentle adminis
tration had been instrumental in polishing and civilizing its inhabitants.The Grand Master in order to show his complacence to the King, engaged John Babington, about 1527, to resign the Priory of Ireland to Rawson, who by way of exchang
e made a resignation to him of the priory of Dinemor and the dignity of Turcopilier.The Grand Master also caused it to be arranged, that if Babington should come to the Grand Prior of England, he should pay Rawson a pension of 1800 livre
s.All this so pleased the King that he confirmed all the orders, and sent the Grand Master a bason and cup of massive gold set with precious stones.The office Turcopilier was one of great dignity in the order;he was conventual baliff
, commander of the cavalry of the order, and of the guards stationed at the court, the most important office of the order in the English tongue.
Sir John again went to the aid of the Grand Master, at this time in Italy, being there June 3, 1527, while yet holding the office of Prior of Ireland.In October, 1528, the King sent him into Ireland with important dispatches to the Earl
of Ossory, who was then engaged in invading the country of the Earl of Desmond, and during that visit the Lord Deputy of Ireland was entertained by the Priors of Kilmainham, Christchurch, and All Saints with an exhibition at Christchurch o
f stage plays on Scripture subjects.Rawson Immediately returned to England on special business, he then being under treasurer of Ireland;from 1530 to July, 1532, he was Lord Treasurer of that kingdom.In 1538, while on one of his visi
ting tours, he was taken sick with the palsy, and being unable to travel, he, August 7, wrote to the King from St. Davids, Wales, stating the condition of matters in Ireland, mentioning the serious hardships his English subjects were being
exposed to by the enemies of the King.Sir John sent this letter forward at the hand of his brother, Richard, the Archdecon of Essex and Canon of Windsor, who he writes had been with him during the past six months.From 1535 to 1542, he
was again actively engaged in performing his official duties in Ireland, being present at the yielding of the Castle of Old Rose by Cahir McCarthy, and addressed a letter to the King from the "Camp of your hoste."The following month he
was recommended by Brabazon to be Chancellor of Ireland.
November 6, 1538, the Archbishop brought a specific charge against the Prior of Kilmainham; it was for keeping a servant of the Archbishop nineteen weeks in the castle of Dublin.Notwithstanding the fact that the charge came from such hig
h authority there were several prominent and distinguished gentlemen ready to address the King in behalf of Sir John Rawson, among them Sir Anthony St. Leger, Lord Deputy of ireland.September 12, 1540, the King acceded to the recommendat
ions of the Lord Deputy, and the case was arranged, Sir John surrendering the office of Prior of Kilmainham, and receiving instead five hundred marks per annum from the estate of the hospital during the remainder of his life.In 1541 he w
as created Viscount Clontariff, with a pension of ten pounds per annum for life.On December 7, 1542, the Lord Deputy and Council addressed the King, stating that Sir John Rawson while Lord Treasurer, had disbursed the sum of one hundred
and seventy-three pounds, eleven shillings and four pence above his receipts, and now that his health was poor, and he was not well able to care for himself as formerly, asked that the money be made up to him in part at least, and that Sir
John was willing and would be content to take his own account as kept by himself, which was thirty-two pounds less than the amount shown by the present treasurer's books as being due him, as he was at that time sick.We presume he recove
red the money, as he seems to have been held in good favor by the King.He also recovered his health, for he survived until the year 1560.
This Sir John Rawson seems to have been the most distinguished person bearing the family name within the range of our research.His brothers, Avery, Christopher, Richard, and Nicholas, were each of them also quite prominent for their time
, two of them as ministers, and the other two as merchants in London.
Sir John left a daughter, Catherine, who married Rowland Whyte, son of Patrick Whyte, second Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland.This armorial of Sir John Rawson was placed in one of the windows of Swingfield Church, a chapel dedicated to
St. Peter.The Parish of Swingfield was included in the property of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and is located five miles from Folkestone, in the County of Kent.