John Pym, an English patriot, born at Bry-more, Somersetshire, in 1584, died in London, Dec. 8, 1643. He was of a good family, and was educated at Pembroke college, Oxford, but left without taking his degree, and applied himself to the study of common law. He became a clerk in the office of the exchequer, entered parliament in 1614, and in 1620 became conspicuous as a leader of the country party. In 1624 he was one of the 12 commissioners sent to James I. at Newmarket in behalf of the privileges of parliament, and at the close of that year was sentenced with Coke, Philips, and Mallory to imprisonment for his opposition to the measures of the court. In the first parliament of Charles I. he was indefatigable in his support of the rights of the people, and in 1626 was one of the managers of the articles of impeachment against the duke of Buckingham. In 1639 he held communications with the commissioners sent to London by the Scotch Covenanters, and accompanied Hampden through the country to incite the people to send in petitions. In the short parliament of 1640 he was one of the most active members, and in the long parliament exerted great influence.
On Nov. 11 he moved to impeach the earl of Strafford for high treason, and as one of the managers on the part of the house of commons he bore a prominent part in the proceedings which led to the execution of that minister. In the subsequent trial of Laud he also made a violent speech against the prisoner, and was the mover of the grand remonstrance, which enumerated the faults of the royal administration from the accession of Charles. He was one of the five members of parliament whom the king attempted in person to seize; and after the departure of Charles from London, he assisted in carrying on the executive branch of the government. Yet in 1643 he put forth a vindication of his conduct in answer to the charges brought against him, from which it was thought doubtful with which of the two parties then dividing the kingdom he would go. In November, 1643, just before his death, he was appointed lieutenant of the ordnance. He was buried in Westminster abbey.