HARRIS, John (c.1525-79), of Lanrest in Liskeard, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1525, o.s. of John Harris of Lanrest by Anne, da. of John Becket of Cartuther in Menheniot. m. (1) 21 Oct. 1548, Catherine, da. of Thomas Tremayne of Collacombe in Lamerton, Devon, 1da., (2) 31 Jan. 1563, Jane, da. of William Harris I of Radford, Devon, 1s. 1da.; (3) Thomasin, da. of John Copleston of Warleigh in Tamerton Folliott, Devon, wid. of George Pollard of Langley in High Bickington, Devon. suc. fa. c.1526.1

Offices Held

Dep. bailiff, hundred of West, Cornw. by 1546, bailiff 1549, 1558-62, 1568-9, 1572-3; ?dep. feodary, duchy of Cornw. c.1554; under sheriff, Cornw. 1555-6; commr. assessionable manors, duchy of Cornw. 1563; escheator, Devon and Cornw. 1578-9.2


John Harris was connected by descent and marriage with some of the principal families in Cornwall. He made his career in local administration and held in succession two minor offices in the duchy. It was probably to the duchy that he owed his return to Mary’s fourth Parliament for Gram-pound, but he may also have benefited from the influence of (Sir) Richard Edgecombe, whose under sheriff he was shortly to become and who owned land adjoining the borough. Neither Harris nor his fellow-Member Richard Chapell joined the opposition to a government bill.3

Harris owned much property in Liskeard, held the lease of its rectory and acted as one of the governors of the lands belonging to its parish church. When in Mary’s reign John Connock was accused of wrongfully appropriating the church’s property, Harris took the lead in bringing an action against him in Chancery. Harris died on 26 Aug. 1579 at Lanrest, and his son John succeeded to property in Calstock, Liskeard, Menheniot, St. Keyne and elsewhere in Cornwall.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: J. J. Goring


  • 1. Aged one at father’s death, C1/1301/20-24. Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 447; Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 62-63.
  • 2. Duchy Cornw. RO, 127, m. 17; 225, m. 1v; 230, m. 1v; 501, m. 1; St.Ch.4/4/28; information from G. Haslam.
  • 3. Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iv. 99.
  • 4. Duchy Cornw. RO, E6. 1, m. 40v; C1/1356/25; 142/184/20; J. Allen, Liskeard, 134-5.