SPECCOTT, Peter (c.1595-1655), of Thornbury, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1595, 1st s. of (Sir) John Speccott* of Thornbury and his 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Peter Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe, Cornw.; bro. of Paul*.1 educ. ‘subscribed’ Oxf. 1614;2 I. Temple 1616.3 m. lic. 20 June 1618, Elizabeth (d. 20 May 1655), da. of Sir John Mallett of Curry Mallet, Som., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. 1644. d. 25 Mar. 1655.4
Speccott’s career is largely obscure. He may have been less able than his younger brother Paul, who accompanied him to university and the Inner Temple. At the latter he was granted special admission at the request of his kinsman Edmund Prideaux, a former reader.9 It is difficult to explain Speccott’s election at Tregony in 1624, where he was returned more than three weeks before his fellow burgess, Ambrose Manaton. Tregony lies some 50 miles from Speccott’s home at Thornbury, and it must be presumed that family connections or his father’s local standing as a former sheriff of Cornwall made his candidacy possible. His parliamentary career provides no answers. The ‘Mr. Speckot’ named on 17 Apr. 1624 to a bill committee for the relief of creditors may have been either him or Paul, who was representing East Looe.10
Speccott’s family was not important enough locally for him to expect much employment on Devon’s commissions during his father’s lifetime. He is not known to have played an active role in the Civil War, though his regular appearance in the local commissions of assessment shows that he sided with his father rather than his brother in the conflict. The reason for his removal from the Devon bench in 1650 has not been established. Speccott’s will, drawn up on 15 Mar. 1655, reveals that his father’s estate had still not been wound up ten years after probate. Speccott left mostly small legacies, and the £2,000 portion provided for his last unmarried daughter was acknowledged as his father’s gift. One of the larger bequests was the £100 offered to the ‘pastor’ of Thornbury on condition that he remained in the parish for the rest of his life. His most curious request was for the purchase of a piece of plate bearing the motto ‘virtue and beauty did meet in one’, to commemorate his brother Paul’s first wife, who died young. Speccott’s only surviving son died without heirs of the body in July 1655 shortly after proving his father’s will.11
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Paul Hunneyball
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 707.
- 2. Al. Ox.
- 3. CITR, ii. 95.
- 4. Vivian, 707; C2/Chas.I/S36/45.
- 5. C212/22/23.
- 6. C181/4, f. 3v.
- 7. SR, v. 150; A. and O. i. 963; ii. 660.
- 8. C231/5, p. 510; 231/6, p. 192.
- 9. CITR, ii. 95; Vivian, 142, 621.
- 10. C219/38/50-51; CJ, i. 769b.
- 11. PROB 11/244, f. 375r-v; 11/246, ff. 397v-8.