CLOPTON, Sir John (1638-1719), of Clopton, Stratford-on-Avon, Warws.
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Family and Education
b. 14 Oct. 1638, 1st s. of Thomas Clopton of Clopton by Eglantine, da. of John Keyte of Ebrington, Glos. m. 1662, Barbara (d. 10 Dec. 1692), da. and h. of Sir Edward Walker, garter king of arms 1645-77, 6s. (3 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. 1643; kntd. 6 July 1662.1
Commr. for assessment, Warws. 1661-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1668-d., dep. lt. by 1680-7, 1689-?d.; recorder, Stratford 1684-1709.2
Clopton’s family had resided on the estate from which they took their name since the 13th century. They provided a knight of the shire for Gloucestershire in 1346, but their parliamentary record was intermittent. Clopton’s father died early in the Civil War, and he himself came of age only in 1659. He married the daughter of a Cavalier exile and was clearly a court supporter; but before the exclusion crisis he was on friendly terms with Thomas Mariet, and he was involved with the republican engineer Yarranton in an ambitious scheme to revive the ill-fated project of William Sandys for canalizing the Avon in order to develop Stratford as a port and an industrial centre.3
Clopton was returned for Warwick at the first general election of 1679 with the support of Lord Brooke (Fulk Greville). Shaftesbury classed him as ‘doubtful’ for the first Exclusion Parliament. He was appointed to no committees and given leave to go into the country on 29 Apr., but he is said to have voted against committing the bill. He is not known to have stood again, though he succeeded Thomas Lucy as recorder of Stratford under the new charter. Presumably he opposed James II’s religious policy, for he signed the letter to Sunderland of 16 Oct. 1688 in which the deputy lieutenants declared their inability to resume office. ‘A person of eminent loyalty and of great interest in his country’, he died on 13 Apr. 1719 and was buried with his ancestors at Stratford, the last of the family to sit in Parliament.4