COLLETON, Sir Peter, 2nd Bt. (1635-94), of Exmouth, Devon and Golden Square, Westminster.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
bap. 17 Sept. 1635, 1st s. of Sir John Colleton, 1st Bt., of Exeter, Devon and London by Catherine, da. of William Amy of Exeter. m. c.1669, Elizabeth, sis. of John Leslie of Barbados, wid. of William Johnston, 1s. 3da.; 1s illegit. suc. fa. c. May 1667.1
Member of council, Barbados 1664-84, dep. gov. and pres. of council 1672-7; ld. prop. Carolina 1666-d., high steward 1669, chancellor 1670-d.; member, R. Adventurers into Africa 1667-72, asst. 1670-1; ld. prop. Bahamas 1670-d.; member, Hudson’s Bay Co. 1670-d.; asst. R. Africa Co. 1672-d.; commr. for assessment, Westminster 1677-80, 1689-90, Devon 1690; freeman, Exeter 1678; j.p. Mdx. and Westminster 1677-80, Westminster 1689-d.; dep. lt. Westminster 1689-d.2
Commr. for public accounts 1691-d.
Colleton came from a merchant family established in Exeter in the early century. His father fought in the Cavalier army in the first Civil War and compounded on the Exeter articles in 1646 with a fine of £244. Altogether he computed his losses in the King’s service at £4,000. He became a planter in Barbados in 1650 and accepted the Protectorate regime; but he returned to England at the Restoration. As a kinsman of the Duke of Albemarle (George Monck) he was given a baronetcy and appointed commissioner for wine licences, and he stood unsuccessfully for Dartmouth shortly before his death.3
Meanwhile Colleton himself had been managing the family plantation, one of the largest in Barbados. Together with Albemarle and Lord Ashley (Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper), he became one of the eight lords proprietors of Carolina, and was entrusted with recruiting settlers from Barbados. He was consulted about the origins of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and inherited £1,800 stock in the Africa Company. On behalf of the Barbados planters he gave evidence to the House of Lords against the proposed sugar duties in 1671. On the death of William Willoughby in 1673 he temporarily assumed the government of the island. But he finally returned to England in or before 1677, when he visited Ashley (now Earl of Shaftesbury) in the Tower. On 15 May he advanced £1,500 to the crown on the security of the second Disbandment Act.4
Colleton stood unsuccessfully at the second general election of 1679, but the Journal, which records his petition, does not name the constituency. He was returned in 1681 for Bossiney, where the returning officer, Edward Amy, was presumably a kinsman. Though clearly an exclusionist, he left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. His name was found on the papers of a Whig conspirator arrested after the Rye House Plot, apparently as a contributor to Titus Oates’s pension, and he is unlikely to have stood in 1685. He regained his seat in 1689, but with only seven committee appointments he was not an active Member of the Convention. He was one of five Members instructed on 9 Aug. to prepare a bill to ease the plantations of the duties imposed in 1685. After the recess he was appointed to the committees to inquire into war expenditure and to consider the second mutiny bill. In his only recorded speech, on miscarriages in the navy, he said:
As soon as they had the victuals out of these ships, all their men fell sick. I am fully convinced that your men have been ill-used by the victuallers, and unless it be remedied you will have no fleet next year.
He was named to the committees on the bills for restoring corporations, in which he supported the disabling clause, and for imposing a general oath of allegiance. Re-elected as a country Whig, he became a member of the first public accounts commission. But he died on 24 Mar. 1694, and was buried at St. James Piccadilly. The next member of the family to sit was James Edward Colleton, returned in 1747 for Lostwithiel as a government supporter.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 218; PCC 72 Box; CSP Dom. 1666-7, p.575.
- 2. CSP Col. 1661-8, p. 692; 1669-74, pp. 43-44, 52, 120, 122, 143, 1065, 1070; 1677-80, p. 403; 1681-5, pp. 36, 675, 938; K. H. D. Haley, Shaftesbury, 233, 242; HMC 6th Rep. 412; B. Willson, Great Company, i. 47; Caribbeana, iv. 312; Exeter Freemen (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. extra ser. i), 169; Mdx. RO, WJP/CP3; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 54; 1691-2, p.164.
- 3. Cal. Comm. Comp. 1356; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 95, 322; 1666-7; p. 440, 450, 453, 473; V. Harlow, Barbados, 199-221.
- 4. Caribbeana, iii. 299; Harlow, 214-15; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 485; 1677-8, p. 268; CSP Col. 1661-8, pp. 153, 157; 1669-74, pp. 141, 496, 499; Haley, 231, 233, 237-42; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 11; PCC 91 Carr; Cal. Treas. Bks. vi. 815.
- 5. CJ, ix. 638; J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, iii. 209-10 SP29/430/34; Grey, ix 442; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1151.