DRAKE, John (1625-69), of Great Trill, Axminster, Devon.
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Family and Education
bap. 4 Apr. 1625, 1st s. of Sir John Drake of Ashe House, Musbury, by Ellen, da. of Sir John Boteler, 1st Baron Boteler, and coh. to her bro. William, 2nd Baron Boteler. educ. I. Temple 1664. m. (1) Jane (d. 31 July 1652), da. of Sir John Yonge of Cloyton, Devon, 2s. 1da.; (2) Dionise, da. of Sir Richard Strode of Newnham, Devon, 3s. suc. fa. 1636; kntd. 5 June 1660; cr. Bt. 31 Aug. 1660.1
J.p. Devon 1646-d., Dorset 1666-d.; commr. for assessment, Devon 1647-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-d., militia 1648, 1659, Mar. 1660, oyer and terminer, Western circuit 1655, 1662; capt. of militia ft. Devon Apr. 1660, col. Sept. 1660-d., sheriff 1662-3.2
The Drakes acquired Ashe by marriage in 1415. Drake’s grandfather was four times Member for Devon, and his father served for Lyme Regis in 1624 and 1625. Drake is first heard of as a prisoner in Prince Maurice’s hands, vowing vengeance on Lord Powlett for the burning of Ashe House by the Cavaliers. He may have been taken in arms for Parliament, though he was only 18 at the time. His mother claimed £6,000 compensation, and succeeded in extracting close on £1,500 from the Powletts. Drake’s politics seem to have been sufficiently obscure or accommodating for him to accept county office under every government established during the Interregnum, and a baronetcy at the Restoration. He probably owed this honour to his mother, a kinswoman of William Howard, and said to be ‘a great actor for the King’. He was even recommended for the order of the Royal Oak, when his estates were reckoned at £800 p.a. He sat in the Convention for Bridport, but did nothing, either by way of speeches or committee work, and on 16 June 1660 he obtained leave to go into the country. He is unlikely to have stood again. He died on 6 July 1669 and was buried at Axminster. His youngest son was unsuccessful at Lyme in 1689, but sat for Honiton from 1690 to 1715 as a Tory.3