EVERY, John (1643-79), of Wootton Glanville, Dorset and Cothays, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 15 Nov. 1643, o.s. of John Every of Symondsbury, Dorset by Anne, da. and h. of George Williams of Wootton Glanville. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1661. m. 1666, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Trenchard of Wolveton, Dorset, s.p. suc. fa. 1658, cos. William Every of Cothays c.1660.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Dorset 1664-9, Som. 1679-d.; freeman, Lyme Regis 1666; sheriff, Dorset 1676-7; j.p. Dorset 1677-d., Som. 1678-d.2


Every’s great-grandfather appears to have laid the foundation of the family fortune around the turn of the century by judicious land dealings with the more improvident members of the nobility and gentry. The elder branch of the family transferred themselves to Derbyshire by marriage with an heiress, achieved a seat in the Short Parliament and a baronetcy in the following year, and were notable Royalists in the Civil War and Booth’s rising. The west-country branches played a much less conspicuous role in this period even though Every’s father was step-son to a Cavalier sheriff of Dorset.3

Every seems to have been an ardent sportsman, generous in his bequest to his ‘quondam huntsman’ and himself receiving perhaps the highest compliment one country gentlemen can pay another when John Strangways left him his pack of hounds. ‘A very loyal man’, he displayed proper horror when his radical brother-in-law, John Trenchard declared that a Trenchard had as much right to the throne as any Stuart. ‘Brother, have a care of speaking treason, for if you do I will be sure to inform against you,’ Every warned him. On the other hand his step-brother John Hurding opposed the court candidate at Bridport on 1 Feb. 1677. As sheriff, he was responsible for more than his share of contested by-elections, and his handling of the ding-dong struggle between Thomas Browne and Sir Nathaniel Napier and his methodical endorsements of the Bridport writs are creditable to his judgment and commonsense, whatever the legal pundits may have thought. Every joined the Green Ribbon Club, and when he was himself returned for Bridport at the general election, Shaftesbury marked him ‘honest’. He fulfilled expectations by voting for the first exclusion bill, but sat on no committees in the first Exclusion Parliament and made no speeches. Every died soon after the end of the session on 8 July 1679 and was buried at Wootton Glanville. His property was partitioned between John Leigh and Sir Robert Henley, the latter taking the Dorset property. His widow married William Joliffe, who sat for Poole from 1698 to 1705.