POTTER, Hugh (1596-1662), of Lincoln's Inn and Petworth, Suss.

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



20 Nov. 1640
1661 - 12 Feb. 1662

Family and Education

bap. 1 Aug. 1596, 1st s. of Tobias Potter of Iddesleigh, Devon by Susan, da. of Hugh Osborne of Iddesleigh. educ. L. Inn 1615, called 1622. unm.2

Offices Held

Commr. for sewers, Suss. 1630, 1637, assessment, Northumb. Suss, and Yorks. (W. Riding) 1661-d.3

Registrar of Admiralty 1639-44, Sept. 1660-d.


Potter registered the pedigree of his minor Devonshire family with the heralds at their visitation. Three years later, ‘a marvellous honest, civil young man’, he entered the service of the Percy family, becoming secretary to the 4th Earl of Northumberland, who made him registrar of the Admiralty before the Civil War. He took out a patent for the office at Nottingham on 24 Aug. 1642, but reluctantly followed his master into the parliamentarian camp, though his brother George, an Exeter merchant, was heavily fined for royalism. He abstained from the House after Pride’s Purge, and took no part in public affairs during the Interregnum. At the Restoration he was restored to office in association with his fellow-servant Orlando Gee. Returned unopposed for Cockermouth on the Percy interest in 1661, he was listed by Lord Wharton as a friend. During his few months in the Cavalier Parliament, he was moderately active with nine committees, including those for the uniformity bill, the naval regulations bill, and the execution of those under attainder. He died on 12 Feb. 1662, leaving £50 to the poor of his birthplace and £40 to his constituency. Gee, who attended his deathbed, and Robert Scawen were two of the overseers. Over £4,000 remained to be divided among his relatives. No other member of the family entered Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Gillian Hampson


  • 1. Abstained after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 612.
  • 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 312.
  • 4. Cosin Corresp. (Surtees Soc. lii), 97; G. R. Batho, Northumberland Household Pprs. (Cam. Soc. ser. 3, xciii), 160; W. H. Black, Docquets of Letters Patent, 335; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1384; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 47, 70; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 480-1; PCC 53 Laud.