POTTS, Sir John, 1st Bt. (c.1592-1673), of Mannington, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. c.1592, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John Potts† of Lincoln’s Inn by Anne, da. and coh. of John Dodge of Mannington. m. (1) 18 July 1608, Anne, da. of one Mebwoke, s.p.; (2) c.1617, Ursula (d.1647), da. and coh. of sir John Willoughby of Risley, Derbys., wid. of Sir Clement Spelman of Narborough, Norf., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1597; kntd. 9 Aug. 1641; cr. Bt. 14 Aug. 1641.2
J.p. Norf. 1620-48, 1656-d., capt. of militia ft. 1626, commr. for assessment, Norf. 1628, 1643-8, Aug. 1660-d., Mdx. Aug. 1660-1, Yarmouth Sept. 1660-d., sequestration, Norf. 1643, levying of money 1643, new model ordinance 1645, militia 1648, Mar. 1660; freeman, Yarmouth Mar. 1660.3
Commr. for regulating excise 1645-8; councillor of state 25 Feb.-29 May 1660.
Potts’s ancestors had held valuable property in the London suburbs since the first half of the 16th century. His father, a lawyer, was granted arms in 1583 and bought Mannington in the following year. He fortified his title by marrying the heiress and sat for St. Mawes in 1588. Potts himself, a patron of puritan preachers, was a moderate Parliamentarian during the Civil War, representing Norfolk and serving on the county committee until Pride’s Purge. On the return of the secluded Members he was appointed to the council of state. He stood for Yarmouth at the general election of 1660 with the support of the majority of the freemen, and was declared elected after a double return with the regicide Miles Corbet. He was one of Lord Wharton’s friends and managers in the Convention, but he was not an active Member. He made seven recorded speeches, and was named to only nine committees, including those to bring in customs and excise bills, to consider the bill for settling ministers in their livings, and to report to the House on the revenue. He was among those ordered to raise a £100,000 loan in the City on 13 Aug. He supported hearing a petition from another East Anglian regicide, William Heveningham. Before the adjournment he was sent to remind the Lords of the ministers’ bill and the bill confirming college leases. In the second session he spoke in favour of a land tax as compensation to the crown for the abolition of the court of wards, but was nevertheless named to the committee to prepare the excise clauses. Though he conformed to the Church of England, he is not known to have stood again. His will, dated 6 Jan., was proved 6 Oct. 1673. His grandson stood for the county as a Whig in 1689, but finished bottom of the poll, and no other member of the family entered Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
- 2. Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. lxxvi), 169-70; J. P. Shawcross, Hist. Dagenham, 138.
- 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 312-13; Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 144; W. Rye, State Pprs. 48, 77, 140.
- 4. C142/40/256; PCC 48 Lewyn; Vis. Norf. ed. Bulwer, ii. 41-42; Grantees of Arms (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 203; R. W. Ketton-Cremer, Norf. in the Civil War, 72; Keeler, 312-13; Bowman diary, f. 154v; CJ, viii. 161; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 18.