PUTT, Sir Thomas, 1st Bt. (1644-86), of Combe, Gittisham, Devon.
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Family and Education
bap. 19 July 1644, 1st s. of William Putt of Combe by Jane, da. of William Every of Cothays, Som. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1661. m. 13 Nov. 1665, Ursula, da. and coh. of Sir Richard Cholmley of Grosmont, Yorks., 1s. 3da. suc. fa. 1663; cr. Bt. 20 July 1666.1
Sheriff, Devon 1672-3; j.p. Devon 1674-d., Dorset 1682-d.; commr. for recusants, Devon 1675, dep. lt. 1676-d., commr. for assessment 1677-80, capt. of militia horse by 1680-d.; mayor, Honiton Mar.-June 1685.2
Putt’s grandfather, a clothier, bought Combe in 1615. His father advanced £200 to Parliament at the beginning of the Civil War, and served regularly on local commissions from 1648 till his death after the Restoration, though he was temporarily sequestrated in 1653. Putt himself married the daughter of the royalist governor of Axminster during the Civil War, who was killed in action.3
Putt, a high churchman who ‘spares no cost’, was elected for Honiton, two miles from his home, for all the Exclusion Parliaments. He was marked ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury, and voted for the exclusion bill, for which he was alleged to be ‘audaciously passionate and partial’. Otherwise he was inactive, and soon went over to the Court, though in 1682 a local enemy made a sustained effort to brand him as a traitor, and a ‘crony’ of the Whig John Arnold: ‘from such hollow-hearted loyalists good Lord deliver us’. But Putt found a protector in Edward Seymour, and a gift of communion rails to his college chapel helped to established his soundness as a churchman. Not only was he retained on the lieutenancy and the commission, but he was appointed mayor of Honiton under the new charter just before the general election of 1685. Though he absented himself from the poll, appointing a deputy to act as returning officer, and there was apparently no contest, it was clear that the House would not accept his election as valid. He wrote to the Speaker desiring a new writ and resigned as mayor, to be succeeded by John Pole. But the by-election was not held till 3 Oct.; probably the Court had little desire to see another henchman of Seymour’s in the House. Putt again made no speeches and sat on no committees in either session of James II’s Parliament. He died on 25 June 1686. No other member of his family entered Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Trans. Devon Assoc. lxvi. 262; Oxon. Par. Reg. i. 107; Devon and Cornw. N. and Q. xix. 300.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 70.
- 3. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 255; Cal. Comm. Comp. 152, 3259.
- 4. J. P. Carswell, Old Cause, 54; CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 435, 539; Reg. Oriel ed. Shadwell, 301; PC2/71/99; CJ, ix. 736; Trans. Devon Assoc. lxvi. 262.