UPTON, John (1639-87), of Lupton, Devon.
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Family and Education
bap. 15 Aug. 1639, 1st s. of Arthur Upton of Lupton by Elizabeth, da. of William Gould of Floyer’s Hayes, Exeter, Devon, wid. of Robert Haydon of Cadhay, Devon. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1656, BA 1659. m. 4 Sept. 1665, Ursula, da. of Sir John Lytcott of East Molesey, Surr., wid. of George Clarke, merchant, of London, 3s. (d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 1662.1
J.p. Devon 1673-6, commr. for recusants 1675, assessment 1677-80.
Upton’s ancestors acquired Lupton by marriage in the second half of the 15th century. The house is some five miles from Dartmouth, which Upton’s grandfather, a strong Puritan, represented from 1625 till his death in 1641. His father, an active supporter of Parliament in the Civil War, sat for the county in 1654 and 1656, and in the latter year was appointed a commissioner of customs. The family tradition was reinforced by Upton’s marriage to Thurloe’s sister-in-law, after which he went to live for a time in Ireland, where his cousin sat in Parliament for Carrickfergus. Upton’s uncle, a London merchant who had also married a daughter of Sir John Lytcott, was on sufficiently good terms with the Government to be himself nominated to the board of customs in 1671. His mother’s house was licensed for Presbyterian worship in 1672, and Upton himself was the patron of the well-known Independent preacher John Flavel. At the request of the Earl of Bath, his name was removed from the commission of the peace in 1676.2
Upton was returned for Dartmouth to all three Exclusion Parliaments. Noted by Shaftesbury as ‘honest’, he was named to seven committees in 1679, including those for the bill summoning Danby to give himself up and for the security bill, and he voted for the committal of the first exclusion bill. In the second Exclusion Parliament he was again moderately active, with nine committees, the most important being to inquire into abhorring. In the Oxford Parliament he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges. He made no speeches.
Upton is not known to have stood for James II’s Parliament, and died at Salisbury on 7 Sept. 1687. Flavel preached his funeral sermon. Lupton was inherited by his brother William, who married the coheir of Sir John Otway and established a landed family in Westmorland. The Devonshire estates were soon alienated to the heir of William Hayne, but a nephew stood unsuccessfully for Dartmouth in 1715. A great-nephew represented Westmorland from 1761 to 1768, but other Uptons in Parliament were descended from the Irish branch.3