WOTTON, John (by 1523-55 or later), of Totnes and Great Englebourne, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1523, 1st s. of William Wotton of Harberton and Great Englebourne by da. of one Holcomb. m. by 1544, Agnes, da. of (?Thomas) Hackwell of Totnes, 5s. 3da. suc. fa. 1554/55.1

Offices Held

Mayor, Totnes 1552-3.2


Although they founded an armorial family, little trace has been found of William Wotton, a clothier of Harberton near Totnes, and his son John, a merchant of that town. Together they paid £324 in September 1546 for a lease of the neighbouring manor of Great Englebourne, formerly owned by Buckfast abbey, which then became the family seat. By then John Wotton was involved with Christopher Savery and others in the privateering exploits of the ships George and Trynitie, built and equipped at Totnes, a business in which Wotton was again licensed to engage in 1549. It was with Savery that he was elected, while mayor, to both Parliaments of 1553. All that is known of his part in the Commons is that he did not oppose the Marian restoration of Catholicism. His sale of a house in Totnes on 21 Dec. 1555 is the last reference found to him.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 316; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 811; Western Antiq. ix. 152; PCC 20 More.
  • 2. Western Antiq. ix. 152; C219/21/43.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; DKR, x. 302; Devon Monastic Lands (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. n.s. i), 91-92; Totnes charters; deeds; R. M. S. Tugwood, ‘Piracy and privateering from Dartmouth and Kingswear, 1540-58’ (London Univ. M.A. thesis, 1953), 142, 146.