PETTUS, John (1550-1614), of Norwich, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1550, s. of Thomas Pettus, tailor and mayor of Norwich by Christine, da. of Simon Dethick of North Elmingham. m. Bridget, da. of Augustine Curteys of Honnington, Suff. and Lincs., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1598. Kntd. 29 June 1607.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Norwich 1598-9, alderman by 1600, mayor 1608-9.


Pettus came of an old Norwich family. Though no record of his admission as a freeman has been found, he presumably carried on his father’s business, and was certainly one of Norwich’s richest and most influential citizens during the first decade of the seventeenth century. As MP for the borough in 1601, he was appointed to the committee on penal laws (2 Nov.), the main business committee (3 Nov.) and the committee on tithes at Norwich (23 Nov.). He also obtained from Cecil a concession that Norwich should not pay the subsidy and alnage upon the new draperies. He was the first Norwich citizen to be returned to two consecutive Parliaments since 1558-9, and one of the first to be knighted.

He died in 1614. His lengthy will showed that he had substantial property in Norwich as well as a country estate at Rackheath. Most of this went to his son and grandchildren, but for ‘the love, zeal and religious mind’ that he bore ‘unto the preaching of the word of God’, he left some land to endow sermons at Norwich, as well as money to other charities. He was buried near his father in the church of St. Simon and St. Jude, Norwich.

Blomefield, Norf. iv. 231, 359; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 221; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 110; P. Millican, Reg. Norwich Freemen, 124; HMC Hatfield, xi. 532; D’Ewes, 622, 624, 654; PCC 51 Lawe.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe