BASSET, John II (c.1652-86), of Heanton Punchardon, nr. Barnstaple, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



14 Mar. 1677
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
1685 - 13 May 1686

Family and Education

b. c.1652, 1st s. of John Basset (d.1660) of Heanton Punchardon by Susan, da. and coh. of John Blewett of Holcombe Rogus. m. Elizabeth (d. 16 Nov. 1683), da. of Arthur Acland of Barnstaple, 1s. suc. gdfa. 1672.1

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Devon 1676-d., commr. for assessment 1677-80, j.p. 1677-d., col. of militia ft. by 1677-d.; recorder, Barnstaple 1684-d.2


Basset was descended from the Cornish family, one of whom acquired Heanton Court, ‘a conspicuous object from Barnstaple Bridge’, in the 15th century. One of the family first sat for the borough in 1563. Basset’s father was too young to take part in the Civil War, but his grandfather, Arthur Basset of Umberleigh, was a royalist commissioner. He paid £1,362 7s. as a composition for his estate on the Exeter articles, but was still harassed by the local sequestrators. After the Restoration he was proposed for the order of the Royal Oak with an estimated income of £1,000, and installed as recorder of Barnstaple by the commissioners for corporations; but he was not popular with the townspeople, who replaced him by Sir John Chichester.3

Basset himself was returned after a contest at Barnstaple, three miles from his home, in 1677 at the first election after he came of age, and held the seat till his death. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed only to two private bill committees and marked ‘worthy’ on Shaftesbury’s list. But this assessment was altered to ‘vile’ in 1679, and he voted against the committal of the first exclusion bill. He played no other known part in the Exclusion Parliaments. He was nominated as recorder in the new charter of 1684, but again left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. He died on 13 May 1686 and was buried at Atherington. His only son John sat for Barnstaple as a Tory from 1718 to 1721.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 47-48, 94.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 498; CJ, ix. 421; T. Wainwright, Barnstaple Recs. i. 223.
  • 3. Lysons, Devon, 262; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1878, Cal. Comm. Advance Money, 1156; Wainwright, i. 230-1; J. B. Gribble, Mems. Barnstaple, 299-300.
  • 4. CJ, ix. 419; Wainwright, i. 81, 223; Vivian, 47.