KENT, John (c.1612-69), of the Market Place, Devizes, Wilts.

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



1661 - Aug. 1669

Family and Education

b. c.1612, o.s. of John Kent of Devizes by Anne, da. of Jerome Potticarie of Stockton. educ. Oriel, Oxf. matric. 20 June 1628, aged 16; M. Temple 1630. m. 1642, Jane, da. of Sir Humphrey Lynde of Cobham, Surr., 1s. suc. gdfa. John Kent 1630.2

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Wilts. Aug. 1660-d., j.p. Devizes 1661, alderman 1662-d.3


Kent’s grandfather, an attorney of Cheshire origin, became town clerk of Devizes towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign, represented the borough in 1597, and registered his pedigree with the heralds in 1623. Kent himself, or some other member of the family, was removed as town clerk during the Interregnum ‘for his loyalty’ but his marriage to the sister-in-law of Robert Nicholas the Cromwellian judge, probably saved him from more serious consequences. Returned after a contest at the general election of 1661 he was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, with 65 committees. Few of these were of political importance, but he was probably a court supporter. In 1661 he was appointed to the committees for the uniformity bill and for cancelling the conveyance of Devizes Castle (with other property) by Dame Mary Powell during the Interregnum (see William Powell). He was named to the committees to examine defects in the Corporations Act in 1663 and to attaint English officers in Dutch service in 1665. His will, dated 30 July 1669, was proved on 2 Oct. His son John was appointed alderman of Devizes under the charter of 1684, but returned negative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and no later Member of the family sat in Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Kent sat until either Aug. or Setp. 1669.
  • 2. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv), 105; PCC 27 St. John, 125 Coke; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xli. 92; Wilts. N. and Q. iii. 36.
  • 3. Add. 32324, f. 149.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 286.