MILLER, John (1665-1721), of North Street, Chichester, Suss.
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Family and Education
bap. 21 Nov. 1665, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Miller, 1st Bt.* educ. L. Inn 1684. m. (1) by 1686, Margaret (d. 1701), da. of John Peachey of Chichester, 4s. (2 d.v.p.), 6 da.; (2) lic. 19 Feb. 1707, Anne (d. 1709), da. of William Elson I*, 2s. (d.v.p.); (3) 2 May 1710, Elizabeth (d. 1756), da. of Sir William Meux, 2nd Bt., of Kingston, I.o.W., 1da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 2 Dec. 1705.1
Sheriff, Suss. 1706–7.
Mayor, Chichester 1706–7.2
Miller was returned for his native borough on the interest of his father in 1698. He was queried as a Court supporter in a list of about September of that year, but was shortly afterwards forecast as likely to oppose a standing army, a prediction which was probably accurate since he was not listed among those voting against the disbanding bill on 18 Jan. 1699. He was an inactive Member, and was several times granted leave of absence, the first occasion being 12 Apr. 1699. At the first 1701 election he transferred to the county, and was given leave for 10 days on 2 May 1701. He successfully contested Chichester in December 1701, when his election was classed as a loss for the Whigs by Lord Spencer (Charles*), and was listed as a Tory by Robert Harley*. His Tory prejudices were further exemplified when he was blacklisted as having opposed preparations for the war with France in 1701, and by his vote on 26 Feb. 1702 in favour of the motion vindicating the impeachments of King William’s Whig ministers.
Miller was returned again for Chichester in Queen Anne’s first Parliament. He was given leave for 14 days on 22 Jan. 1703, and again on 15 Jan. 1704. Forecast as a probable opponent of the Tack in October 1704, he was nevertheless lobbied by Harley and duly voted against it, or was absent, on 28 Nov. Miller was evidently a Tory of the most moderate kind, to the point of voting Whig on occasion: in the 1705 Sussex election he voted for the Whig candidates, while he himself was the defeated Tory candidate at Chichester. In the 1708 election he stood down in accordance with a local agreement (which he had signed as one of the representatives of the local Tories) to avoid contests. This arrangement had collapsed by 1710, when Miller was returned to Chichester after a contest, apparently having stood with his kinsman, the Whiggish Sir Richard Farington, 1st Bt.*, against two Tories. He was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, but did not appear on other lists of Tories in this Parliament. He was given leave for one month on 14 Mar. 1711. He did not vote in the 1710 county election but in 1713 voted once more for the Whig candidates. He contested Chichester unsuccessfully in 1713 after which one contemporary wrote: ‘Sir John Miller . . . was a rank Tory till within these three years, and is in all respects an odd kind of man’. He did not stand again for Parliament and died on 29 Nov. 1721. His eldest son Thomas represented Chichester from 1715 to 1727.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 41; W. Suss. RO, subdeanery of Chichester par. reg. (ex inf. Dr P. J. Le Fevre); Suss. Mar. Lic. (Suss. Rec. Soc. xii), 233.
- 2. A. Hay, Chichester, 571.
- 3. Suss. Poll 1705 (Suss. Rec. Soc. iv), 22; E. Suss. RO, Danny ms 2188, Suss. poll 1710; Add. 32920, f. 2; Bodl. ms Add. A.269, p. 24.