DUTTON, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (1684-1743), of Sherborne, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1727 - 1743

Family and Education

bap. 2 Jan. 1684, 1st surv. s. of Sir Ralph Dutton, 1st Bt., M.P., of Sherborne by his 2nd w. Mary, da. of Peter Barwick, M.D., of London, physician in ordinary to Charles II. educ. M. Temple 1701. m. (1) settlement 17 June 1714, with £12,500,1 Mary (d. May 1719), da. and h. of Sir Rushout Cullen, 3rd Bt., M.P., s.p.; (2) 1 June 1728 (with £20,000) Mary, da. of Francis Keck of Great Tew, Oxon., 2da. suc. fa. 1721.

Offices Held


The Duttons owned extensive estates in Gloucestershire, where they had purchased the manor of Sherborne in 1551. John Dutton, whose father wasted the family fortune in coursing and gambling, was educated for the bar at the expense of his grandfather, Dr. Barwick, making a wealthy marriage in 1714, by which time his father’s debts amounted to almost £10,000.2 In 1727 he was returned unopposed for Gloucestershire as a Whig, voting against the Administration except on the excise bill, when he was absent, and on the repeal of the Septennial Act, when he voted with the Government. Before 1734 he agreed to stand on a compromise with the Tories ‘in order to cover the weak state of the Whig interest here, which before another election I thought might be cemented and secured from breaking to pieces’; but when John Stephens, the son of Thomas Stephens intervened, breaking the compromise, Dutton withdrew. He did not stand again, declaring that ‘it has been long my determined resolution to live quietly and to serve my King and country in the best manner I am able in a private station and never more to be dragged into public life as I have once been if I can honestly avoid it’. During the campaign of 1740 he wrote: ‘I am very sure I never took ... [such] ... pains in any election before and have almost wrote myself blind by labouring in it.’3 He died 4 Feb. 1743, leaving his property to his nephew James Lenox Naper, with remainder to his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Reade and his brother George Reade.4

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Shirley Matthews


  • 1. Cal. Sherborne Muniments, 31.
  • 2. Blacker Morgan, Hist. and Gen. Mems. Dutton Fam. 63, 233; Cal. Sherborne Muniments, loc. cit.
  • 3. Dutton to Hardwicke, 4 Sept. 1742, Add. 35601, f. 130; J. Neale to Walpole, 24 Sept. 1733, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss; Dutton to Hardwicke, 28 Apr. 1739, Add. 35586, f. 164; Blacker Morgan, 237.
  • 4. PCC 227 Boycott.