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1599: John Porter MP, JP

The assumption has been made that the John Porter who sat as MP for Bramber in 1586 was one of the five younger brothers of Richard Porter of Bayham who were under 21 in 1574 at the date of their father’s will.

By that will, John Porter inherited lands, waters and watermills in the parish of Marden, Kent. He also benefited to varying degrees under the wills of his brothers, Richard, Stephen and George, all of whom predeceased him.

He married into a cadet branch of the Sackville family, through whom he probably acquired Cuckfield. This marriage may also explain his return to Parliament for Bramber, presumably on the nomination or through the influence of Lord Buckhurst.

Porter died in August 1599. His will affirms that ‘by sundry testimonies of the Holy Ghost in me’ he knew ‘that God ... hath chosen me, unworthy creature, to be one of his peculiar people whom he hath preordained to salvation’.

His second wife was to have a life interest in his Cuckfield and Pevensey estates, which would afterwards pass to the heir, Sackville Porter; his other sons, John and Henry, and his unborn child were to have rent charges of £8 each on the Cuckfield property. A daughter was to have £200. The executors were his two surviving brothers, Robert and Thomas Porter, and his brother-in-law Thomas Aynscombe.

W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Sussex. (Comber’s copy at Chichester), 200, 300; L. Inn Black Book. i. 435; Sussex Archaelogical. Collections. vii. 130; PCC 38 Windebanck, 26 Martin, 24 Watson, 17 Darcy, 7 Windsor, 33 Nevell, 63 Dorset; Victoria County History Sussex vii. 158; Cuckfield parish registers.

Parliamentary Constituency date

Bramber 1586

Family and Education

Younger son of John Porter of Battle and Bayham by Anne, daughter of Richard Isted of Mayfield; brother of Richard. education. ?Clifford’s Inn; Lincoln's Inn 1576, called 1584. Married. (1) Winifred, daughter and co-heress of John Sackville of Chiddingly Park, three sons one daughter.; (2) Judith née Wood, widow of one Bland, one daughter.

Offices held

JP Sussex from c.1592.


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


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