BLUETT (BLEWETT), John (1603-1634), of Holcombe Rogus, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 31 Aug. 1603, 1st s. of Arthur Bluett (d.1612) of Holcombe Rogus and Jane, da. and h. of John Lancaster of Bagborough, Som.1 educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1619.2 m. Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Portman, bt., of Orchard Portman, Taunton, Som., 8da. (4 d.v.p.). suc. gdfa. 1615. d. 28 Nov. 1634.3

Offices Held

?Commr. swans, W. Country 1629,4 j.p. Devon 1632-d.,5 commr. sewers 1633;6 feoffee, Tiverton g.s. 1633.7


The Bluetts traced their pedigree back to an early medieval earl of Salisbury, though the veracity of this claim is difficult to determine. They came to prominence first in Somerset, providing knights of the shire in at least four Parliaments during the 1300s. However, during the following century they acquired by marriage the Devon manors of Holcombe Rogus and Wobernford, respectively nine and three miles from Tiverton.8 Bluett’s grandfather Richard confirmed the family’s strong ties with Tiverton in 1599, when he became a feoffee of the trust to build a free grammar school.9 In the early seventeenth century the Bluetts’ local standing was also boosted by their friendship with the Fraunceis family, who had similar property interests, and likewise supplied a Tiverton Member during this period.10

Bluett was aged only nine when his father died in 1612. Now heir to the family estates, which comprised 16 manors in Somerset, Devon and Dorset, he became a royal ward upon the death of his grandfather three years later. His sisters were entrusted to the care of their mother and her recusant second husband, but Bluett’s wardship was acquired by the fervently Protestant Arthur Chichester, lord deputy of Ireland.11 In 1628, four years after he came of age, Bluett was returned to Parliament for Tiverton, doubtless on the strength of his local landholdings. He had no known personal agenda in the Commons, and left no mark on its records. In 1633 he became a feoffee of Tiverton grammar school, at the same time as John Fraunceis*. Bluett died in November 1634, and was buried at Holcombe Rogus.12 Administration of his estate was granted to his wife, who also purchased the wardship of their daughters.13 In the absence of a male heir, Bluett’s property was divided between his four surviving daughters and his brother Francis, the latter being a royalist colonel who issued commissions from Holcombe Rogus in 1643. No further members of the family sat in the Commons.14

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: George Yerby / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 93-4.
  • 2. Al. Ox.
  • 3. Vivian, 93-4; E.S. Chalk, ‘Tiverton MPs’, Reps. and Trans. Devon Assoc. lxvii. 322; Sales of Wards in Som. 1603-41 ed. M.J. Hawkins (Som. Rec. Soc. lxvii), 8.
  • 4. C181/4, f. 3v.
  • 5. C231/5, p. 75; C193/13/2, f. 15.
  • 6. C181/4, f. 163v.
  • 7. P. Blundell, Donations of Benefactors to Free G.S. at Tiverton, app. i. p. xlii.
  • 8. Vivian, 92; OR; D. and S. Lysons, Devonshire, cxxxv, 252, 276.
  • 9. M. Dunsford, Historical Memoirs of Tiverton, 349.
  • 10. STAC 8/196/20; Devon RO, 49/13/1.
  • 11. Sales of Wards, 87-90; APC, 1615-16, p. 621.
  • 12. Vivian, 94.
  • 13. PROB 6/15, f. 71; Sales of Wards, 8-10.
  • 14. Lysons, p. cxxxv; Vivian, 94; Devon RO, 822M/01.