EYTON, John (c.1591-1661), of Leeswood, Mold, Flints.
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Family and Education
b. c.1591,1 1st s. of John Eyton of Leeswood and Jane, da. of David ap Sion ap Griffith of Halkyn, Flints.2 educ. L. Inn 1609.3 m. Susan (bur. 5 Nov. 1658), da. of Thomas Puleston of Lightwood, Overton, Flints. at least 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 4da. (1 d.v.p.).4 suc. fa. 1613.5 bur. 22 Mar. 1661.6 sig. John Eyton.
J.p. Flints. ?1614/15, 1618-c.46,7 commr. Forced Loan 1626-7, charitable uses 1633, 1642, exacted fees, Cheshire and Flints. 1635,8 sheriff, Flints. 1638-9,9 commr. subsidy 1641, poll tax 1641, assessment 1642, Irish aid 1642.10
The Eytons of Leeswood claimed descent from Kynfrig Evell, a twelfth century Welsh nobleman, adopting their English surname in the early Tudor period, when the head of the family married into the Eytons of Eyton Hall near Wrexham in eastern Denbighshire.11 The latter and their Shropshire relatives were an extensive family, and most references to a ‘John Eyton’ not specifically related to Flintshire should probably be discounted as namesakes, including the recipient of an Oxford BA in 1607 and a soldier in the Dutch, Venetian and English forces during the early seventeenth century.12
Although he had just succeeded as head of his family when returned to Parliament in 1614, Eyton was not an obvious choice for the Flint Boroughs seat. Even by local standards, his inheritance cannot have been very substantial: his father was rated at a mere 30s. in lands for the subsidies of 1597 and 1601 and was not appointed to the commission of the peace until 1610.13 Eyton probably owed his return to his connection with Flintshire’s 1604 MPs, his grandmother’s brother-in-law Roger Brereton and his wife’s first cousin Roger Puleston.14 He left no trace on the records of the session, and apparently did not stand for election again; both Brereton and Puleston were dead by the time of the next election, and during the 1620s the borough seat was held by William Ravenscroft, clerk of the Petty Bag. Eyton may have been upset by this substitution, as he did not attest any election returns until the by-election of December 1628, when his neighbour, Peter Wynne, was returned, possibly in opposition to a candidate sponsored by the Ravenscrofts.15
Eyton served as a magistrate from 1618 and was pricked as sheriff in 1638, after (Sir) Richard Wynn* secured exemption for Sir Thomas Mostyn. He was fortunate that the Ship Money levy for that year was substantially less than previous demands, and while the £216 required came in slowly, it was collected without incident, although £60 went missing while en route to London.16 A royalist in the Civil War, Eyton compounded under Denbigh’s articles of surrender in 1646. Active as a defendant in a lawsuit in October 1647, he otherwise lived in obscurity until his death; he was buried at Mold on 22 Mar. 1661.17 No subsequent member of his family sat in Parliament, although one of the Denbighshire family, Kenrick Eyton, represented Flintshire in the Convention Parliament of 1660.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. Assuming him to have been aged 18 on admiss. to L. Inn.
- 2. Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, ii. 310, 320.
- 3. LI Admiss.
- 4. Flint. RO, P40/1/1, ff. 7v, 9, 10; P40/1/2, ff. 5v, 11,17; P40/1/3, ff. 9v, 16; P40/1/4, f. 7v.
- 5. Flint. RO, P/40/1/1.
- 6. Flint. RO, P40/1/4, f. 12v.
- 7. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 103-10.
- 8. C193/12/2; C192/1, unfol.; C181/4, f. 192v.
- 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 255.
- 10. SR, v. 68, 91, 107, 141, 157.
- 11. Dwnn, ii. 320.; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 180.
- 12. Al. Ox.; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, iii. 43, 69; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 479.
- 13. E179/221/223, 179/221/225, 179/264/42; JPs in Wales and Monm. 101.
- 14. Dwnn, ii. 310, 320, 353.
- 15. C219/41B/124.
- 16. NLW, 467E/1655; CSP Dom. 1639, p. 509; 1639-40, pp. 42, 85; 1641-3, p. 68.
- 17. CCC, 1720; C2/Chas.I/P34/27; Flint. RO, P40/1/4, f. 12v.