PRAED, John (c.1657-1717), of Trevethoe, nr. St. Ives, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. c.1657, 2nd s. of James Praed† of Trevethoe and bro. of James Praed*. suc. bro. 1706.1
Praed was probably born around 1657 as his father’s will of January 1678 implied that he had already attained the age of 21. As a younger son he was apprenticed to a London merchant, Mr Bonnell, and by 1678 was a factor at Zant in the Morea. In 1680 he had an order from Daniel Gates and William Warre, London merchants, ‘to buy up all Morea currants’ and to draw on bills of exchange payable in Venice. According to Praed, the bills were stopped although delivery of the cargo was taken in London. In 1690 Praed took legal action in Chancery against Warre and was awarded £6,404 plus costs the following year. Warre appealed to the House of Lords, but lost the case. However, since Warre refused to pay, Praed applied to sequester his estates and had him committed to the Fleet, only to discover that Warre had come to an arrangement with the warden and secured his release. When the Commons investigated similar abuses in the Fleet and other prisons, Praed was quick to petition on 9 Dec. 1696, although without result, and again on 31 Jan. 1699.2
Meanwhile, according to an affidavit of 27 June 1693, Praed had been approached two months previously by Abraham Anselm, secretary to the joint admirals of the fleet, to recruit men for James II. Anselm, Praed stated, came up to him and said:
Jack, I know that thou art an honest fellow, and one that has great interest with the tinners in the county of Cornwall, and asked me what men I thought I could raise in case there should be a design of bringing in King James, telling me that in Monmouth’s rebellion I was much for King James, and hoped I would be so still.
Praed replied that ‘although he was a man of misfortunes, yet he was a true subject to the government established’.3
Praed succeeded his brother at Trevethoe in 1706 and found the estate encumbered with debts and ‘the farms mostly leased on lives with the payment of small quit rents’. Nevertheless, he stood for St. Ives on his own interest in 1708 and was successful after a bitterly contested (and presumably expensive) election. He was listed as voting against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710. Successful again in 1710, he was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, as one of the ‘Tory patriots’ who voted for the peace in April 1711 and as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who detected the mismanagements of the previous ministry. Praed made one last attempt to settle his dispute with Warre, petitioning on 10 Feb. 1711 for leave to bring in a bill to sequester Warre’s real and personal estate, a motion which was negated without a division.
Praed did not stand in 1713, presumably owing to his continuing pecuniary troubles. He attempted to find various ways of surmounting his financial difficulties, including an agreement in September 1714 for mortgaging his estate. However, since Praed had become embroiled in a dispute with his nephew John Penrose, he then approached Sir Humphrey Mackworth* with a proposal which was agreed in July 1715. According to the terms of this agreement, Praed would make Mackworth’s son William† his heir in return for £3,000 and a commitment to raise other sums from the estate to pay Praed’s debts. In addition, Praed was to recommend a wife for young William Mackworth who was to change his name to Praed. His original nominee Bridget Penrose turned down the offer, so Praed recommended Anne Slaney, who by a settlement of January 1716 brought a portion of £4,000, all of which eventually was to go to paying off Praed’s debts. Praed and Sir Humphrey Mackworth went to Trevethoe in April 1716 to sign leases with the tenants and Praed was allowed to reside there until his death on 10 Oct. 1717. He was buried on 7 Nov. and administration was granted on his estates in December. William Mackworth Praed eventually succeeded to the political interest in George II’s reign.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley
- 1. Boase, Coll. Cornub. 756.
- 2. PCC 125 Exton; Boase, 757; CJ, xvi. 487; HMC Lords, iv. 285; n.s. iii. 288–9.
- 3. HMC Lords, n.s. i. 294, 297–8; BL, Althorp mss, Harley to Halifax (Sir George Savile†), 1 July 1693.
- 4. Polsue, Complete Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iii. 101; Boase, 756–8; Add. 36178, ff. 285–95; J. H. Matthews, St. Ives, 445.