HARRIS, Arthur (c.1650-86), of Hayne, Stowford, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1650, o.s. of John Harris† of Hayne by 2nd w. Cordelia, da. of John Mohun†, 1st Baron Mohun of Okehampton. m. lic. 5 June 1673, Theophila, da. of John Turner, serjeant-at-law, of Salisbury Court, London, s.p. suc. fa. 1657, cr. Bt. 1 Dec. 1673.1
Recorder, Okehampton 1671-81; j.p. Devon 1673-80, commr. for assessment 1673-80, recusants 1675.2
Harris came from a cadet branch of the Radford family which acquired Hayne, about ten miles from Okehampton, by marriage in the 16th century. His father, a Puritan, sat for Launceston in the Long Parliament until secluded at Pride’s Purge. Though without the benefit of legal training, Harris was made recorder of Okehampton in 1671, and returned to the Cavalier Parliament at a by-election on the interest of his cousin, the 3rd Lord Mohun. An inactive Member, he was probably appointed to the committee of elections and privileges in February 1673, and to four others of minor importance. Although his politics were not known to Sir Richard Wiseman in 1676, Mohun was one of the most prominent country peers, and Shaftesbury marked Harris ‘worthy’ in the following year. He three times acted as teller for the Opposition in 1678, for a committee of inquiry into charges of corruption (18 June), for the adjournment of the supply debate (25 June), and against excusing the women servants of the Duchess of York from the test (26 Nov.).3
Harris was re-elected to the Exclusion Parliaments, and was again considered ‘worthy’ by Shaftesbury. In the first Exclusion Parliament he acted as teller on 17 Apr. 1679 against paying into the Exchequer the supply granted specifically for disbandment, and voted for the bill. He was removed from the commission of the peace in 1680 and took no known part in the second Exclusion Parliament. He was admitted to the Green Ribbon Club in December, and went to great lengths to secure the re-election of Josias Calmady II. He was among those appointed to bring in the third exclusion bill in the Oxford Parliament. He lost his recordership in the same year and is unlikely to have stood in 1685. He was buried at Lifton on 20 Feb. 1686. His estate passed in the following year to his cousin William, who was proposed as a court candidate for Penryn in 1688 and later sat for St. Ives and Okehampton.4