HEAD, John (c.1656-1711), of Langleys, Hampstead Norris, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1656, o.s. of Thomas Head of Langleys. educ. New Inn Hall, Oxf. matric. 9 May 1672, aged 16. m. 4 Jan. 1687, Anna, da. of Richard Pococke of Chieveley, 1s. suc. fa. 1683.1
Sheriff, Berks. 1698-9, j.p. by 1701-d.
Head came from a long line of Berkshire yeomen who had entered the ranks of the gentry only in the last generation. The family were probably royalist in sympathy during the Civil War. Head owned property in Hampshire, including the manor of Lickpit and meadowland in Sparsholt, seven miles from Stockbridge; but this was hardly sufficient to give him a natural interest. He defeated Oliver St. John at the general election of 1685, presumably as a Tory. His only committee was to report on expiring laws, and he does not seem to have stood again, though he held local office after the Revolution. He died in 1711. His descendants continued to rise in the social scale. After changing their name to James they acquired a baronetcy in 1791 and a peerage in 1884, but the next member of the family to sit in Parliament was Sir Walter James in 1837.2