BURRINGTON, John (1634-bef.1708), of Sandford, Crediton, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



23 Feb. 1694 - 1698

Family and Education

bap. 1 May 1634, 1st s. of John Burrington of Chudleigh and Holliscombe, Devon, by Susan Taylor.  m. Mary (d. 1708), 1s. 2da.  suc. fa. 1643.1

Offices Held

Commr. victualling the Navy 1695–1702.2


A member of an old-established Devon family, Burrington had removed his seat to Sandford in that county. At the Prince of Orange’s landing in 1688, he played a decisive part in persuading the gentlemen of Devon to join the Prince by being the first to come forward himself, in his capacity as a major in the militia. He was returned for Okehampton at a by-election in February 1694, and in May the following year was appointed a victualling commissioner. At the next general election he was unopposed. Despite his nominal position as a Court Whig, his support for the government on major questions was equivocal. In January 1696 he was forecast as ‘doubtful’ on the question of the proposed council of trade, and though adding his signature promptly to the Association at the end of February, he voted in March against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. On 25 Nov., however, he supported the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. On 15 Feb. 1697 he was teller against passing the bill to admit merchants to the freedom of the Russia Company, and on 3 Mar. 1698 for a motion that the servants of Arthur Owen II* had committed a breach of privilege against Sir Bourchier Wrey, 5th Bt.* In March 1698 he handled the latter stages of a bill to provide Crediton, near his estate, with a workhouse. In April he told for excusing Simon Harcourt I*, a Member absent at a call of the House; for a motion to lay a further duty on coal; for a motion that no one should be forced to accept guineas at 22s. or at a higher value than their worth in standard bullion; and (on the bill for regulating elections) against a clause to make void the admission of any new freemen in corporate boroughs, unless these were made on the day of the election of the chief magistrate, in open court, and with the consent of a majority of qualified voters. Finally, in June he supervised the passage of a private bill. He did not stand in 1698 when he was listed as a placeman (by virtue of his commissionership, worth £400 p.a.) and a Court supporter ‘left out’ of that Parliament. Two months after Queen Anne’s accession he was dismissed from his post. The date of his death has not been ascertained: his consent to a private bill in the Upper House was recorded early in 1705, but he was dead by the time of his wife’s burial in March 1708.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 120–1.
  • 2. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 468; v. 171.
  • 3. A. Jenkins, Hist. Exeter, 185–6; CSP Dom. 1699–1700, p. 255; CJ, xiv. 421; HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 265.