FOOTE, Samuel (c.1625-91), of Peter Street, Tiverton, 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



21 Nov. 1673 - Mar. 1681
1689 - 26 Mar. 1691

Family and Education

b. c.1625, 1st s. of John Foote of Taunton, Som.  m. (1) 1657, Mary Keate (d. 1678), 4da.; (2) Martha (d. aft. 1691), da. of Thomas Mompesson of North Brewham, Som., 1s.  suc. fa. ?1628.1

Offices Held

Alderman, Tiverton 1655–Jan. 1688, Oct. 1688–d., mayor ?1662–3; commr. for recusants, Devon 1675.2

?Gent. privy chamber 1671.3


Foote was one of the principal merchants in Tiverton, engaged among other things in exporting cloth to Holland and northern Europe. Under the Protectorate he had belonged to an Independent congregation, but quickly conformed at the Restoration, serving as a churchwarden in his local parish in 1662. Indeed, during his mayoralty he became a ‘furious persecutor’ of his former pastor. An opponent of the Court at the outset of his parliamentary career, and then an Exclusionist, he was even suspected in 1682 of peripheral involvement in armed conspiracy but trimmed his sails sufficiently to retain his place among the Tiverton aldermen until removed in January 1688 for opposing James II’s ecclesiastical policy. Although it may well have been a namesake, a London merchant, who lent King William’s government over £4,000 in 1689–90, Foote’s own standing with the new regime was high enough to guarantee the appointment of his son-in-law John Cruwys as receiver-general for the county. In the Convention he was, not surprisingly, less active than he once had been, though he voted for the disabling clause in the corporations bill (and this despite his own inclusion in the Tiverton charter of 1684). Re-elected unopposed in 1690, he was listed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in March 1690, and as a supporter of the Country party by Robert Harley* early in the following year. Foote died intestate on 26 Mar. 1691, aged 66, and was buried at Tiverton. His son’s inheritance included landed property worth over £500 p.a. and in all probability a considerable personalty, for Foote had already been able to provide a portion of £1,500 for the daughter who had married Cruwys. The estate did not remain intact for long, however, for when his son died childless in 1696 the property was divided among the daughters, another of whom had married Robert Burridge*.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Trans. Devon Assoc. lxviii. 326; W. Harding, Hist. Tiverton, i. 78; iii. 56, 58; iv. 17; Taunton Wills (Index Lib. xlv), 199.
  • 2. M. Dunsford, Hist. Mems. Tiverton, 372, 456; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 695.
  • 3. N. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 189.
  • 4. W. B. Stephens, 17th-Cent. Exeter, 158–9; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 130, 508, 568, 1971, 1973, 1979, 1987, 1995, 2004; Dunsford, 316, 372, 443; Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, vii. 11; Devon and Cornw. N. and Q. xviii. 259.