HARRIS, Christopher (c.1657-aft.1722), of Hayne, 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



1 Dec. 1709 - 1722

Family and Education

b. c.1657, 2nd s. of Christopher Harris of Hayne, and Kenegie, Cornw. by Elizabeth, da. of Martin Trott of Langridge, Devon; bro. of William Harris*.  m. Jane, 4s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Stannator, Penwith and Kerrier 1710; recorder, Okehampton by 1712.2


Harris’ son and namesake has long been mistaken as the MP elected for Okehampton in December 1709 when in fact it was Harris himself. This Christopher Harris was a younger son who had established himself as an attorney and resided near Penzance, but on the death of his brother William in October 1709, when he was described as ‘about 52 years old’, he inherited the family’s extensive estates in Devon and Cornwall, and in the ensuing by-election succeeded to his late brother’s parliamentary seat. He obtained an unopposed return in 1710, was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament, and was subsequently listed among the ‘worthy patriots’ who during the first session of that Parliament supported exposure of the mismanagements of the Marlborough– Godolphin administration. He voted with the ministry on 18 June 1713 in favour of the French commerce bill. His particular patron was Lord Lansdown (George Granville*) who on his behalf sought favours from Lords Strafford and Oxford (Robert Harley*), describing Harris as having a ‘considerable estate and interest in both the counties of Cornwall and Devon’. In the next Parliament Harris initiated a bill to enforce previous legislation concerning the navigation of the Itchen. The Worsley list and other analyses of the 1713 Parliament described him as a Tory. He was re-elected in 1715 and stood down in 1722, but the date of his death has not been ascertained.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 450; Add. 22222, f. 10.
  • 2. R. Inst. Cornw. Tonkin’s mss hist. Cornw. ii. 244; London Gazette, 28 June–1 July 1712.
  • 3. Bank of England, Morice mss, Sir Nicholas* to Humphry Morice*, 28 Oct. 1709, same to Joseph Moyle*, 29 Nov. 1709; Add. 22222, f. 10; 70288, Lansdown to Oxford, 10 July 1714.