SPARK, John (c.1673-1707), of Plymouth, 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



Dec. 1701 - 2 Jan. 1707

Family and Education

b. c.1673, s. of John Spark of Plymouth by Duglas, da. of John Eliot† of Port Eliot, Cornw.  educ. Queens’, Camb. adm. 20 Nov. 1689, aged 16.  m. 17 Sept. 1706 (with £12,000), Diana, da. of John Rolle of Stevenstone, Devon, sis. of John I* and Robert Rolle*, s.psuc. cos. John Speccot* 1705.1

Offices Held


Spark’s family had been established in Plymouth since the mid-16th century. He was returned for Newport in December 1701 on the interest of his first cousin John Speccot whose property at Penheale lay near the borough. Classed as a Tory by Robert Harley* in December 1701, he voted on 26 Feb. 1702 for the motion vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachment of William’s ministers. On 7 May he acted as teller against a motion to give greater advantage to Protestant purchasers of Irish forfeited estates. He was again returned at the election after the accession of Queen Anne. His Tory sympathies were highlighted in his vote in favour of the Tack on 28 Nov. 1704, which he had been predicted to support. Shortly after being retained again in 1705, he succeeded his parliamentary patron to an estate said to be worth £6,500 p.a. Classed as ‘True Church’, he voted against the Court candidate as Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705. The following year he wed an heiress with a fortune said to be worth about £12,000, and under the marriage articles settled a jointure of £4,000 on her. He made his will on 7 Dec. 1706 and Narcissus Luttrell* reported his death on 2 Jan. 1707. He left Penheale to his uncle William Spark.2

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 656, 707, 856; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 148; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 3 Sept. 1706.
  • 2. Newdigate newsletter 16 June 1705; PCC 73 Poley; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 123.