WEBB, John (b. 1671), of Butleigh, Som.
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Family and Education
b. 1671, 1st s. of James Webb of Butleigh by Katherine Farmer (d. c.1672) of Bristol, Glos. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. matric. 25 Oct. 1689, aged 17; L. Inn 1689. ?unm. suc. fa. by 1712.1
Webb’s family had been established at Butleigh in Somerset since the early 17th century. Their fortune had been increased somewhat by his grandfather, John Webb, a successful architect who had married the daughter and heiress of Inigo Jones, but the details of Webb’s own career outside Parliament are almost non-existent. In 1702, by which time he may already have succeeded to his father’s estate, he made a bid for one of Ilchester’s parliamentary seats, the borough lying just five miles from Butleigh. He became ensnared, however, in a fierce factional struggle which saw much bribery on either side. The town bailiff was predisposed against him and returned his opponent even though Webb had many more votes. Webb duly petitioned on 24 Oct. 1702, but not only was his opponent subsequently confirmed in the seat, he himself was condemned for bribery and spent some time in the custody of the serjeant-at-arms. On renewing his attempt in 1705, however, he was elected unopposed. He was classed in a list of 1705 as ‘Low Church’ and as a ‘gain’ for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*), although this was qualified as a doubtful assessment. Sunderland’s doubts were no doubt confirmed by Webb’s vote on 25 Oct. against the Court candidate as Speaker. He may have been the ‘John Webb’ listed as voting for the Court on the regency bill proceedings on 18 Feb. 1706, although John Richmond Webb was also in the House by that date. Inactive in proceedings, he was granted leave of absence to recover his health on 22 Dec. 1707. He was given as a Tory on two lists of 1708. He did not seek re-election in 1708. The date of his death has not been ascertained.2