John Harris (Royalist)

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John Harris (1596–1648) of Lanrest in Cornwall and of Radford in the parish of Plymstock in Devon,[1] was an English gentleman who was elected four times as a Member of Parliament for Liskeard in Cornwall, between 1628 and 1644. He supported the Royalist side in the Civil War.


Harris was the second son of John Harris (1564- June 1623) of Lanrest in Cornwall, Recorder (or Steward[2]) of the Borough of West Looe in Cornwall ( established in 1574[3]) and MP for West Looe in Cornwall in 1614,[4] by his wife Joane Harte, daughter and sole heiress of Robert Harte of Plimston in the parish of Stoke Climsland in Cornwall.[5][6] His younger brother was Robert Harris (d.1655), Major General of the King's infantry in Plymouth, buried at Tywardreath in Cornwall, where he "lies interred under a marble monument"[7] inscribed as follows:[8]

"In Memory of Robert Harris, Esquire, sometime Major-Generall of his Majesties forces before Plymouth, who was buried here under, the 29th day of June, 1655, and of Honnor Harris, his sister, who was likewise heer under-neath buried, the 17th day of November, 1653".

"Loyal and stout, thy crime this, this thy praise,"
"Thou'rt here with Honour laid, tho' without Bayes."


John Harris was the heir of his childless elder brother Christopher Harris (1590–November 1623) of Lanrest, a Member of Parliament for West Looe in 1621. John Harris was also a great-nephew and sole heir of Sir Christopher Harris (c.1553-1625), MP for Plymouth in 1584,[9] of Radford in the parish of Plymstock in Devon.[10]


In 1628, Harris was elected Member of Parliament for Liskeard and sat until 1629 when King Charles I decided to rule without parliament for eleven years. In April 1640 Harris was re-elected MP for Liskeard in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected for Liskeard in the Long Parliament in November 1640 until he was disabled from sitting in January 1644 for supporting the King.[11]


In 1630 he married Elizabeth Johnson (d.1637), a daughter of Emorb Johnson of Bridge in the parish of South Petherton in Somerset[12] and of Bonham in Wiltshire. She died in childbirth in 1637, having produced one surviving son:


  1. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.448
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ History of Parliament biography[1]
  5. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.447,pedigree of "Harris of Radford"
  6. ^ Visitation of Devon1620
  7. ^ See image[2]
  8. ^ Gilbert, Charles Sandoe, An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, Volume 1, p.30[3]
  9. ^ Vivian, p.447
  10. ^ Vivian, p.448
  11. ^ Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. onepage&q&f=, false 229–239.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Basil Duke Henning The House of Commons, 1660-1690
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Francis Steward
Joseph Jane
Member of Parliament for Liskeard
With: Sir Francis Steward
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Liskeard
With: George Kekewich 1640
Joseph Jane 1640–1644
Succeeded by
Thomas Povey
George Kekewich
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