FORTESCUE, John II (1565-1604), of Buckland Filleigh, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1565, 1st s. of William Fortescue of Buckland Filleigh by Anne, da. of Sir Roger Gifford of Brightley. educ. I. Temple 1584. m. (1) Anne, da. of Walter Porter of Thetford, Norf., wid. of Digory Thorn of Sheepwash, Devon; (2) Susanna, da. of Sir John Chichester of Raleigh, Devon, 3s. 3da. suc. fa. c.1580.1

Offices Held

J.p. Devon from c.1582.


Fortescue probably owed his parliamentary seat at Bridport to Sir Walter Ralegh with whom his family had long been associated. Little is known about his life. He was involved in a number of Chancery lawsuits about the Buckland Filleigh and Torrington crown manor estates, into possession of which he entered by about 1595. In 1602, together with the mayor of Barnstaple, he certified the receipt of arms from Edward Giles, and later wrote to Sir Robert Cecil about the shortage of pay for soldiers bound for Ireland, and their consequent desertions.2

Fortescue made his will in Febraury 1604, appointing as overseers two of his brothers and his cousin John Fortescue of Filleigh. He left bequests to various members of the family, to the poor, and 20 nobles to Mary Cantill of Great Torrington, who had formerly been his wife’s servant, to assist her in bringing up his children. Fortescue was buried 1 Apr. 1604 at Wear Gifford. His sons later made careers for themselves in Ireland.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 34, 163, 173, 353-9, 361.
  • 2. HMC Hatfield, x. 112; xii. 51; Gilbert Voyages, ed. Quinn (Hak. Soc. ser. 2), lxxxiii. 40, 47, 210; lxxxiv. 330; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 193; T. Fortescue, Lord Clermont, Fortescue Fam. 228; Cal. Proc. Chanc. Q. Eliz. i. 253, 298, 309, 325; Bodl. Willis 49, f. 287; HMC Hatfield, xii. 51; HMC 15th Rep. VII, pp. 54-5.
  • 3. Clermont, 229; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 359.