SAVERY, Christopher (d.1623), of Totnes and Shilston, 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

s. of Stephen Savery of Totnes by Joan, da. and coh. of John Servington of Tavistock. m. Joan, da. of Thomas Carew of Haccombe, 3s. 5da.

Offices Held

Member of Totnes merchant company 1579, governor 1580; freeman, Totnes 1584, mayor 1593; sheriff, Devon 1619.1


Savery was twice returned to Parliament for his borough, leaving no trace upon the records of the House, though he may well have served on committees concerning kerseys, 23, Mar. and 2 Apr. 1593. He was the leader of the group of richer Totnes merchants who successfully attempted to exclude the commonalty, led by William Blackall and John Giles, from participation in the town’s affairs, and was naturally one of the 14 councillors named in the charter of 1596. Thenceforward he was attacked with increasing bitterness by the opposing faction, who sent a petition to the Privy Council in 1598 accusing him of various malpractices. In 1602 Blackall was still attacking him but by the following year he had bought the manor of Ford in Broadhempston from Edward Seymour I and was described as ‘esq.’ of Little Hempston. His name appears in various connexions, subscribing £25 to the Armada fund, involved in litigation with the Buggin family, selling Totnes castle in 1591, able to lend the King £30 in 1611, and so on. By 1614 he had settled as a country gentleman at Shilston. He died in 1623, and was buried at Ugborough on 8 Oct.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


This biography is based upon the Roberts thesis.

  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 670-1; Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 253-4; Trans. Dev. Assoc. xxxii. 439; xl. 152, 156; Devon RO 1579 unclassified f. 5.
  • 2. D’Ewes, 507, 513; Western Antiq. ix. 152; W. Cotton, Antiqs. Totnes , 28, 34, 94; St. Ch. 5/B21/6; Totnes recs. petition of 1598, letter of 11 Jan. 1601; Devon RO, Tingey 1402; Devon N. and Q. xxvi. 124; Vivian, 670.