SHUTER, John (1578-1656), of Winterbourne Gunner, Wilts. and the Inner Temple, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

bap. 28 July 1578,1 o.s. of John Shuter (d. by 1588) of Winterbourne Gunner and Bridget, da. of Robert Pike of Marton, Wilts.2 educ. Clement’s Inn; I. Temple 1600, called 1609.3 m. by 1613,4 Katherine (bur. 27 July 1652),5 da. of William Hopton of Chirbury, Salop, at least 4s., 5 other ch.6 suc. grandfa. 1591.7 bur. 21 Jan. 1656.8

Offices Held

Steward, Andover 1620-48, capital burgess 1620-54, ‘approved man’ 1654-?d.;9 commr. enclosure, Sedgemoor, Som. 1628.10

Steward, I. Temple 1624-7, auditor of accts. 1641-9;11 clerk-examiner in Star Chamber by 1635-41.12

Esq. of the body extraordinary 1633.13


Shuter’s great-grandfather acquired a lease of Avebury demesnes about 1535, and his grandfather bought chantry lands in the same parish and the manor of Winterbourne Cherbourg.14 Shuter himself, orphaned in early childhood, became a lawyer. His name appears on a Wiltshire list of 1611 as able to advance £20 to the Crown,15 though it was not until 1614 that he made good his claim to his grandfather’s lands against his uncles in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.16 He celebrated his success by taking out a grant of arms; but it may have been an expensive triumph, for he resumed residence in the Temple and seems to have sold off most of the estate within the next few years.17

Shuter retained some property in Andover, and became steward of the borough court in 1620, receiving an annual retainer of £2 10s.18 He was returned for the borough to four parliaments from 1621 onwards, during which time he was named to three committees in the Commons: for the confirmation of the Chantries Act (22 Mar. 1621), for the continuance and repeal of statutes (13 Mar. 1624), and for the accounts bill (9 July 1625).19 He took no known part in the second Caroline Parliament, by which time he was on the brink of ruin. In the following year he was discharged of his liabilities as steward of the reader’s feast at the Inner Temple, ‘having shown he has undergone misfortunes’.20 He was given some protection from his creditors by means of an honorary post at Court, and became a clerk in Star Chamber, helping to prepare the notorious case against the corporation of London for their failure to expel the Irish from their plantation in Ulster.21

Shuter seems to have remained in London during the Civil War without commitment to either side. He never became a bencher, but was frequently employed in auditing the accounts of his inn; by 1652 he was the senior barrister there.22 Although ousted from his post as steward of Andover in 1648, he was elected for the borough again in 1654; but the name of the Protector’s kinsman, John Dunch, was substituted on the return, and Shuter was probably too old and cautious to petition.23 He died intestate some 18 months later, and was buried in the Temple Church on 21 Jan. 1656.24 His youngest son Hopton Shuter became a bencher in 1672, but no other member of the family entered Parliament.25

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Wilts. RO, Winterbourne Gunner par. reg. 1250/34.
  • 2. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv), 158-9
  • 3. I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 4. Wilts. Arch. Mag. ix. 296.
  • 5. Temple Church Bur. Reg. ed. H.G. Woods, 9.
  • 6. Stowe 670, f. 198.
  • 7. STAC 8/269/32; PROB 11/78, f. 123v; 11/124, f. 362v.
  • 8. Temple Church Bur. Reg. 11.
  • 9. Hants RO, 37M85/4/AC/4, 5; Reg. Unreformed Corp. (Andover Local Archives, vii), 3.
  • 10. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 267.
  • 11. CITR, ii. 148, 163, 269, 274, 288; iii. 84.
  • 12. SP16/323/331.
  • 13. LC5/132/334.
  • 14. Wilts. N and Q, vi. 407.
  • 15. Wilts. Arch. Mag. ii. 184.
  • 16. STAC 8/269/32; PROB 11/78, f. 123v; 11/124, f. 362v.
  • 17. Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 229; CITR, ii. 62; VCH Wilts. xii. 94, 98; Wilts. Inquisitions (Index Lib. xxiii), 375, 407.
  • 18. Hants RO, 37M85/4/AC/5, ff. 19, 22, 26, 28.
  • 19. CJ, i. 568b, 736b, 807a.
  • 20. CITR, ii. 163.
  • 21. T.W. Moody, Londonderry Plantation 1609-41, pp. 258-66.
  • 22. CITR, ii. 269, 274, 288; iii. 84.
  • 23. Woodward, Hants, iii. 176; R.A. Jones, Andover Members, 13.
  • 24. Temple Church Bur. Reg. 9.
  • 25. I. Temple database of admiss.