WROTTESLEY, John (c.1682-1726), of Wrottesley Hall, Tettenhall, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1682, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Walter Wrottesley, 3rd Bt., of Wrottesley Hall by 1st w. Eleanor, da. of Sir John Archer of Coppersale, Essex, j.c.p. 1663–81. educ. Rugby 1699; Trinity Coll., Camb. 1700. m. 15 Jan. 1704, Frances, da. of Hon. John Grey* and sis. of Henry Grey, 3rd Earl of Stamford, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. as 4th Bt. 1712.1
The Wrottesleys had been settled in the parish of Tettenhall, Staffordshire, near the border with Shropshire, since the 12th century. Wrottesley’s grandfather had attempted to follow a neutral course in the Civil War, but, despite being appointed to the county committee in 1643, he was fined over £1,500 for delinquency due to the fact that his house had been used as a Royalist garrison. His father served as sheriff in 1686, and later refused to answer affirmatively the first two of James II’s three questions. Nothing is known about his father’s attitude to the Revolution, although by 1692 he was acting as a deputy-lieutenant in Staffordshire with Hon. John Grey and Philip Foley*. He was also named in the lieutenancy in 1703.2
Nothing is known of Wrottesley’s early career. He first came to notice as one of the consenting, and probably promoting, parties of a bill for the better support of the minister of Tettenhall. He replaced (Sir) Edward Bagot (4th Bt.)* as knight of the shire at the 1708 election. His family was sufficiently well connected to ensure an uncontested election. On a list of the 1707 Parliament, with the returns of the 1708 elections added, he was classed as a Tory. He made little impact in the Commons, however, and on 12 Jan. 1710 he was given leave of absence to recover his health in the country. He returned to the Commons in time to vote against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. He did not stand again.3
Wrottesley succeeded to the baronetcy in 1712 and was considered to be a supporter by the exiled Stuart court. However, he was reported to be one of the few men in his hundred to contribute to a subscription to raise horses in response to the Fifteen. He was buried at Tettenhall on 1 Nov. 1726. In his will he left his personal estate in trust to provide for his younger children, up to a limit of £3,000 each. The family estates, including a library bequeathed to him by his brother Hugh, were left to the eldest son. His youngest son, the 7th baronet, sat for Tavistock between December 1747 and 1754.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Stuart Handley
- 1. J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parlty. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), ii. 201; G. Wrottesley, Hist. Wrottesley Fam. 341; Shaw, Staffs. ii. 204; IGI, Staffs.
- 2. Tettenhall Official Guide, 12, 14; Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Act (1883), 200; Add. 36663, ff. 377–8; CSP Dom. 1703–4, p. 278.
- 3. HMC Lords, n.s. vii. 72.
- 4. Staffs. RO, Vernon mss D1790/D/8; Tettenhall Par. Reg. (Staffs. Par. Reg. Soc. 1930), 266; PCC 54 Farrant.