HARRIS, John (c.1690-1767), of Hayne, nr. Crediton, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1727 - 1741
1741 - 5 Oct. 1767

Family and Education

b. c.1690, 1st surv. s. of Christopher Harris of Hayne and bro. of Christopher Harris. educ. L. Inn 1706, called 1713. m. (1) Margaret (d. 13 Mar. 1754), da. of Roger Tuckfield of Raddon, Devon, wid. of Samuel Rolle of Heanton Satchville, Devon, s.p.; (2) 10 Mar. 1755, Anne, da. of Francis Seymour Conway, 1st Baron Conway, s.p. suc. fa. aft. 1718 and bro.-in-law to moiety of manor of Ashburton 1739.

Offices Held

Paymaster of the board of Works 1738-40, master of the Household 1741-d.


Of a Tory family, Harris was called ‘the Hanover Rat’ by his neighbour, Samuel Rolle, whose widow he married. At George II’s accession he was brought in for Helston by the Government, with whom he voted consistently throughout his parliamentary career, moving the Address in 1735. In 1739 his wife succeeded to the estates of her brother, Roger Tuckfield, carrying an interest at Ashburton, for which Harris subsequently returned himself and another government supporter without opposition. In 1742 it was incorrectly rumoured that he was to be displaced as master of the Household.1 He is described in the 2nd Lord Egmont’s electoral survey of c.1750 as ‘a man who to keep his place I should think would vote and bring in another as directed’. He died 5 Oct. 1767, aged 77.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Shirley Matthews


  • 1. Walpole to Mann, 7 July 1742.