John Port (died 1557)

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Sir John Port
Born before 1510
Died 6 June 1557
Education Brasenose College
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Giffard
Dorothy Fitzherbert
Children Walter Port
Thomas Port
Elizabeth Port
Dorothy Port
Margaret Port
Parent(s) Sir John Port, Jane Fitzherbert

Sir John Port (before 1510 – 6 June 1557) was an English Knight of the Bath and politician. He founded Repton School, an almshouse at Etwall and also has a secondary school named after him.


The family of Port was based in Chester.

John Port was the only son of Sir John Port (d.1540) by Jane Fitzherbert (died c.1520), widow of John Pole of Radbourne,[1] and daughter and heiress of John Fitzherbert (d.1502) of Etwall, King's Remembrancer of the Exchequer.[2] His great-grandfather, Henry Port, was described as a merchant. A mercer, also named Henry Port (d.1512), was his grandfather;[3] a monument to the latter in St Helen's Church, Etwall records that he died in 1512, having had seventeen children by his wife Elizabeth, the daughter of Banowayte of Flowresbrook.[4]

Port had three sisters: Ellen, who married firstly Sir Edmund Pierrepont of Holme, Nottinghamshire and secondly Sir John Babington; Barbara, who married Sir John Francys of Foremark; and Maria, who was the wife of Sir George Findern of Findern.[4]

Etwall Hospital


Port was the first lecturer or scholar at his father's foundation at Brasenose College. He was elected Knight of the Shire (MP) for Derbyshire in 1539. He was knighted at the coronation of Edward VI in 1547 and was a member of Queen Mary's first parliament, representing Derbyshire in 1553. He was High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1554. In 1556 he was involved in the execution of Joan Waste, a 22-year-old blind Protestant.


Port had no surviving sons when he died on 6 June 1557. By his will he left bequests for the creation of an almshouse at Etwall, and a "Grammar School in Etwalle or Reptone", where the scholars every day were to pray for the souls of his parents and other relatives. The executors purchased land which had once been the grounds of the Augustinian Repton Priory.[5] The priory had been dissolved in 1538, however the buildings remained standing until 1553 when then owner, Gilbert Thacker, fearing the priory would be recommissioned under Catholic Queen Mary I, had the church completely destroyed; a task that was almost entirely completed within a single day.[6][7] Gilbert Thacker claimed "He would destroy the nest, for fear the birds should build therein again."[6] Thus only a few fragments and foundations of the original priory church remain, though other buildings survived and are now part of Repton School.[8][9] Port also confirmed and augmented his father's grants to Brasenose College, Oxford.[2]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Port married firstly Elizabeth Giffard, daughter of Sir Thomas Giffard of Chillington in Staffordshire by Dorothy, his wife, third daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Montgomery, which Elizabeth was heiress to her mother. By his first wife he had three daughters and two sons:[10]

Port married secondly Dorothy Fitzherbert, widow of Sir Ralph Longford (d. 1543) and daughter of Sir Anthony Fitzherbert of Norbury, Derbyshire, by whom he had no issue.[2]


  1. ^ Bigsby 1854, p. 264.
  2. ^ a b c Baker 2004.
  3. ^ Baker 2004.
  4. ^ a b Bigsby.
  5. ^ "History of Repton" on School website
  6. ^ a b 'Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Repton, with the cell of Calke', A History of the County of Derby: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 58-63. URL: Date accessed: 8 June 2013
  7. ^ Repton Church: Our Church - Christianity in Repton
  8. ^ "Remains of Priory Church". Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Bigsby & 1854 264.
  11. ^ Collin's Peerage of England by Sir Egerton Brydges, K.J.: in nine volumes: VOL. III 1812: Earl of Chesterfield pp.415-421


External links[edit]