John Port (judge)
|Sir John Port|
|Children||Sir John Port
|Parent(s)||Henry Port, Anne Barrow|
John Port was born about 1472 at Chester, where his ancestors had been merchants for some generations. His father, Henry Port, was mayor of Chester in 1486, and his mother, Anne Barrow, was the daughter of Robert Barrow, also a mayor of Chester in 1526.
Port studied law at the Middle Temple, where he was Reader in 1509, Lent Reader and treasurer in 1515, and governor in 1520. In 1504 he was one of the commissioners appointed to raise a subsidy in Derbyshire. On 2 June 1509 he was made King's solicitor, and on 26 November signed a proclamation as member of the Privy Council. In the same year he was "keeper of the King's books", and in 1511 clerk of the wardrobe. Before 1512 he was appointed attorney to the earldom of Chester, and in that year he appeared as one of the commissioners selected to inquire into the extortions of the masters of the mint.
In 1515 and most succeeding years he served on the commission for the peace in Derbyshire. In 1517 he was clerk of exchange in the Tower, and in 1522 was made serjeant-at-law. He acquired an extensive practice as an advocate, and in 1525 he was made a Justice of the King's Bench and knighted.
He was on the commission for gaol delivery at York, and in June went on the northern circuit as justice of assize. He was also a member of Princess Mary's council. In 1535 he was placed on the commission of oyer and terminer for Middlesex to try John Fisher and Thomas More, and in the following year was similarly employed with regard to Anne Boleyn.
Port died on or about 14 March 1540.
Port's son, John Port the Younger, took a prominent part in the transactions relating to the foundation of Brasenose College, Oxford. He gave to it a garden lying on the south side of the college, and completed John Williamson's bequest of £200 to provide stipends for two sufficient and able persons to read and teach openly in the hall, the one philosophy, the other 'humanity. The stipend was (then) 4 shillings a year, but the limitation to the descendants of Williamson and Port was abolished by Oxford University in 1854. John the Younger was also the founder of Repton School, and the land on which the family Manor House once stood in Etwall is now the grounds of a Secondary School which still holds the Port family crest of three birds within its own school crest.
Marriages and issue
Port married firstly Joan Fitzherbert, widow of John Pole of Radbourne, Derbyshire, and the daughter and coheir of John Fitzherbert (d.1502), King's Remembrancer of the Exchequer, by whom he had a son, Sir John Port, and three daughters:
- Ellen Port, who married firstly Sir Edmund Pierrepont of Holme, Nottinghamshire and secondly Sir John Babington.
- Barbara Port, who married Sir John Francys of Foremark.
- Maria Port, who married Sir George Finderne of Findern.
- Baker, J.H. (2004). "Port, Sir John (c.1472–1540)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/22552. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Bigsby, Robert (1854). Historical and Topographical Description of Repton in the County of Derby. London: Woodfall and Kinder. pp. 264–9. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- Will of Sir John Port, proved 22 March 1540, National Archives. Retrieved 3 April 2013
- Will of John Fitzherbert, proved 12 May 1503, National Archives. Retrieved 3 April 2013
- The John Port tombs – John's father Henry has a monument too in Etwall.