Sir John Acland, 1st Baronet

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Sir John Acland, 1st Baronet. Portrait c.1644 by Robert Walker (1599–1658), collection of National Trust, Killerton House
Arms of Acland: Chequy argent and sable, a fesse gules

Sir John Acland, 1st Baronet (c. 1591 – 24 August 1647) of Acland[1] in the parish of Landkey and of Columb John in Devon, England, was a Royalist commander in the Civil War, during the early part of which he maintained a garrison for the king on his estate of Columb John. He was created a baronet in 1644 for his support, but the letters patent were lost or never finalised and the dignity was not confirmed until 1677/8, long after his death. He compounded with Parliament for his estate in 1646 and died the following year.


Acland was the son of Sir Arthur Acland (died 1610) of Acland by his wife Eleanor Mallet, daughter and heiress of Robert Mallet of Wooleigh in the parish of Beaford,[2] Devon. He succeeded his grandfather Hugh Acland (c. 1543 – 1622) of Acland, whom his father had predeceased.[3]


He moved his residence from Acland to Columb John, the former seat of his great-uncle Sir John Acland (died 1620). He was Sheriff of Devon in 1641. On 19 July 1642, before the start of the Civil War, he was appointed by King Charles I as one of 28 Commissioners of Array for Devon.[4][5] He raised two regiments for the King and by the summer of 1643 the garrison at his estate of Columb John was the only one remaining in Devon for the King, until the capture of Exeter.[6] He was rewarded with a baronetcy, "of Columb John in the County of Devon", granted on 24 June 1644; but the letters patent were destroyed in the War, or never passed the Great Seal to be enrolled, so that the grant was not confirmed until 1677/8. The title was allowed to drop by his successors until the accession of his fourth son Sir Hugh Acland, 5th Baronet. After the reversal of Royalist fortunes in the Westcountry, Acland was at length compelled to cease resistance. General Fairfax made Columb John his headquarters while besieging Exeter in 1645/6, which city surrendered on terms on 9 April 1646. Acland was included in the surrender, and Fairfax recommended that the House of Commons offer him a moderate composition for his estate.[6][4] His fine was set in July 1646 at £1,727, half of which he paid in August and obtained a suspension of the sequestration. However, he suffered from the attentions of Richard Evans, a brewer of Exeter, who obtained a re-sequestration of the estate for damages due to him. Acland fell ill and died on 24 August 1647; his original fine was accepted in June 1648 and the sequestration was overturned.[6]

Marriage and children[edit]

In about 1625 he married his step-sister Elizabeth Vincent, daughter of Sir Francis Vincent, 1st Baronet (1568–1640) of Stoke d'Abernon in Surrey, by his first wife Sarah Paulet. Acland's mother Eleanor Mallet became Vincent's third[7] wife, having survived her first husband Sir Arthur Acland (died 1610). By his wife he had children including:[3][8][9][a]

Death and burial[edit]

Acland died on 24 August 1647 and was buried in Stoke D'Abernon Church in Surrey. At the north-west of the chancel floor survives his ledger stone inscribed: "Sir John Ackland, of Ackland, in the county of Devon, Barronett".[12]



  1. ^ Sources are inconsistent in enumerating Acland's children. Vivian's Visitation, based in part on the wills of the family, includes five sons and one daughter, Susan. Other sources on the baronetage include two daughters: Susanna, twice married, and Eleanor, said to have been the first wife of Sir John Davie, 2nd Baronet, whose name Vivian could not discover. Vivian says that Sir Francis is mentioned in his grandmother's will (only); a petition to Parliament in April 1648 was made by John, calling himself son and heir, with three younger brothers and a sister living. The burial of Sir Francis at Stoke d'Abernon is not in the parish registers.
  2. ^ Her monumental inscription, erected in 1709, describes her as the daughter of Sir Hugh, the 5th Baronet, but this is inconsistent with her age as stated in the same inscription.


  1. ^ Per his ledger stone in StokeDabernon Church; He is described in Pole's Description of Devonshire (circa 1635) as "ye nowe lord of Akland".(Pole, p.414)
  2. ^ Pole, p.382-3
  3. ^ a b Vivian, John Lambrick, ed. (1895). The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620. Exeter: H.S. Eland. p. 4. 
  4. ^ a b Crossette, J.S. (1983). "ACLAND, Sir Hugh, 1st of 5th Bt. (c.1639-1714), of Killerton, Devon.". In Henning, B. D. The House of Commons 1660-1690. The History of Parliament Trust. 
  5. ^ Andriette, Eugene A. (1971). Devon and Exeter in the Civil War. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. p. 56. 
  6. ^ a b c "Acts and Ordinances of the Long Parliament". Retrospective Review: And Historical and Antiquarian Magazine. 12: 57–68. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard; Burke, Ashworth P. (1914). Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. London: Harrison & Sons. p. 64. 
  9. ^ Bannerman, W. Bruce, ed. (1917). The Parish Register of Stoke d'Abernon. London. pp. 2, 31–33. 
  10. ^ Foster, Joseph, ed. (1891). Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714. Oxford. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Nichols, John Gough, ed. (1865), "Roffe's British Monumental Inscriptions", The Herald and Genealogist, Westminster: J.G. & R.C. Nichols, 2: 228 
  12. ^ Victoria County History, Surrey: Volume 3, ed. H E Malden, Parishes: Stoke d'Abernon, London, 1911, pp. 457–462 [1]
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Nicholas Martyn
High Sheriff of Devon
Succeeded by
Edmund Fortescue
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of Columb John)
Succeeded by
Francis Acland