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Arms of Colleton: Or, three stag's heads couped proper[1]
John Colleton
1st Baronet
SuccessorPeter Colleton
Born1608 (1608)
Died1666 (aged 57–58)
Spouse(s)Katherine Amey
FatherPeter Colleton
MotherUrsula Hull

Sir John Colleton, 1st Baronet (1608–1666) served King Charles I during the English Civil War. He rose through the Royalist ranks during the conflict, but later had his land-holdings seized when the Cavaliers were finally defeated by Parliamentary forces. Following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, he was one of eight individuals rewarded with grants of land in Carolina by King Charles II for having supported his efforts to regain the throne.


He was the second son of Peter Colleton (d.1622) of Exeter in Devon, Sheriff of Exeter in 1618, who was born in the parish of Monkenzeale who following his death in 1622 was buried at St Olave's Church in Exeter.[2] His mother was Ursula Hull, a daughter of Henry Hull (or Hall) of Exeter, who married John Colleton in 1578 at St Kerrian's Church in Exeter.[3] John's sister Elizabeth Colleton was the wife of Sir Hugh Croker, Mayor of Exeter, a younger son of the Croker family of Lyneham, Yealmpton, in Devon.[4]


Civil War

He was a Royalist and very active at the beginning of the Civil War, serving as a Captain of foot-soldiers.[5] He received a commission for Colonel from Sir John Berkeley (later Baron Berkeley of Stratton), general of the royalist forces in Devon, signed by the Prince of Wales, and successfully raised a regiment within ten days.[6] He spent £40,000 of his own money in the king's service, and lost a further £7,000 through plunder and sequestration. Eventually he fled to the Island of Barbados.[7] After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 Berkeley petitioned King Charles II on his behalf as follows:[8]

These are humbly to certify your sacred majesty, that John Colleton, some time of Exeter, Esq; engaged for your majesty's royal father, in the beginning of his troubles, raised and commanded a regiment under me, consisting of about 1,100 men well armed, without any charge to his then majesty or compulsion of his people, which was very 'costly to him, he neither receiving any pay or free quarter to my knowledge, and the soldiers very little of either; that he furnished moneys and arms to a good value when he was driven from his habitation and estate in Cornwall before the battle of Stratton, for which, I am confident, he hath not had satisfaction; that he being chosen a commissioner by the county of Exon for the carrying on the service of your majesty's royal father in the associated counties of the west, did there in good service. That he did, at several other times, procure and lend moneys, and procure and furnish good store of arms and ammunition when his majesty's affairs were in great straits, and gave credit, and stayed long for considerable sums yet unpaid of many of them, whereby a good sum must be due unto him. That he suffered much by your majesty's enemies by being of your part, I believe to the value of above sixty thousand pounds, and he was well contented to stay for his disbursements, and bore his sufferings chearfully, proposing to himself no other satisfaction that I could perceive, than your majesty's restauration. That after your majesty's exile, he was ever active and helpful to your majesty's agents in England in his person and with his purse, which I myself know to be true, and have been informed thereof by divers others. That he forsook England for many years, to avoid the oaths, subscriptions, etc., imposed upon your subjects by your enemies, destructive to your majesty's interest, as I found by him, in Holland, in the year 1650, and returned not until your majesty's restauration. That he hath kept his loyalty unspotted to the last, as far as I can be informed or understand. I am sure he hath done your majesty faithful and good service many ways, and all this in order to his duty and allegiance, without any respect to reward or gain that I could perceive by him. 12th of Dec. 1660. - Jo. Berkeley.[9]

Created a baronet

In recompense for his service during the Civil War, King Charles II in 1661 created him a baronet with territorial designation "of London". And in further recompense for his great services, in conjunction with the Duke of Albemarle, Earl Clarendon, Earl Craven, and four other noble persons, granted by letters patent to them, their heirs, and successors, large dominions in Carolina, and the Bahama Islands.[10]

Grants in Carolina

In 1663 King Charles II granted Colleton and another seven persons, called Lords Proprietors, the land called Carolina, named in honor of his father King Charles I. Colleton brought a group of settlers from the Caribbean Isle of Barbados, who brought with them slaves from Africa thus introducing slavery to Carolina. These settlers introduced the cultivation of rice to the area. Colleton County, South Carolina, is named after him[11] as is Colington, North Carolina.

Marriage and children

In 1634 at St Mary Arches Church in Exeter, he married Katherine Amey, a daughter of Thomas[12] Amey of Exeter, by whom he had children as follows:[13]


  1. ^ Wotton, Thomas, Baronetage of England, 1771, Volume 2, Arms of Colleton Baronets; given elsewhere as roebuck's heads, frequently interchangeable
  2. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 218, pedigree of "Colleton of Exeter"
  3. ^ Vivian
  4. ^ Wotton, Thomas, Baronetage of England, 1771, Volume 2, Colleton Baronets [1]
  5. ^ Wotton, 1771
  6. ^ Wotton, 1771
  7. ^ Wotton, 1771
  8. ^ Wotton, 1771
  9. ^ Wotton, 1771
  10. ^ Wotton, 1771
  11. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 87.
  12. ^ Exeter St Olave Parish Register Baptism 2 February 1608/9
  13. ^ Vivian
  14. ^ Vivian
  15. ^ Vivian
  16. ^ Vivian
  17. ^ Vivian
  18. ^ Vivian
  19. ^ Vivian
  20. ^ History of Parliament biography [2]
  21. ^ Vivian
  22. ^ Vivian
  23. ^ Vivian
  24. ^ Vivian


  • Divine, Robert A. America: Past and Present. 6th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2003.
  • Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
  • LB Namier, The English Historical Review, volume 54, 1939.
  • The Annual Register, Edmund Burke, 1830
  • Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, 1819, page 506

1 Annotation

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

John Colleton

Bt 1661 (d 1666). Merchant; a Devonshire kinsman of Albermarle and an ex-royalist who had a large plantation in Barbados. He served on several committees on trade 1660-6, and was one of the proprietors of the New Carolinas. (L&M)


"1664: The name John Colleton reappears. In 1664 - Charles II granted a licence to Sir James Modyford to take to Jamaica all felons convicted on circuits and at the Old Bailey, then reprieved.

Oldham, British Convicts, p. 5.

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