Pettus, John, Sir (1613 -1685)
Sir John Pettus, of Chediston Hall Suffolk was the second son of Sir Augustus Pettus of Rackheath in Norfolk and the eldest by his second wife Abigail Heveningham. He matriculated Fellow Commoner of Pembroke College Cambridge, and took his B.A. in 1631 [?] He was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn 13 May 1635. He married, in 1639, Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Richard Gurney, Lord Mayor of London. On 25 November 1641He was knighted by Charles I, whose service he had entered in 1639. A servant of Charles I, he was taken prisoner by Cromwell at Lowestoft, and was released after fourteen months confinement in Windsor Castle. He then raised a regiment of horse at his own charge, and afterwards took part in garrison work at Bath and Bristol. He compounded for his estates in 1646, sold an estate worth £420 a year in his efforts to save the King's life, and supplied money to Charles II from time to time. He was arrested for corresponding with Charles II, but released on bail of £4,000. In 1655 he addressed a petition to Cromwell expressing loyalty to the government, and was made Deputy Governor of the Royal Mines 1658-1661. He was Member of Parliament for Dunwich 1670-1679, Deputy Lieutenant for Suffolk, Deputy to the Vice Admiral, and Colonel of a Regiment of the Train Bands, and a Fellow of the Royal Society 1663. From being a very rich man, his expenditure in the royal cause, in which he lost over £2,000, impoverished him, and landed him several times in debtors’ prison in his old age. His only son died in 1662, his daughter Elizabeth married Samuel Sandys. His wife deserted him in 1657, returned after an absence of five years, but shortly afterwards left him and entered a nunnery. A while later she left the nunnery, and sued him for an increase of alimony, and procured his excommunication. He wrote a number of works, on mining, assaying and political and personal matters. By July 1679 he was in a debtors’ prison. He was buried in Temple Church in London on 12 July 1685.