John Acland (Devon MP)
He was the second son of John Acland, of Acland in Landkey, Devon, who married Mary, daughter and coheir of Hugh Redcliff of Stepney. From his mother he obtained landed property near London, and increased his fortune by marrying Elizabeth, the daughter of George Rolle, of Stevenston in Devon, and the widow of Robert Mallet, of Woolleigh in the county. On her death he took another rich widow as his second wife, Margaret, a daughter of Sir Henry Portman of Somerset; she had been previously married to Sir Gabriel Hawley. He purchased the Killerton estate at Broad Clyst, near Exeter, on which his decendants would later build Killerton House.
He was appointed to the county bench as a Justice of the Peace in 1583 and High Sheriff of Devon for 1608–09. He was elected Member of Parliament first for Saltash, in 1586. He was knighted by James I on 15 March 1604 in the Tower of London, and at a by-election (27 January 1607), in the first parliament of the reign, became knight of the shire (MP) for Devon.
He died in 1613, and was buried in Broad Clyst church, where a monument has the figures of himself and his wives.
His charitable gifts were numerous. He settled on the mayor and town council of Exeter the rectorial endowments of two parishes in the South Hams, so that the annual proceeds might be distributed among the poor in Exeter and in other parts of the county. When he acquired the estate of Columb-John, in Broad Clyst, about four miles from Exeter, he built in the mansion a chapel for the use of the tenantry, and endowed it with a rent-charge for the support of the minister. A new hall, with cellars underneath, was erected by Exeter College, Oxford, shortly before his death, at a cost of about £1,000 and of that Acland gave £800. Two scholarships were also founded by him at the college.
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