John CUTTS

HUSBAND:
[F15192]. John CUTTS. (CUTTE).
Born in Burnett, Gloucestershire, England; presumed to be the son of Richard CUTTS [F30384]. He married Joanne KELKE. He was a merchant at Bristol, England. He was said to be "at times" mayor of the city of Bristol. He acquired a manor in Burnett from the Queen in 1559-1560, together with another London merchant, who later gave up his interest. He is said to have been involved in smuggling. Dr Evan Jones, Professor of History at the Department of Historical Studies, at the Univeristy of Bristol, is preparing a book on this topic, to be entitled, Inside the Illicit Economy: Reconstructing the Smugglers' Trade of Sixteenth Century Bristol. Dr. Jones says that those involved in this illicit business included some of Bristol's most famous merchants, such as Nicholas Thorne who established Bristol Grammar School, and who was the son of Robert Thorn, the principal Bristol backer of Bristol's early voyages of discovery to North America. Another was John Smythe who created the Ashton Court estate. Indeed, of the 15 merchants now known to have been involved in the trade, no less than 10 served as sheriffs, mayors or MPs of the city. Some were all three. Others included customs officers, a mayor of Gloucester and even senior officials in the navy. For men like these, smuggling was not just a sideline – it could account for up to a half of their total export trade and almost all their export profits. The merchants used their powers to subvert royal officials, prevent the seizure of their smuggling vessels and persecute those who informed on them. In a very real sense, Bristol was a city of smugglers.

According to Dr. Evan Jones, One of these men, in the year 1554, was a Mr. John Cutt, then serving as Sheriff of Bristol. It is not certain that this John Cutt was our ancestor, but the probablilty exists.

John died on 21 May 1575 in Bristol, Somersetshire, England. He died of the plague. He left a will. St. Michael’s Church in Burnett, between Bath and Bristol, has a memorial brass representing the mayor with his wife and children. {S1}.

WIFE:
Joanne KELKE. (Joan)
She died in 1590.

CHILDREN of John CUTT [F15192] and Joanne KELKE [F15193]:


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