Authorised form of namePettus; Sir; John (c1613 - 1685); natural philosopher and politician
Other forms of surnamePetthouse
Datesc1613 - 1685
Dates and placesBurial:
Temple Church, London, England, Europe (12 July 1685)
Research fieldMetallurgy
Fellow Commoner at Pembroke College, Cambridge (1632); Lincoln's Inn (13 May 1635)
Servant to Charles I (1639-?1645); Colonel of Horse in the Royalist Army (1643-1644); imprisoned in Windsor Castle by Cromwell; lost over £20,000 in the Royalist cause; Member, Society of Mineral and Battery Works (1654), Assistant (1655-1658), Deputy-Governor (1658-1661); Member, Society of Mines Royal (1661), Assistant (1663-1664, 1674-1675), Deputy-Governor (1664-1674, 1675-death); MP for Dunwich (1670); Gentleman of the Privy Chamber (1670-1685); Deputy-Lieutenant of Suffolk (1671-1685); Colonel of Militia (1672); Deputy Vice-Admiral for Suffolk (1672-1674); published 'A Narrative of the Excommunication of Sir John Pettus' (1674); Commissioner for Recusants (1675); imprisoned for debt (1679)
Kt (1641)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election19/08/1663
ProposerSir Kenelm Digby
RelationshipsParents: Sir Augustine Pettus and Abigail Heveningham
Married: Elizabeth Gurney
Children: Richard Pettus; Elizabeth Sandys
Published worksRCN: 58816
RCN: 15639
General contextPettus' career was heavily affected by his continued support for the royalist cause and the subsequent loss of money. His publication from 1674 came about through his marital problems: his wife had left him for the second time and subsequent disputes over alimony led to a legal case before the privy council in 1672. The Society of Mines Royal, of which Pettus was a leading member, also, somewhat informally, associated itself with the Company of Mineral and Battery Works but lost its monopoly with the Mines Royal Act of 1690.
Bulloch's Roll; Henning; Burke EDB; ODNB
According to index to BR he never paid his subscription, although admitted, and never appeared on the list. In BR it is made explicit that this is not the Sir John Pettus in DNB who was a knight rather than a baronet and was born in 1613 and died in 1690. However for Hunter the latter (a deputy governor of the Royal Mines) is the John Pettus in question (although Hunter gives a different year of death - 1685); and he indicates that when Pettus was elected 19 August 1663 (date as in JB) this was a re-election, having already been elected on 26 Jun 1661 (JB names him Sir John Petthouse in 1661 and Sir John Pethouse in 1661). NB He cannot be Sir John Pettus (1640-1698), son of Sir Thomas Pettus, Bart, of Rackheath, Norfolk, who succeeded his elder brother as 3rd baronet (1671) because he was 'Sir' in 1663.
Pettus was first elected on 26 June 1661, prior to the Society receiving its Royal Charter, and was not officially re-elected FRS of the incorporated Royal Society until the date stated above (19 August 1663). Pettus is therefore not considered an original Fellow of the Royal Society, a classification reserved for those named in the 1663 charter or elected within the subsequent two months, the period allowed in the charter for the declaration of Fellows. Elections like Pettus's that predated this were no longer recognised. The date of any subsequent re-election is given in this database as the official election date.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA4546
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