Acland, Sir John d. 1620, was the second son of John Acland, of Acland in Landkey, Devonshire, who married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Hugh Redcliff of Stepney. From his mother he obtained considerable 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 same county. On her death he took another rich widow as his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir Henry Portman of Somerset, and widow of Sir Gabriel Hawley. He was M.P. for Saltash 1586-7. He was knighted by James I. on 15 March 1603-4 in the Tower of London, and at a bye-election (27 Jan. 1606-7), in the first parliament of that monarch, became knight of the shire for Devon. His charitable gifts were numerous. He settled on the mayor and town council of Exeter the rectorial endowments of two parishes in that part of his native county which is known by the name of the South Hams, in order that the annual proceeds might be distributed among the poor of several parishes 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 1,000l., to which Acland contributed 800l. Two scholarships, each of the annual value of 8l., were founded by him at the same college. He died 14 Feb. 1619-20, and lies buried in Broad Clyst church, beneath a richly carved monument, with the figures of himself and his wives. His will, dated 9 Feb. 1619-20, was proved 4 July 1620.

     Prince's Worthies of Devon
     Visitations of Devon and Somerset
     Boase's Exeter College.

Contributor: W. P. C. [William Prideaux Courtney]

Published: 1885