Sotherton, John (DNB00)

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SOTHERTON, JOHN (1562–1631?), judge, born in 1562, was son of John Sotherton, who was from 16 June 1579 until his death, on 26 Oct. 1605, baron of the court of exchequer, by his second wife, Maria, daughter of Edward Woton, M.D., who was buried by the side of her husband in the church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate Street, London. The Sotherton family originally came from the village of Sotherton in Suffolk, and many members of it were mercers in London or Norwich. George Sotherton, master of Merchant Taylors' Company in 1589, was M.P. for London 1593–8. Nicholas Sotherton, sheriff of Norwich in 1572, was author of a history of John Kett's rebellion, preserved in Harl. MS. 1576, ff. 564 et seq. (cf. Russell, Kett's Rebellion in Norfolk, 1859, 4to).

John matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 20 Nov. 1580, graduated B.A. on 22 Jan. 1582–3, being in the same year incorporated at Cambridge, and proceeded M.A. April 1586. He was admitted in November 1587 a member of the Inner Temple, where he was called to the bar in 1597, and elected a bencher in 1610. Appointed receiver-general for the counties of Bedford and Buckingham in July 1604, he was advanced to the post of cursitor baron of the exchequer on 29 Oct. 1610. He sat regularly as one of the commissioners of gaol delivery for the city of London, was joined with Sir Julius Cæsar, Sir Francis Bacon, and others in a commission of ways and means in August 1612, and at a later date was one of the assessors of compositions for defective titles and an inspector of nuisances for Middlesex (Rymer's Fœdera, ed. Sanderson, xvii. 388, 512, 540). He died, or retired, in 1631, his successor on the bench, James Pagitt, being appointed on 24 Oct. of that year (ib. xix. 34). By his wife Elizabeth, widow of Sir John Morgan of Chilworth, Surrey, he left an heir, who inherited the manor of Wadenhall, Kent, which he had purchased from the crown in 1600.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Inner Temple Books; Blomefield's Norfolk, 8vo, iii. 359, iv. 59, 198, x. 428; Dugdale's Orig. p. 149, Chron. Ser. pp. 100–8; Spedding's Life of Bacon, iv. 314; Lansd. MSS. 165, ff. 299–300, 166 ff. 235–8; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1598–1601 p. 383, 1603–10 pp. 138, 613, 639, 1611–18 p. 248, Addenda, 1580–1625 p. 461; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. p. 124; Hasted's Kent, ed. 1790, iii. 741; Stow's London, 6th edit. i. 617; Clode's Memorials and Early Hist. of the Guild of Merchant Taylors; Strype's Ann. fol. vol. iii. pt. i. p. 53; Manning and Bray's Surrey, ii. 118.]

J. M. R.