Sir John Bull

John Bull
Sheriff of London
In office
30 September 1717  29 September 1718
Personal details
Born 1672 (1672)
Died 4 April 1742 (1742-04-05)
Chipping Ongar, Essex, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Turner (1696-1738)

Sir John Bull (1672-1742) was a prominent businessman in the City of London trading with the Levant, who served as Sheriff of London.

Oval half-length portrait in oils

Early life

Born about 1672, he was the youngest son of John Bull (1631-1715), a London businessman from Newport, Isle of Wight who was a shareholder in the Royal Africa Company[1] and his wife Sarah. His elder sister Elizabeth was the first wife of Lieutenant-General William Tatton.


Becoming a member of the Levant Company which controlled English trade with the Venetian and Ottoman empires, he was knighted on 27 October 1717 at Hampton Court Palace by King George I[2] and served as Sheriff of London in 1718. Dying and buried at Ongar, his will was proved in London on 10 April 1742.[3]


After a brief first marriage, on 14 December 1717 in London[4] he married Elizabeth Turner (1696-1738), daughter of Richard Turner (1653-1725), a London barrister, and his wife Elizabeth Goldsborough (1652-1737), whose family had property at Chipping Ongar in Essex. The couple moved to the White House at Ongar[5] where they had eleven children, though only three lived long enough to marry. His son Richard Bull (MP) was a Member of Parliament and noted art collector. Of his daughters, Dorothy married John Lenham while Kitty (1732-1805) married the Reverend Charles Smith (1729-1803), rector of West Stoke in Sussex.[6]


  1. Boy, Nina, 2010 retrieved 7 October 2015
  2. Townsend, Francis, 1833. A Catalogue of Knights, from 1660 to 1760 p12 retrieved 7 October 2015
  3. The National Archives; Kew, England; Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 717 at (subscription required) retrieved 7 October 2015
  4. »13 Dec 1717 Sir John Bull, Kt, of St Peter le Poor, Widower, & Mrs Elizabeth Turner, of St Bride's, Spinster, 21; consent of her father Richard Turner, Esq.; at St Andrew's Wardrobe, St Nicholas Cole Abbey, or Bishop of London's Chapel in Aldersgate Street. Mem. that they were married at the Bishop of London's Chapel on the 14 Dec 1717. » London: - Marriage Licences, 1611-1828 (subscription required) retrieved 7 October 2015
  5. Leach, Michael, 2010 « Richard Bull of Ongar, a Veritable Virtuoso of Grangerising » in Essex Archaeology and History News, Spring 2010 retrieved 7 October 2015
  6. retrieved 7 October 2015
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