John English, a political leader in early Texas, the son of Elizabeth (Denton) and James English, was born on July 5, 1793, probably in North Carolina. He grew to manhood in Tennessee and in 1813 was drafted in Warren County, Tennessee, to serve as a private in Capt. James Cole's company of infantry against the Creek Indians. He was discharged in January 1814, volunteered again, and served in Capt. Bethell Allen's company of Mounted Volunteer Gunmen. English was a soldier at the battle of New Orleans under Gen. Andrew Jackson. He was taken prisoner on December 23, 1814, below New Orleans and held by the enemy for five weeks and six days, then exchanged. He married Elizabeth Choate, the daughter of Christopher Choate, in 1824 in Hardin (or McNairy) County, Tennessee, and they had eleven children. He moved to Texas immediately after his marriage, but was soon living in Louisiana, where the governor commissioned him a captain in the state militia. He moved again to Texas about 1828 and lived in the Tenehaw area. The Convention of 1832 appointed him treasurer for Tenehaw Municipality. He was a delegate, with his brother William English, to the Convention of 1833. In 1835 he was appointed a captain in the revolutionary army. In 1837, when he was a resident of Shelby County, he served as a representative in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. In August 1838 he performed a special mission express to Clarksville in Red River County, at a time when, in the words of President Sam Houston, "it was almost impossible to obtain an express."
About 1851 English settled in Livingston, which had been founded by his brother-in-law. In the early 185os he moved to the vicinity of Randolph in Houston County. He died on December 30, 1868. His grave, in the English-Hicks Cemetery, east of Crockett, was marked with a Texas Centennial marker in 1936. His son John Crockett English served in the Texas legislature in 1870–71 and as district clerk in Houston County thereafter.