Netterville, John (d. 1659), 2nd Viscount Netterville of Dowth , army officer, and landowner, was eldest son of Nicholas Netterville (qv), Viscount Dowth, and his wife, Eleanor Bath of Athcarne, Co. Meath. John married (1623) Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Richard Weston, later earl of Portland and lord treasurer of England 1628–35. This was a very prestigious and financially lucrative marriage for the Nettervilles and gave them great influence in Ireland. On 22 November 1625 he was knighted, and in the summer of 1629 he was granted the command of a regiment of foot in the Irish army. Perhaps in order to avoid embarrassing his father-in-law, he did not play a major role in the catholic opposition to the government during the 1630s, although his younger brother Luke was expelled from the Irish parliament in 1634.
Following the outbreak of the October 1641 rebellion, he brought his company to Drogheda to join the garrison under the command of Lord Moore (qv), which was to hold the town for the government. About late October or early November, Netterville attempted to pick a quarrel with Moore, almost certainly as a pretext for inciting the town's inhabitants against the garrison. However, Moore did not rise to the bait, and the plot was thwarted. Now under grave suspicion, Netterville withdrew from the town to his nearby residence. Soon afterwards, a large rebel army arrived in the area to besiege Drogheda and he assisted them, although he does not appear formally to have joined the rebellion. Nonetheless, on 5 February 1642, the English parliament relieved him of his military command.
In early March 1642 James Butler (qv), earl of Ormond, marched north from Dublin to relieve Drogheda, and Netterville hastened to the earl's camp at Garristown to declare his loyalty to the king. Eager to encourage further defections from the rebels, Ormond sent Netterville to Dublin with a letter of recommendation. However, for their own reasons, the lords justices in Dublin were less eager and imprisoned him on his arrival (12 March). On 1 February 1643 he was formally indicted for treason by the court of king's bench. In the event, Ormond seized power in Dublin from the lords justices in April 1643 and Netterville was released soon afterwards. Ormond and the king were trying to form an alliance with the Catholic Confederation of Ireland against the English parliament, and the release of Netterville, along with other prominent catholics, would be a step towards this goal.
On his release, Netterville joined the Leinster army of the confederacy and presumably served there for the rest of the decade. Certainly, in 1649–50, he appears commanding a troop of horse in the midlands. After the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, an act of the English parliament (12 August 1652) specifically exempted him from pardon and his family lands in Ireland were confiscated. Thus, following his father's death (1654) he inherited a title and little else. However, he was allowed to reside peaceably in England, where his wife's family was able to offer some financial support. In April 1653 his wife successfully petitioned for restitution of lands at Dowth and Proudfootstown, about one-fifth of the Netterville estate, on the grounds that she was an Englishwoman and needed to support her children. This grant was realised in 1657 only after protracted wrangling. Netterville's final years were spent in considerable poverty and he died in obscurity in England. He was buried 2 September 1659 alongside his wife (d. 1656), at St Giles-in-the-Fields, London. He had seven sons and four daughters with his wife, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Nicholas Netterville.