Putland, John (1709–73), merchant and banker, was born in Dublin, son of Thomas Putland, banker, and his wife Jane, daughter of John Rotton and Bridget Sterne, a sister of John Stearne (qv), bishop of Clogher, and niece of the noted physician John Stearne (qv). Putland's father and grandfather were successful London merchants, both subsequently coming to reside in Dublin. Indeed, his grandfather Thomas was involved in the development of the nascent Irish banking system in the late seventeenth century, and purchased a range of assets at that time, laying the foundations of the family's wealth.
Putland attended the school of Thomas Sheridan (qv) (d. 1738) in Capel St., Dublin, before entering TCD (1727). He graduated BA (1731), MA and BD (1734); he served as a churchwarden of St Mary's, Dublin, in the 1760s. Details of his business career go unrecorded, though he does seem to have amassed great wealth, augmenting the considerable wealth he inherited on his father's death.
Putland, a member of the Dublin Society from 1740, served as treasurer 1754–72; the members honoured him with the presentation of a gold medal in 1760. He was also a founding member (1747) of the Dublin Florists’ Club, until at least 1762. Elected a governor (1739) of Dr Steevens’ Hospital, he was its first treasurer (1755–73). He was also treasurer in the 1740s of the Physico-Historical Society in Dublin, and of Mercer's Hospital, on Stephen St.
Putland was well connected through his prominent role in these organisations, and his success in business was evidenced in his construction of a large brick mansion on the north side of Great Britain St. (later Parnell St.), known as Putland House, which was sold to the trustees of Simpson's Hospital for the Blind (1781) and later demolished. Putland subscribed in advance to eight copies of the Map of Dublin (1756) by John Rocque (qv), the most of any Irish subscriber, which might explain the internal wall layout of Putland House being shown on the Map, an honour shared only with the houses of parliament. He was also a freemason, serving as junior grand warden (1737), senior grand warden (1738), and deputy grand master (1747–50, 1763–4) of that organisation in Ireland. He encouraged the publication of Spratt's Book of constitutions (1751), which sought to codify the rituals and traditions of Irish freemasonry as its strength and reach began to increase from mid-century. A manuscript catalogue of his extensive personal library (1749; expanded 1763) records his possession of 4,000 volumes, including a plethora of important Irish, British, and continental works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and demonstrates a well satisfied interest in the classics.
After the death of his father (1723) his mother married (1730) Richard Helsham (qv), a close friend and executor of Thomas Putland. Helsham was the first Erasmus Smith professor of natural philosophy in TCD and physician and friend of Jonathan Swift (qv). Helsham gifted 450 acres in Glasnevin to Putland (1734), where John was recorded as living in 1748; the estate was later expanded and became the family's chief seat. No records of Putland's banking enterprises survived, but Swift recorded his investment of £1,500 at 5.33 per cent per annum, with the former, which the latter considered safe.
Putland died in 1773. He married (1738) Catherine (d. 1764), eldest daughter of Sir Emanuel Moore (1685–1733), MP for Downpatrick (1715–27), and his wife Catherine of Rosscarbery, Co. Cork. They had eleven children, three dying young. He was succeeded by his son George (1745–1811).