BICKLEY, John (by 1491-1540 or later), of Park Lodge, Castle Hayes, nr. Tutbury, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1491. m. by 1528, Jane, 2s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Commr. subsidy, Staffs. 1512, 1514; under steward, Hulton abbey’s manors of Bradnop, Hulton and Normacote, Staffs. by 1534; bailiff, duchy of Lancaster, liberty of Tutbury, Staffs. by 1535-7 or later; keeper, Castle Hayes park by 1540.2


John Bickley came of a gentle family, which has left few traces. His election at Stafford in 1529 could well have been promoted by the Buckley family there, if they were kinsmen of his, but it is more likely to have been the work of the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, whose ‘servant’ he was called in 1540, aided by the constable of Stafford castle, Edward Littleton, who procured his own return for the shire. When returned Bickley was probably already an officer in the duchy of Lancaster under the earl, and as a feoffee to use for Sir John Draycott (d.1522) he had long had dealings with the earl, with Littleton who had married Draycott’s widow, and with Draycott’s son Philip with whom he was associated in the service of Hulton abbey. Although Bickley took the junior place for Stafford in 1529 this may not have been his introduction to the House: his inclusion in the subsidy commissions of 1512 and 1514 suggests that he was a Member of the Parliament which had granted the subsidy.3

Nothing is known about Bickley’s role in the Commons: both of the knights for Staffordshire appear on a list thought to be of Members opposed on religious or economic grounds to the bill in restraint of appeals enacted during the fifth session of the Parliament of 1529, but the ‘Bowkleye’ also listed there is thought to be Charles Bulkeley. Early in 1535 while the Parliament stood prorogued Bickley borrowed £120 from a London merchant, with Richard Bedell of Biddulph in Staffordshire acting as surety. When he defaulted in repayment Bedell honoured the debt but had to petition Chancellor Audley for a subpoena for Bickley to appear in court to answer for it, with what result is not known. Stafford paid him an unspecified sum in parliamentary wages during 1532-3 and perhaps in 1536 it complied with the King’s wish for the re-election of the previous Members by returning him to the Parliament of that year. On 10 Mar. 1539 he obtained a life grant from the King of part of Rocester abbey, Staffordshire, but he probably did not sit for Stafford again in the following Parliament, as it was alleged in the Star Chamber that on 24 July 1540, the day on which this Parliament was dissolved, he had denied Sir Ralph Longford and others permission to hunt at Castle Hayes. No later mention of Bickley has been found.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), 1910, pp. 45-59; Staffs. Rec. Soc. (ser. 4), viii. 138.
  • 2. Statutes, iii. 88, 117; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), 1910, pp. 45-49; Val. Eccles. iii. 107; C1/745/21; LP Hen. VIII, xii.
  • 3. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), 1910, pp. 45-49; 1925 (1927), p. 123; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 302; E179/177/90.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, ix. 1077 citing SP1/99, p. 234; Erdeswick, Staffs. p. xxxviii; C1/745/21; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), 1910, pp. 45-59; LP Hen. VIII, xiv.