JOSSELYN (JASTLEYN), John (c.1490-1553/54), of Thornborough, Bucks.

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. c.1490, 3rd s. of Ralph Josselyn of Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, Herts. by Catherine, da. of Richard Martin of Faversham, Kent. m. by 1532, Anne, da. of Richard Grenville of Wotton Underwood, Bucks., 1da.1

Offices Held

Serjeant of the pantry by 1532-d.2


One branch of the Josselyns of Essex and Hertfordshire held the manor of Hyde Hall in Sawbridgeworth from the early 14th century. John Josselyn was a minor when his father died in 1504 and nothing has come to light about his early upbringing or advancement before his marriage to Anne Grenville. His marriage may have led to, or else been a result of, his entry into the Household: his wife was one of the Queen’s gentlewomen who in 1532 received a New Year’s gift from the King, and his brother-in-law George was serjeant of the buckhounds. In 1538 Josselyn and his wife acquired the wardship of her nephew Edward Grenville, with custody of his lands in Buckinghamshire, and the grant of a tenement in Aylesbury. Two years later Josselyn bought some ex-monastic lands in Thornton and Thornborough, where he settled, woodland in Westbury and three tenements in Buckingham.3

Josselyn’s Membership followed his service in the French campaign of 1544 and reflects his own growing prestige in Buckingham and its neighbourhood. On both occasions, as a Household officer he may have enjoyed official sponsorship. Nothing is known about his part in the House, but in 1546 the King granted him land worth 5 marks yearly ‘at the request of Mr. Hare [(Sir) Nicholas Hare]’ and in August of that year he obtained a manor in Northamptonshire and a tenement in Banbury, Oxfordshire from the crown. Josselyn is last glimpsed at court for the obsequies in memory of Edward VI in July 1553. When he made his will a month later both he and his wife were ill. He wished to be buried within his chapel in the church of St. Peter, Buckingham. After bequeathing livestock to a number of people, he left all his lands and goods, after his wife’s death, to his daughter Margaret, wife of John, son and heir of Thomas Foxley of Foxley and Blakesley, Northamptonshire. His son-in-law and Master John Starkey were appointed overseers. By the time of probate on 13 Nov. 1554 his widow had also died.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from eldest brother’s, CIPM Hen. VII, iii. 933. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 224, 229; Lipscomb, Bucks. i. 600; VCH Herts. iii. 341; PCC 11 More.
  • 2. HMC Bath, iv. 5; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xviii; LC2/2, f. 28v; 4/1, f. 11v; Stowe 571, f. 33.
  • 3. Clutterbuck, Herts. iii. 203-5; VCH Herts. iii. 341; LP Hen. VIII, v, xiii, xvi; Privy Purse Expenses of Princess Mary, 1536-44, ed. Madden, 21; Lipscomb, i. 600; VCH Bucks. iii. 13.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xix, xxi; PCC 11 More; Baker, Northants. ii. 31.