LINE, John (by 1519-58), of Cambridge.

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 1519. m. Joan, 2s. 4da.2

Offices Held

Comptroller of customs, port of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. Nov. 1543; alderman, Cambridge, common councilman 1546, 1552, mayor 1558.3


In 1540 the corporation of Cambridge paid £7 to John Line for a present given by him to Cromwell on behalf of the borough, but he is not known to have taken part in its government until some years later. In the meantime and following in the footsteps of a fellow-townsman, Thomas Brakyn, he obtained a customs appointment as ‘the King’s servant’ at Newcastle-upon-Tyne; both Brakyn and Line probably exercised their office by deputy. Line lived in St. Clement’s parish, Cambridge, and rented land in nearby Denny; his trade has not come to light but he was a wealthy man when he died. In 1558 Line was chosen mayor at a postponed election meeting, but it is not known whether the mayoralty was contested as it had been at the election of Brakyn in 1529. Line only filled the office of mayor for six days, for he died on 4 Oct. 1558, before the second session of the Parliament began: no evidence of a by-election has been found.4

In a will made three days before his death Line left to one son his land and houses and £500, and to the other all his shops and booths at Sturbridge fair and £100, directing Richard Brakyn and John Rust to see them brought up ‘in learning at the inns of court or elsewhere’. Among his named property was the Griffin inn, Cambridge. He left £100 to each of his four unmarried daughters and the residue of his estate to his wife and executrix; within three years she married Henry Serle.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 61 Noodes.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xviii; PCC 61 Noodes; C. H. Cooper, Cambridge Annals, i. 440; ii. 65; F. Blomefield, Coll. Cant. 224.
  • 4. Cooper, i. 396; ii. 144n; LP Hen. VIII, xix, xx; CPR, 1557-8, p. 435; J. M. Gray, Notes on Cambridge Mayors, 27.
  • 5. PCC 61 Noodes.