LINGEN, John (by 1515-54), of Stoke Edith, Herefs.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1515, 1st s. of John Lingen of Stoke Edith by Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Englefield of Englefield, Berks. educ. ?M. Temple. m. settlement 25 Jan. 1528, Isabel, da. of John Breynton of Sugwas, Herefs. and London, 1da. suc. fa. 12 Feb. 1545.3

Offices Held

Sheriff, Herefs. 1544-5, j.p. 1547-d.; commr. relief, Glos. and Herefs. 1550; steward, Huntington and Kington, Herefs. 9 Oct. 1553-d.4


The knight returned for Herefordshire to the Parliament of April 1554 can only have been John Lingen the younger, but in 1539 his father and namesake was still alive and either could have sat in the Parliament of that year.

The Lingens could trace their descent from Thurstan de Wigmore who at the Domesday survey had held the manor from which the family took its name. By the 16th century they were wealthy, owning a considerable estate which stretched across the county from Stoke Edith north-west to Aymestrey and Lingen. The elder John Lingen’s admission to the Middle Temple in 1510 may have been meant to prepare him for membership of the council in the marches of Wales, on which both his father and father-in-law served, but he soon gained a reputation for waywardness which he did little to redeem on succeeding to the inheritance in 1530. His immorality and neglect of his wife and children, ‘who but for their friends would have been famished’, provoked his brother-in-law Thomas Englefield into denouncing to Cromwell ‘his abominable and beastly living for the continuance whereof he and his naughty queans are accursed’. So notorious an evil liver would scarcely have been elected to Parliament, and the junior knighthood in 1539 thus probably went to his more estimable son, who when his father died early in 1545 was serving as sheriff.5

John Lingen the younger’s career reflected his two most important connexions. His election with George Cornwall in 1539 and early shrievalty presumably followed his marriage to Isabel Breynton, a sister-in-law of the elder Sir James Baskerville, then an outstanding figure in Herefordshire. Baskerville was a colleague on the council in the marches of John Pakington, who as sheriff in 1539 returned Lingen, and through the Breyntons he and Lingen were related to Cornwall. The loss of the Herefordshire returns makes it uncertain whether Lingen as sheriff supported the Baskerville interest at the election of 1545, but it was with Baskerville’s second son John that Lingen represented the shire in the second Parliament of Queen Mary’s reign. By that time he was also benefiting by his Englefield connexion: it was to his cousin Sir Francis Englefield, who stood high in favour with Mary, that he probably owed the grant, eight days after the coronation, of the stewardship of Huntington manor and castle and the keepership of the park, as well as support for his election in the following spring. He was not to live long enough to derive further advantage from either source, for he died in London on 3 May 1554, two days before the dissolution of Parliament. His burial in St. Dunstan’s, Fleet Street, suggests that he was staying in that parish while a Member.6

Lingen had made his will on the previous 1 July in the presence of John Baskerville, Thomas Havard and several other past or future Members; perhaps because of its date its preamble lacks a Catholic flavour. As Lingen had no male heir he divided his lands in Aymestrey, Lingen and elsewhere in Herefordshire, and in Redbrook, Gloucestershire, equally between his brothers William, Richard, Thomas and Walter. He left pensions to many friends and servants. He named his wife executrix and his cousins Sir Francis Englefield and Humphrey Coningsby overseers. The will was proved on 30 Aug. 1554 and in the following month the Marquess of Winchester obtained the wardship of Lingen’s daughter Joan, who was aged ten on 2 Jan. 1554. She inherited the manors of Stoke Edith and Sutton, with lands in Dilwyn and Tillington, and was to maintain the family’s adherence to Catholicism by marrying William Shelley of Michelgrove, Sussex.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. T. Bindoff


  • 1. E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2].
  • 2. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., E150/440/1. Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 13; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 122; C. J. Robinson, Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 179; Williams, Herefs. MPs, 39.
  • 4. CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1553, p. 354; 1553-4, pp. 20, 161, 394.
  • 5. Robinson, 178, 257; Duncumb, Herefs. i. 79; LP Hen. VIII, vi, xii; Req.2/9/80; Registrum Caroli Bothe, Episcopi Herefordensis (Canterbury and York Soc. xxviii), 160.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xix; C142/102/79; Duncumb, i. 52.
  • 7. PCC 7 More; CPR, 1554-5, p. 88.