MADISON (MATESON), Edward (by 1484-1554), of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks. and Fonaby, Lincs.

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 1484, 1st s. of Christopher Madison of Fonaby by Avisa, da. and coh. of Richard Angevine of Saltfleetby, Lincs. m. (1) one Shedar, a Portuguese; (2) Alice, da. of Henry Johnson of Louth, Lincs., 3s.; (3) c.1521, Mary, wid. of one Holbeck of Yorks., 6ch. at least 2s.; (4) 1529, Anne, da. of John Roper of St. Dunstan’s, Canterbury, and Eltham, Kent, 3s. 1da. Kntd. 30 May 1533.2

Offices Held

Subsidy collector, Kingston-upon-Hull 1512, Lincs. 1513; sheriff, Kingston-upon-Hull 1514-15, mayor 1519-20, 1528-9, alderman by 1532; commr. subsidy Kingston-upon-Hull 1523, 1524, Lincs. 1536, tenths of spiritualities, Lincs., Lincoln 1535, musters, Lincs. (Lindsey) 1539, relief, Lincs. (Lindsey), Kingston-upon-Hull 1550; j.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1532-44.3


Edward Madison was a merchant of the staple about whose early career little has been discovered. It is possible that he spent the first stage of his business life abroad either at Calais or in southern Europe, as his first wife was of Portuguese origin and his name does not appear in English records until the turn of the 16th century. In 1505 he sued out a pardon for offences against the statutes regulating trade, and not long afterwards he settled almost permanently at Kingston-upon-Hull, where he soon cut a leading figure. He owned several ships, including the Mawdelen and the George of Hull, and in 1513 he contracted with the lord admiral to protect the wool fleet sailing from Hull to Calais. His services were enlisted by the government on later occasions, but evidently he did not always give satisfaction as in 1522-3 Thomas, Earl of Surrey, was to complain about the inadequacy of his victualling, and blamed the mutinous spirit of the English troops in the marches on the shortage of beer for which he was responsible.4

Madison’s experience as a merchant and contractor would have fitted him for the Parliament of 1523, which was called to finance the war: the names of its Members are largely unknown, but as he was named to the commission for the subsidy which it granted, he may have been returned for Hull. His election six years later to its successor was an extension of his municipal career, following as it did immediately on his second term as mayor; he was returned with a fellow-merchant George Matheson, to whom he does not seem to have been related. Madison’s erstwhile critic Surrey was now 3rd Duke of Norfolk and in the ascendant, but if he needed support he could have looked to Sir John Hussey, another of the King’s Councillors and an authority in Hull, and to the chancellor-designate Sir Thomas More with whom he became linked by his fourth marriage in the course of the year. Nothing is known of the part he played in this Parliament, but after the fourth session (April-May 1532) he obtained a new charter for the town and after the following one (1533) he was knighted at the coronation of Anne Boleyn. Both he and Matheson were also returned to the following Parliament, that of June 1536, presumably in compliance with the King’s request for the re-election of the previous Members.5

Several years earlier Madison had moved from Hull into Lincolnshire, where he was first named to the bench in 1532. He helped to prepare the valor ecclesiasticus for the county, and it was while supervising the levy of a subsidy granted by Parliament that in October 1536 he was taken prisoner by the Lincolnshire rebels and forced to take their oath. Together with John Heneage he put the rebels’ case, and their request for a general pardon, to the Duke of Suffolk, which so displeased the King that Madison was thought to be in danger of his life. Evidently he cleared himself, for he served on the juries at the trials of many of their leaders. This was his last involvement in national affairs but he remained on the bench until 1544 and was a commissioner for taxation as late as 1550. In 1547 John Bellow complained of him in Chancery, but nothing else has transpired about his closing years. Madison died on 14 Feb. 1554 having outlived many of his children.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Kingston-upon-Hull, chamberlains’ roll, 27 Hen. VIII.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference, but reputedly he died in his 100th year, C142/103/44. Vis. Lincs. (Harl. Soc. li), 622-6; Burke, LG, 1504-5; C1/541/44, 1228/59-61.
  • 3. J. Tickell, Kingston-upon-Hull (1798), 674-5; LP Hen. VIII, iii-v, viii, xii-xiv, xvi, xx; CPR, 1553, pp. 355, 361; E179/136/298.
  • 4. CPR, 1494-1509, p. 447; LP Hen. VIII, i, iii, iv.
  • 5. J. R. Boyle, Chs. and Letters Pat. Kingston-upon-Hull, 66-67; LP Hen. VIII, vi.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xi, xii; C1/1175/25-28; 142/103/44.