SIMON, John (by 1458-1524), of Exeter, Devon.

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 1458. m. (1) Alison (d. aft. Jan. 1519), 1s.; (2) Agnes.3

Offices Held

Bailiff, Exeter 1483-4, member of the Twenty-Four by 1496-d., receiver 1499-1500, mayor 1512-13, 1523-d.; churchwarden, St. Petrox’s, Exeter 1487-90, 1502-4; collector of customs, ports of Exeter and Dartmouth 4 Oct. 1492-?d., gauger 12 Feb. 1508-?d.; constable of the staple, Exeter 1501-2, 1505-6; commr. subsidy, Devon 1512, 1513, 1515, Exeter 1523, 1524.4


John Simon was an Exeter merchant who was remembered as a wise gentleman. After his admission to the freedom during 1478-9 he combined trade with local administration and service to the crown. His Membership was an episode in his civic career and could have had official support since as a customer he helped to victual the armies sent to Spain and northern France; at the election held in 1512 he polled 19 votes out of a possible 21. During the prorogation of that year he and his fellow-Member Richard Hewet agreed to defer submitting their claim for wages until the Parliament was dissolved, and after their uncontested re-election in 1514, in compliance with the call for the return of the previous Members, they seem to have made a similar arrangement for that Parliament: the pair were eventually paid in full at the standard rate of 2s. a day.5

Simon died during his second mayoralty. He was a sick man when on 26 Sept. 1524 he made his will asking for burial in St. Petrox’s church near his first wife. He left money to the Black Friars to form a cortege for the funeral and £40 to his second wife on condition that she paid for masses for his soul for four years. After making several small bequests he left the residue of his estate to his son William whom he named executor. He died on the following day and it was then decided by the members of the Twenty-Four that Thomas Hunt should take his place until the new mayor, William Hurst, was sworn in. The vacancy on the Twenty-Four caused by his death was not filled for another year and his will not proved until 24 Jan. 1526.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Muriel Booth


  • 1. Exeter act bk. 1, f. 26.
  • 2. Ibid. 1, f. 57.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from his admission as freeman. Exeter act bk. 1, f. 59v; PCC 1 Porch.
  • 4. R. Izacke, Exeter (1681), 91, 103, 107 (where erroneously given as Richard Symons), 113; Exeter act bk. 1 passim; Trans. Dev. Assoc. xiv. 433; CPR, 1494-1509, pp. 213, 425; CFR, 1485-1509, nos. 448-50, 907; LP Hen. VIII, i, iii, iv; Statutes, iii. 80, 117, 174; B. Wilkinson, Med. Council, Exeter, 92-97.
  • 5. Exeter, Hooker’s commonplace bk. f. 339; act bk. 1, ff. 26, 32v, 57; receivers’ accts. 1514-15; Exeter Freemen (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. extra ser. i), 58; The description of the citie of Excester (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. xi), 612, 791-2, 863; LP Hen. VIII, i.
  • 6. PCC 1 Porch; Exeter, Hooker’s commonplace bk. f. 339; act bk. 1, ff. 105, 111.