TAYLOR, John I (by 1493-1547 or later), of Hastings, Suss.

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



? 1536

Family and Education

b. by 1493. m. Jane Bell, 1s.2

Offices Held

Commoner, Hastings 1514, chamberlain 1521, jurat 1522-46, bailiff 1524-5, 1528-9, 1534-5; bailiff to Yarmouth 1526, 1529, 1535, 1545.3


In his younger days John Taylor was the master of a small trading vessel, but he later engaged in brewing: he lived in the parish of St. Clement, where his mother had been buried. Once he had become a commoner of Hastings he frequently attended Brotherhoods of the Cinque Ports. On 4 June 1524, when bailiff, he made a mark in acknowledgment of £60 paid to him by Sir John Dauntesey for transporting various noblemen and servants of the Emperor from Calais to Dover. In his same year of office he answered by indenture for the payment of subsidy by aliens living at Hastings, and when bailiff again in 1528 he was ordered by the Brotherhood to raise a levy of £7 on fishermen of Hastings for alleged breach of the regulations governing the Yarmouth fair.4

Taylor was by-elected for Hastings to the Parliament of 1529, but in the absence of any record both the date and the occasion are uncertain. The two Members returned at the general election died during the course of the Parliament, Richard Calveley in the winter of 1529-30 and Thomas Shoyswell in the spring or summer of 1534; Calveley may have been replaced by 1532 or his seat have remained vacant until Shoyswell’s death, which would then have left the port unrepresented. Thus of the two men who, according to a list of Members of later compilation, sat for Hastings from 1534 either Taylor or John Durrant may have done so since 1532 or both have come in together two years later; in the first of these cases Taylor’s slight seniority in municipal office makes him the likelier to have taken precedence. Both continued in the House until the dissolution of April 1536 and were then almost certainly re-elected to the Parliament called two months later: Hastings could be counted on to comply with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members, as did all the Cinque Ports whose Members are known. To the question whether both Members, or either of them, served again in the Parliament of 1539 no answer can be given.

Taylor made his will on 5 Apr. 1547, but it bears no date of probate. He asked to be buried near his mother. His wife was to have his maltmill and brew-house and the residue of his goods, and was to be the executrix; on her death a shop at the pier was to pass to his brother-in-law William Bell. His son John received only a gown furred with fox; Richard Godfrey and his wife Agnes were to have four silver spoons; his grandson, another John, four silver spoons, a ‘great spit’ and ‘a brass pot with a broken brim’; and Richard Godfrey and his wife another four silver spoons.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Add. 34150, f. 137.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Lewes archdeaconry ct. A1, f. 140.
  • 3. Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix), 154, 182, 186, 191, 198, 205, 207, 209, 217, 220, 234.
  • 4. E122/36/1; LP Hen. VIII, iv; Lay Subsidy Rolls 1524-5 (Suss. Rec. Soc. lvi), 165; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. 200, 203, 207.
  • 5. Lewes archdeaconry ct. A1, f. 140.