TEMPLE, John (1518/19-58 or later).

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. 1518/19.1

Offices Held

Servant, household of Stephen Gardiner, bp. of Winchester by 1538-55; clerk of the enrolments Chancery 26 Sept. 1554-22 Sept. 1556.2


John Temple had namesakes throughout the country, one of whom was in the royal service, but he alone claimed gentility. He is not to be found in the pedigrees of the armigerous family of Temple Hall, Leicestershire, the only ones of that name to survive for the 16th century. A possible clue to his origin is his patronage by Stephen Gardiner, who helped promote the careers of many from near his birthplace in East Anglia. Temple had entered Gardiner’s service by early 1538 when he accompanied his master on an embassy to France and his mockery of the French and imperfect command of the language were reported to Thomas Wriothesley. He shared in Gardiner’s downfall during Edward VI’s reign, testifying on Gardiner’s behalf at his trial and losing an annuity of £6 13s.4d. out of the bishopric of Winchester, and later in the bishop’s restoration under Mary, when he regained the annuity. His appointment as clerk of the enrolments and his Membership of Mary’s second Parliament were alike his master’s doing, with the 2nd Earl of Cumberland perhaps acting as an intermediary at Ripon. The Queen’s request for townsmen may have prevented his re-election there to the following Parliament (although in the event the borough failed to comply with it) and by the autumn of 1555 the chancellor was a sick man. Temple witnessed Gardiner’s will and bore our Lady’s banner at the interment at Southwark. Within a year he had surrendered his clerkship in favour of a nominee of Chancellor Heath.3

Temple presumably owed his second spell in the Commons to links formed while in Gardiner’s service, as he had no known ties with Wiltshire. The sheriff Sir Walter Hungerford was brother-in-law to Temple’s ex-colleague James Bassett and a kinsman of the Hungerford family which had a lien on Great Bedwyn; one of the members of that family, Edward Hungerford, who had sat for the borough in the Parliament of November 1554, had probably been Temple’s companion in France; and Sir Anthony Hungerford’s son-in-law Henry Clifford, who had sat for Bedwyn in the intervening Parliament, was a distant relative of the Earl of Cumberland. The Journal does not refer to Temple’s part in the House, and it is not clear what significance attaches to the omission of his name from a copy of the Crown Office list of Members for the Parliament of 1558.4

No trace of Temple has been found after 1558. If he survived into the reign of Elizabeth his Catholic background would presumably have told against him. The man from whom Sir Anthony Cooke sought the restoration of cattle in 1569 was a namesake born about 1542 who founded the family at Stowe.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: R. L. Davids


  • 1. Aged ‘a little above’ 19 in 1538, LP Hen. VIII, xiii.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiii; Letters of Stephen Gardiner ed. Muller, 506; CPR, 1554-5, p. 32; 1555-7, p. 521.
  • 3. Vis. Lecis. (Harl. Soc. ii), 167; Add. 5524, f. 162; LP Hen. VIII, xiii; Letters of Stephen Gardiner, 506; Foxe, Acts and Mons. vi. 130, 136, 248; PCC 3 Noodes.
  • 4. Wm. Salt Lib. SMS 264.
  • 5. T. Prime, Temple Fam. 12.