TYSAR, John (by 1516-?75), of Sandwich, Kent.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1516. m. Margaret, sis. of John Sulyard, at least 2s. 2da.1

Offices Held

Constable of the 7th ward, Sandwich 1540-2, common councilman (St. Peter’s parish) 1542-7, (St. Clement’s parish) 1547-8, (unknown parish) 1548-9, treasurer 1542-3, jurat 1549-?d., mayor 1553-4, 1567-8, keeper of the common chest and of the orphans when mayor; bailiff to Yarmouth 1556; speaker of the Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports 1568.2


John Tysar was admitted to the freedom of Sandwich on 6 Dec. 1537, having been an apprentice in the town; his sureties included John Lee III. Described as a grocer in 1543, he was fined 5s. in 1547 for selling candles above the price set by the clerk of the market. In the six months beginning October 1554 he shipped 245 quarters of wheat and 60 quarters of malt to London and 25 quarters of malt to Calais; these were all carried in other men’s vessels, but Tysar had a 60-ton ship of his own which was hired by the town for nine days in September 1555 as part of the fleet which transported King Philip to Calais.3

Tysar’s first known involvement in parliamentary matters was his commission on 11 Sept. 1553 to visit the lord warden, Sir Thomas Cheyne, with regard to the choice of the town’s Members in the forthcoming Parliament; in the event Sandwich made an unsuccessful attempt to defy Cheyne by re-electing Thomas Menys. When on 23 Oct. 1554 Tysar was himself chosen with the usual wages, he being then mayor in place of the disqualified Simon Linch, Cheyne allowed his election to stand but overrode William Lathebury’s. Both Tysar and the warden’s nominee Nicholas Crispe were among the Members of this Parliament who quitted it without leave before its dissolution; summoned before the King’s bench in the following Easter term to answer to this dereliction Tysar failed to appear, but as no further action was taken against him he was presumably not considered a serious offender. He could not so lightly disregard the summons which brought him and four others of Sandwich before the Privy Council on 12 Nov. 1557. This arose out of a letter sent from the town to the warden who evidently found it offensive enough to warrant a complaint to the Council, and it was as one of those chiefly to blame that Tysar made his appearance. Neither the subject of the letter nor the outcome of the affair is known but coming as it did shortly before the election to the last Marian Parliament the episode may help to explain why on this occasion Tysar was an unsuccessful candidate. If the two were connected, Tysar’s exclusion is more likely to have been due to prudence than to hostility, for 12 months later, with Cheyne recently dead, he was elected to Elizabeth’s first Parliament and also chosen to attend the coronation where he was one of those holding the canopy over the Queen.4

Tysar’s refusal to serve as bailiff to Yarmouth in 1557, which cost him a fine of 50s., may also have been connected with his setback in that year; it was his only evasion of duty in more than 30 years of service to the town, including 16 attendances at Brotherhood meetings at Romney. He made his will, which has a Protestant ring, on 15 Apr. 1575 and probably died in the course of that year.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. PCC 45 Tirwhite.
  • 2. Sandwich old red bk. 1527-51, passim; little black bk. passim; new red bk. 1568-81, passim; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix), 275.
  • 3. Sandwich old red bk. ff. 95v, 155v, 203v-4; little black bk. f. 73; E122/131/8.
  • 4. Sandwich little black bk. ff. 35, 37v, 55v, 122v, 136; KB 29/188 rot. 48; APC, vi. 189, 199.
  • 5. Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. 257; PCC 45 Tirwhite.