CARNSEW, John (by 1537-c.74), of Lincoln's Inn, London and Trecarne in Advent, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1537, yr. s. of William Carnsew of Bokelly, Cornw. by Jane, da. and coh. of Edmund Stradling of St. Donats Glam.; bro. of William Carnsew I. educ. L. Inn by 1554, called 1567. m. Anne (d.1579), da. of Gilbert Ashurst of Ashurst, Lancs., 1da. suc. fa. to Trecarne 1570.

Offices Held

Under-sheriff, Cornw. 1559-60.1


Carnsew, a London lawyer, may have owed his election to his family’s radical religious views, known protestants being needed in the critical early days of Elizabeth’s reign. It may be that the 2nd Earl of Bedford was behind him, or the Killigrews, who helped his elder brother William to a seat at Penryn in this Parliament. As John Carnsew was a Lincoln’s Inn lawyer and his brother William was not, it was presumably John who complained in the Commons on 17 Apr. 1559 of ‘evil words ... against the House’ spoken at Lincoln’s Inn on the Wednesday before Easter by one Thrower, servant to the master of the rolls:

that if a bill were brought in for womens wires in their pastes, they would dispute it and go to the question, and that he heard the lords say as much at his master’s table.2

About 1574 Carnsew retired to his Trecarne estate. The date of his death is not known. His property passed to his only daughter, Margaret.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, ii. 172-3; St. Ch. 5/T18/4, T22/31.
  • 2. CJ, i. 59, 60; D’Ewes, 54. The reference is apparently to the wire support of a head-dress.
  • 3. Maclean, ii. 172-3, 487-8.