CARYLL (CARRELL), John (d.1566), of Warnham, Suss.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

1st s. of John Caryll, serjeant-at-law, of Warnham by his 2nd w. Margaret Ellinbridge. educ. I. Temple, resident by July 1522 m. by 1539, Elizabeth, da. of Robert Palmer of Parham, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1523.2

Offices Held

Bencher, I. Temple Feb. 1537, Lent reader 1539, 1545, one of 5 auditors Feb. 1551, treasurer 1551-2, gov. Jan. 1559; j.p. Suss. by Mar. 1538, Surr. 1547, q. Surr. and Suss. by 1564; attorney, ct. of first fruits and tenths 1541-June 1543; attorney-gen. duchy of Lancaster 4 Mar. 1544; high steward, barony of Bramber c.1549.3


Caryll was under age when his father died, and his wardship and marriage were granted to two of the executors, his uncle Thomas Caryll and Anthony Fitzherbert, a justice of common pleas. He inherited the family seat at Warnham, but his father left debts, and there were younger brothers and sisters to provide for, so that at first he was not a wealthy man. Following several members of his family into the legal profession, Caryll served on the commission to reform the canon law under Edward VI, and acquired considerable former church property. He retained his appointments throughout the religious changes of 1536 to 1558, and was, by the accession of Elizabeth, a well-known lawyer and a prominent member of the governing body of the Inner Temple. On at least three occasions between 1540 and 1555 he evaded promotion to serjeant, perhaps because he wished to remain a bencher and to be eligible for other legal offices. Before 1559 he had been suggested as a possible master of the rolls or chief justice, and at Elizabeth’s accession Sir Nicholas Throckmorton recommended him as a possible lord chancellor. On 5 Nov. 1559 he was commissioned to hear causes in Chancery during the illness of Sir Nicholas Bacon.4

Thrice elected knight of the shire for Sussex, he had as colleague in 1559 Sir Richard Sackville, another Inner Temple man, and both he and Caryll appear on the list of governors for that year. In the Commons, Caryll was one of those named to draw up a book for the subsidy (31 Jan. 1559) and he was on the committee concerning the validity of writs of summons (30 Jan.) which he reported to the House on 3 Feb.5

He died 10 Mar. 1566 in the parish of St. Martin Outwich, London and was buried at Warnham on the 24th of the month. The preamble of his will, made the day before his death, gave detailed instructions about the burial of his ‘wretched and sinful body’. The funeral was to be ‘without pomp or vainglory’; mourning gowns were forbidden; but there were to be ‘deeds of charity’ to the poor and especially to his ‘poor neighbours that labour for their living and strive against poverty’. He was to have a marble or alabaster tomb with an inscription giving his parentage and offices. Charitable legacies amounted to over £100 to the poor and to various churches, and a number of relatives benefited, including the testator’s brother Richard, a London mercer. The executor, Caryll’s second son Edward, was asked to treat his nephew John, the heir to the estates, kindly and not ‘as the wolf useth the lamb’. Robert Keilway, Caryll’s ‘dear and assured friend’, was appointed supervisor. Strype described Caryll as ‘a man famous for his abilities in the law, but a papist’, adding ‘indeed, about this time the lawyers in most eminent places were generally favourers of popery’. Caryll’s family retained allegiance to the old religion, becoming well-known Sussex recusants.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Constituency unknown.
  • 2. PCC 10 Bodfelde, 34 Stonard; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxxiii. 177.
  • 3. F. A. Inderwick, Masters of Bench of I. Temple, 8; LP Hen. VIII, xiii(1), p. 244; xvi. p. 275; Somerville, Duchy, i. 408; Suss. Arch. Colls. xiii. 126.
  • 4. PCC 10 Bodfelde; LP Hen. VIII, iv(1), p. 196; xvii. p. 214; E. W. Ives ‘Some aspects of the legal profession in the late Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries’ (London Univ. PhD thesis 1955), P. 209; Foss, Judges, 231; Strype, Eccles. Mems. ii(1), p. 524; Cranmer, i. 388; APC, v. 338; EHR, lxv. 95; CPR, 1548-9, p. 219; Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxvi. 7-22.
  • 5. CJ, i. 53, 54; D’Ewes, 44.
  • 6. C142/143/28; PCC 34 Stonard; Strype, Annals, i(2), p. 195.