CORNWALL, John (d.1608), of Marlborough, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

m. Anne, 1da.

Offices Held

J.p. Marlborough, ?constable 1565, mayor 1577-8, 1582-3, 1600-1, 1604-5, 1606-7, 1608-9.


From obscurity, Cornwall attained a substantial position at Marlborough, virtually monopolizing the mayoralty in the last years of his life. By 1574 he was extending his interests to outlying areas, and in 1577 he paid £80 for a crown grant of lands in Mildenhall, Elcot, Preshute and Stitchcomb. The Earl of Hertford, who generally nominated one of the borough Members, was under house arrest in 1571, and both burgesses were local men. Cornwall received £4 for his parliamentary services in that year and was reimbursed expenses laid out in negotiating a new charter for the borough. In 1589 he received £5 wages. For the subsidy of 1576 only three inhabitants of Marlborough were assessed at a higher rate. He subscribed £25 to the Armada fund in 1589. He contracted ambitious marriages for his daughter and sole heiress, Bridget, who had been born about 1568. Her first husband was a son of Richard Masters of Cirencester, physician to the Queen; her second—whom she married before her father’s death—was Sir William Jordan of Whitley in Wiltshire. It is not clear whether Bridget’s mother was Cornwall’s wife Anne: she may have been the child of another marriage.1

Cornwall died in 1608. His Marlborough house he bequeathed to his wife, along with some stock held in Somersetshire. The rest of his goods he left to his daughter. Other beneficiaries were the poor of Marlborough and of the parishes of Ogbourne and Mildenhall. The municipal authorities of Marlborough received a £20 annuity to be used for the training of four young freemen of the town. Cornwall appointed his daughter executrix of the will, proved 1 Sept. 1608. The overseers were Mr Hinton of Marlborough and Robert Masters, DCL.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: H.G.O.


  • 1. PCC 86 Windebanck; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 111; Vis. Wilts. ed. Marshall, 86; Genealogist, n.s. xii. 165; C142/315/164; Marlborough Recs. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11; J. Waylen, Hist. Marlborough, 60-1, 73, 92, 111, 114, 502, 525; Wilts. Arch. Mag. x. 93; xxxviii. 35, 36, 38; Wilts. N. and Q. iv. 311; v. 25, 355; vi. 234, 407; vii. 553; T.C. Noble, Names of Those who Subscribed, 69.
  • 2. Marlborough Recs. 11; PCC 86 Windebanck.