HONYWOOD, Christopher (d.1599), of Hythe, Kent.

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

3rd s. of John Honywood of Sene, nr. Hythe, and St. George’s priory, Canterbury, by Mildred, da. of John Hales of Canterbury, baron of the Exchequer; bro. of Thomas. m. (1) Anne, da. of Henry Brome or Bourne of Sherstead by Elizabeth, da. of John Cromer; (2) Mary; at least 4da., prob. by 1st w.

Offices Held

Jurat, Hythe 1582, mayor in at least the years 1583, 1584, 1585, 1587, 1594; brodhull rep. at least 9 times 1582-94, speaker of the brodhull 1587, 1594; bailiff to Yarmouth 1589, 1590.


As a third son, Honywood inherited only small parcels of his father’s extensive estates, comprising land to the south-west of the town, in Romney marsh. His father also left him £20, to be paid on his 26th birthday. Settling in Hythe, he was appointed in 1582 to follow a lawsuit over lands of the hospital of St. Bartholomew. In this matter, which concerned a servant of (Sir) Christopher Hatton I, the town wished Honywood to obtain the support of ‘Customer’ Thomas Smythe I, who lived nearby. Not long afterwards he was paid 40s. ‘for his pains’ when the lord warden visited Hythe, and he also attended a meeting called by Lord Cobham at Dover in 1583 to discuss problems relating to the Ports. During his first term in the Commons the borough paid him 4s. a day for his services. A letter from Cobham Hall had instructed Hythe to return as MP, with the warden’s nominee, ‘some ... person of your own town, whom you know shall be sufficient for the place ... namely well affected in religion and towards the present state of this government’.

Though Hythe was spared the faction struggles which troubled New Romney in the 1580s, there were incidents enough. In 1587 William Browning, the retiring mayor, refused to administer the oath to Honywood, his successor, and three of the jurats walked out of the meeting. The governing body then decreed that

all manner of controversies, unkindness, heartburning, malicious dealing [and] revenge ... shall henceforth cease and be clean forgotten and forgiven ... upon pain of forfeiture of £20.

An attack upon Honywood’s house also occurred, perhaps in connexion with this incident.

Honywood died in 1599. In his will he made provision for his widow and his two surviving daughters, both of whom were married.

W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Kent, 226; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxiv), 32, 65; (lxxv), 105; IHR, abstracts Kent wills 1450-1602, p. 241; Cinque Ports black bk. f. 61; Kent AO wills at Maidstone, C.27, f. 26; Hythe ass. bk. ff. 34, 62, 116, 141, 172 et passim; CSP Dom.1581-90, p. 87; G. Wilks, Barons of the Cinque Ports and the Parl. Rep. Hythe, 63; HMC 4th Rep. 430-1.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.