JENISON, William I (c.1531-87), of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb.

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. c.1531, 2nd s. of Robert Jenison of Yokefleet, Yorks. by Agnes, da. of William Wren of the Isle of Ely. m. Barbara, da. of Ralph Carr of Newcastle, 1s. William Jenison II 1da.1

Offices Held

Alderman, Newcastle, sheriff 1568, mayor 1571, 1581.


The younger son of a minor country gentleman, Jenison was apprenticed to a Newcastle merchant, and became one of the town’s most prosperous merchants. He was helped no doubt by his elder brother Thomas, who bought an estate nearby at Walworth; by his brother Ralph, who joined him as a merchant; and by the family into which he married, the Carrs, who were in turn related to other influential Newcastle houses, including the Andersons. He thrice represented Newcastle in Parliament, in 1571 with his brother-in-law Carr as fellow-Member. On at least two occasions he was paid wages of 8s. a day. He is recorded as sitting on only one committee, that on ports 13 Feb. 1576, unless he is the ‘Mr. Jenings’ who was on the committee for the rogues bill, 5 Mar. 1585. By the time of his death, July 1587, he had acquired the lease of coal mines at Cross Moor, Fitburn Moor, Cocken, Newbiggin and Hollinside, and owned coal at 13 pits south of the Tyne. He was also one of the chief partners in the Grand Lease colliery, holding a twelfth share, which was valued on his death at over £1,000. This share returned about £150 a year. Jenison also owned a salt-pan at Jarrow, several houses in Newcastle, and farmed land on the outskirts of the town and further afield in the county palatine. The inventory of his possessions taken in 1587 included plate worth £100, pewter, tapestries and silk, a well-stocked wardrobe and a library. In his will, he appointed his wife sole executrix.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.


  • 1. Dur. Vis. Peds. 189; R. Welford, Hist. Newcastle and Gateshead, iii. 43.
  • 2. Welford, Men of Mark ’twixt Tyne and Tweed, ii. 635-6; Surtees, Hist. Dur. iii. 316; Surtees Soc. xxxviii. 152-7; ci. 199; Newcastle chamberlains accts.; CJ, i. 105; D’Ewes, 247, 363; J. U. Nef, British Coal Industry, ii. 58, 61 n.