ALFORD, John (1590-1649), of Hamsey, Suss.; later of Offington, Broadwater, Suss. and the Whitefriars, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.)

Family and Education

b. c.1590, 1st s. of Edward Alford* and Judith, da. of Emmanuel Downing† of the Whitefriars; bro. of Sir Edward†. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1607, aged 16. m. settlement 2 May 1620, Frances (d. 23 Oct. 1659), da. of Sir Thomas Bishopp* of Parham, Suss., 2da. suc. fa. 1631.2 d. 5 Jan. 1649, aged 59.3 sig. Jo[hn] Alford.

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Kent and Suss. 1629, Suss. 1637;4 feoffee, Steyning g.s. Suss. 1630;5 j.p. Suss. 1632-7, 1642-4, 1646-8;6 commr. piracy 1637;7 dep. lt. by 1638;8 commr. Poll Tax, Suss. 1641, assessment 1641-2, array 1642,9 defence, London 1644, militia, Mdx. 1644, Suss. 1648.10


At his marriage, Alford acquired the Sussex manor of Hamsey and the Kent manor of Wittersham.11 In 1626 he was returned for New Shoreham, about four miles from the family residence at Offington, having been nominated by his father, who was unable to sit during his shrievalty.12 However, if it was intended that he should assume his father’s mantle in the Commons he failed to live up to expectation. Named to the conference of 7 Mar. 1626 on the international situation, he was also appointed to consider a private bill for the widow of Sir Thomas Dale (1 May).13 In addition, he may have been interested in a measure to prevent the reversal of outlawries, as a copy of the bill, underlined in places and bearing a note concerning the time the committee was to meet, can be found among his family’s papers.14 In 1628 he transferred to Arundel on the interest of his friend William Mill*, and presumably remained largely inactive in the Commons, although he cannot be distinguished from his father. He was returned for New Shoreham at both elections in 1640. A neutral in the Civil War, he refused to serve as a Sussex committeeman and maintained friendships in both camps.15 He died on 5 Jan. 1649, aged 59, and was buried at Broadwater, where a monument claiming that he had been ‘truly honourable and religious’ was erected.16 His will, drafted during a period of sickness in 1643, was proved on 2 May 1649. His nephew John sat for Midhurst in both the Exclusion Parliaments of 1679 and for Bramber in the Convention of 1689.17

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. Secluded at Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. J.G. Alford, Alford Fam. Notes, 24; Al. Ox.; C142/509/17; F. Lambarde, ‘Coats of Arms in Suss. Churches’, Suss. Arch. Colls. lxxii. 234.
  • 3. [footnote]
  • 4. C181/4, f. 32v; 181/5, f. 69v.
  • 5. W.P. Breach, ‘Wm. Holland, Alderman of Chichester and Steyning G.S.’, Suss. Arch. Colls. xliii. 80.
  • 6. A. Fletcher, County Community in Peace and War, 351.
  • 7. C181/5, f. 68.
  • 8. SP16/407/66.
  • 9. SR, v. 66, 89, 156; Northants. RO, FH 133.
  • 10. A. and O. i. 383, 556, 1242.
  • 11. C142/509/17; Feet of Fines (Suss. Rec. Soc. xix), 199; E. Hasted, Kent, viii. 487.
  • 12. Arundel, Autograph Letters 1627-32, no. 279.
  • 13. Procs. 1626, ii. 216; iii. 107.
  • 14. Harl. 7617, f. 16. The bill seems to be the one described in the Journal as concerning the reversal of decrees in cts. of equity: Procs. 1626, ii. 436.
  • 15. Fletcher, 286-7, 326.
  • 16. Alford, 37; Add. 5698, f. 187.
  • 17. PROB 11/208, ff. 95-6.