STONE, Christopher (c.1556-1614), of Bath, Som.
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Family and Education
Little has been ascertained about Stone’s family background, but he entered the Middle Temple in 1572 and was called to the bar seven years later. He was often in trouble: in 1578 he was suspended from the ‘fellowship’ after an accusation of an unknown nature was made against him before High Commission. Notorious for his absences from the important ritual of Temple readings, Stone was repeatedly fined, and it was probably for this reason that he was temporarily disbarred in the mid-1580s. It is unclear whether he was already a Bath resident when he was appointed town clerk in 1597 at a fee of 40s. p.a.6
Elected the junior Member for Bath in 1604, Stone may have been assiduous in his attendance of Parliament. In 1604 he received £11 in parliamentary wages for 17 weeks at Westminster. He received further payments of £12 16d. (1606-7) 40s. (1607-8), £14 16s. (1608-9) and £12 2s. (1610-11).7 Despite his attendance record, Stone is only mentioned twice in the records of the House. On 10 May 1604 he was granted privilege after being served with a subpoena by William Butcher, Ireland’s clerk of the ordnance, and was again granted privilege on 20 June 1607, this time to stay a trial in Common Pleas in which he was the plaintiff.8
Stone died in June 1614, probably at his chambers in the Middle Temple. In his will he asked to be buried in Bath Abbey, but no record of his funeral has been found. His wife was granted a life interest in his lands in Tormarton, Gloucestershire. He divided his remaining properties between his eldest son, Michael, and daughter, Julianne Baynham, and in a codicil dated 2 June 1614 his goods and chattels were bestowed in equal portions upon Michael, Julianne and a younger son, Philip. Stone’s will was proved on 17 June 1614.9 No further member of the family sat in Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Chris Kyle
- 1. Age calculated from date of admiss. to M. Temple.
- 2. M. Temple Admiss.; MTR, 244, 259, 274.
- 3. PROB 11/123, ff. 497-8.
- 4. Bath RO, transcript, mayoral list; transcript, town clerk list; Accts. of the Chamberlains Bath, 1568-1602 ed. F.D. Wardle (Som. Rec. Soc. xxxviii), 154.
- 5. SP14/31/1.
- 6. Accts. of the Chamberlains Bath, 1568-1602, p. 161.
- 7. These records of payments do not equate exactly with parliamentary sessions. Bath RO, chamberlains’ accts. transcript, i. nos. 45, 47-9, 51.
- 8. CJ, i. 205b, 386a.
- 9. PROB 11/123, ff. 497-8.