BLUNDELL, John (by 1511-59), of London and Steeple Barton, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. by 1511. m. 17 Nov. 1538, Alice, da. and h. of Thomas Hutchin, wid. of Hugh Methwold 1s. 8da.3
Warden, Mercers’ Co. 1548-9, 1554-5; auditor, London 1549-50.4
In his will John Blundell left £3 6s.8d. to the ‘parson and churchwardens of Hadleie, whereas I was born, towards the finding of the poor there’. His birthplace was probably Hadleigh in Suffolk, for he was apprenticed to a London mercer, Sir Thomas Baldry, who came from Ipswich. Admitted to the Mercers’ Company in 1532 after serving his apprenticeship, Blundell became a Merchant Adventurer; in 1535 he sent 92 short cloths to the Antwerp cloth market. He lived in the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry, where he had at least 14 houses in his tenure by 1537: his nine children were born there between 1539 and 1552.5
Blundell replaced Thomas Curteys half-way through the last session of the Parliament of 1547: on 4 Mar. 1552 the House of Commons ordered three Members ‘to see the writ for Mr. Blundell, returned burgess in the place of William [sic] Curteys’. He was re-elected to the Parliament of March 1553, and to one summoned for 18 Sept. 1553 which never assembled owing to the King’s death. The four Members then chosen were reelected to Mary’s first Parliament, in which Blundell was noted as having ‘stood for the true religion’ against the restoration of Catholicism. He was elected once more, to Mary’s second Parliament, and thus sat for the City in four consecutive Parliaments, an unusual feat for a Londoner below the rank of alderman.6
In 1546, in conjunction with Sir Leonard Chamberlain, Blundell bought from the crown the manors of Finmere and Kidlington, in Oxfordshire, and several advowsons, including that of Steeple Barton: this property remained with Blundell, who spent his closing years at Barton. He made two wills, the first on 1 Apr. 1557 as a citizen and mercer of London and the second on 21 Feb. 1559, ‘here in the country’, as John Blundell of Steeple Barton: the two were complementary. He left all his lands in Oxfordshire to his wife and five surviving daughters (his only son was dead) and gave money to the poor of his parish and elsewhere in London and Oxfordshire, and £5 ‘to the finishing of the steeple at Barton’. He died on 20 Sept. 1559 and was buried at Steeple Barton, under a monument (since destroyed) bearing the arms of the Mercers’ Company. One of his daughters, Theodora, later married a son of John Denton of Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, and in 1570 his widow married Sir Alexander Avenon, then lord mayor of London.7
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Helen Miller
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Hatfield 207.
- 2. Bodl. e Museo 17; City of London RO, Guildhall, jnl. 16, f. 263.
- 3. Date of birth estimated from admission to Mercers’ Co. Harl. 1556, f. 148v; Reg. St. Lawrence Jewry, 77.
- 4. Mercers’ Co. acts of ct., 2, ff. 222, 268v; City of London RO, rep. 12(1), f. 56v; jnl. 16, f. 25.
- 5. PCC 49 Chaynay; list of mercers, T/S Mercers’ Hall, 41; E122/82/7, 167/1, ex inf. Prof. P. Ramsey; O. de Smedt, De Engelse Natie te Antwerpen, ii. 429; LP Hen. VIII, xii; Reg. St. Lawrence Jewry, 1-6.
- 6. CJ, i. 19; City of London RO, letter bk. R, f.259v; Bodl. e Museo 17.
- 7. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; PCC 49 Chaynay; C142/121/143; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 35; Three Oxon. Parishes (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xxiv), 73; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 329, 449; 1563-6, p. 195; 1566-9, p. 376; J. Nicholl, Ironmongers’ Co., 544.