BOURNE, John II (by 1508-58), of Reading, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1508. m. Alice, 1s. 5da.1

Offices Held

Chest-keeper and member of the guild, Reading 1529, constable 1530, alderman 1542, mayor 1544-5, 1552-3, 1558-9.2


In his will John Bourne gave the parish of ‘Meare’ as his birthplace and he is therefore probably to be identified with the man of that name who in 1521 was left £40 in the will of his master William Justice, since Justice was also born at ‘Mire’, possibly Mere in Wiltshire. He may also have been the John Bourne who gave a copy of a manifesto of the northern rebels to Richard Turner in 1536. But it is not even certain that all the references in the corporation diary, starting with the payment of 10s. for entry into the guild on 22 Oct. 1529, are to the same man, since the testator born at ‘Meare’ had a brother and son with the same christian name.3

Bourne was on the list of three mayoral candidates in 1540 and 1541 and was returned as senior Member to Parliament for the first time while serving his second term as mayor, the first of four mayors to be so returned between 1553 and 1558. During his second mayoralty, in July 1553, the town sent ten soldiers to the aid of Queen Mary and, in August, six more to wait upon her at Richmond; shortly afterwards John Saunders, a burgess since 1546, was expelled from the guild for slandering the government. Unlike his then fellow-Member, Edmund Plowden, Bourne was not one of those informed against in the King’s bench for quitting the Parliament of November 1554 prematurely without leave.4

Bourne made his will on 18 Nov. 1558, describing himself as a clothier. He left books and a cope to St. Mary’s church, Reading, ‘upon condition that God’s service be there maintained as it now is and if that service do otherwise alter then I will it to be sold’. His son and executor, John, was married with two children and the will mentioned four married daughters, one of whom had died leaving four children. Bourne died during his third term as mayor and on 24 Dec. 1558 was buried in St. Mary’s where a memorial was set up to him and his wife, buried there two months earlier.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first certain reference. Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 26.
  • 2. Reading Recs. i. pp. xli, 154-5, 178, 187, 229, 256-7.
  • 3. PCC 6 Maynwaryng, 19 Welles; LP Hen. VIII, xi.
  • 4. Reading Recs. i. 171, 174-5, 178 187, 211, 229, 231-2, 234, 242.
  • 5. PCC 19 Welles; Churchwardens’ Accts. St. Mary’s, Reading, ed. Garry, 1-3, 25; Reg. St. Mary’s, Reading, ii. 92; Reading Recs. i. 257.