SALUSBURY, John II (by 1520-78), of Lleweni, Denb.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1520, 1st surv. s. of Sir Roger Salusbury of Lleweni by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of John Puleston of Hafod Y Wern. m. Jane, da. and coh. of David Myddelton of Chester, Cheshire, at least 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1530. Kntd. 22 Feb. 1547.3

Offices Held

Sheriff, Denb. 1541-2, 1574-5, Flints. 1548-9; j.p. q. Denb. 1543-d.; commr. benevolence, Denb. 1544/45, chantries, N. Wales 1548, subsidy, Denb. 1547, relief, Denb., Herefs., Mont. 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553, musters 1557, armour 1569; alderman, Denbigh in 1545; jt. chancellor and chamberlain in survivorship with the Protector Somerset, N. Wales 28 May 1547-d.; receiver, ct. augmentations, N. Wales in survivorship with the Protector Somerset 28 May 1547-54, Exchequer 1554-30 Sept. 1568; custos rot., Denb. by 1558/59-64 or shortly afterwards.4


John Salusbury was perhaps a minor on succeeding to his patrimony in 1530, as it was another ten years before he began to cut a figure in Denbighshire. During that time the family influence was wielded by his uncle and namesake, from whom he was usually distinguished by the suffix ‘junior’ until his knighthood. He followed his uncle as sheriff and as such returned him as the first knight for the shire to the Parliament of 1542. In 1544 he served in the rearguard of the army invading France and in the following year he took his place in the Commons for the first time. He may have remained in London when this Parliament was dissolved by Henry VIII’s death, for he was knighted in the following month at the coronation of Edward VI. His standing in North Wales was soon enhanced by three appointments there conjointly with the Protector Somerset, whom in the next two years he was to approach through (Sir) John Thynne for the purchase of Ruthin college and to whose cofferer he delivered money in 1550. The patronage of the Protector, which must have ensured his election to the first Edwardian Parliament, may also explain his absence from the second, when his cousin Robert Puleston sat for Denbighshire. It is, indeed, likely that he was implicated in the events which led to Somerset’s execution: a year later the crown was in possession of property ‘by the attainder of Sir John Salusbury’ and in the spring of 1553 the Council agreed to his trial as an accessory to murder. He did not, however, forfeit any of his offices, and by May 1553 he was sufficiently restored to be named to the commission to survey church goods.5

Nothing has come to light about Salusbury’s role in the succession crisis of 1553, but he was to sit in all but one of Mary’s Parliaments and in the first of them he was not among the Members who were noted as having ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism. The only other possible clue to his public attitude—although its significance is not apparent—is the appearance of a circle against his name on the list of Members for the second session of the Queen’s, and his own, last Parliament. In the course of the reign he became involved in several protracted lawsuits with a vicar of Northop, Flintshire, over tithes, with Rhys Gruffydd of Caernarvon for allegedly accepting bribes while levying troops for the St. Quentin campaign, and with Bishop Goldwell over the presentation to the archdeaconry of St. Asaph: the outcome of the first two cases is not known but judgment went against him in the last.6

On 24 June 1558 the Council ordered Salusbury to pay Sir Richard Bulkeley the money levied more than a year earlier for the maintenance of soldiers billeted at Beaumaris. His suing out of a general pardon at the accession of Elizabeth may have been more than the conventional precaution, for evidence of financial mismanagement began to accumulate. In April 1560 he recognized a debt of £4,000 to the crown and promised ‘from henceforth well and truly [to] behave himself’ in his receivership as long as he continued to hold it. Four years later Henry Norris told his father Sir William Norris that Salusbury was ‘far behindhand and especially his deputies (for whom he is answerable) in as ill a case or rather worse, which causeth him to shift his hands of the same office’ and that he had ‘bonds of great value forfeited in the Exchequer touching that office, not as yet cleared or answered as they must be’. It is not known whether he surmounted these difficulties, but in 1568 he was replaced in the receivership by Edward Hughes, a client of Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.7

The incursion of Leicester into North Wales marked the end of Salusbury’s ascendancy there: besides the receivership he lost the office of custos rotulorum in his shire and his hold on the town of Denbigh. By his will of 15 Mar. 1578 he provided for his wife and family, and appointed as executors his wife and his grandson and heir Thomas. He was buried in St. Marcel’s church, Denbigh, and his will was proved on 11 June following. Thomas Salusbury, who was brought up by Leicester, was to be executed for complicity in the Babington plot.8

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Wm. Salt. Lib. SMS 264.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first appointment. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 331; PCC 26 Langley.
  • 4. C219/18C/176; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 93, 163; 1548-9, p. 137; 1553, pp. 354, 363, 376, 419; 1563-6, p. 30; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 60; W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations, 223 n. 25, 281; Rep. R. Comm. of 1552 (Archs. of Brit. Hist. and Culture iii), 63, 186; St.Ch.4/3/19; E179/220/166, 169.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xix; H. M. C. Jones-Mortimer, Sheriffs, Denb., 47; Bath mss. Thynne pprs. 2, ff. 25-25v, 101-2v; Egerton 2815; APC, iii. 184, 249.
  • 6. Wm. Salt. Lib. SMS 264; C1/1354/27, 1431/27-27, 1432/54; St.Ch.4/3/19.
  • 7. Salusbury Corresp. (Univ. Wales, Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiv), 24; APC, vi. 288; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 154; Add. 36926, ff. 8-9; CPR, 1566-9 p. 207; Req. 2/201/50.
  • 8. NRA 14045, p. 3; HMC Bath, v. forthcoming; Flenly, 74; PCC 26 Langley; SP12/99/55; EHR, lix, 353-5.