JACKSON, Peter (by 1489-1531/32), of York.

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




Family and Education

b. by 1489, prob. s. of Thomas Jackson of York. m. (1) ?Margaret, da. of one Marshall; (2) Jenet; at least 2s. 5da.2

Offices Held

Member, Corpus Christi guild, York 1510, member of the Twenty-Four 1521, subsidy collector 1510, 1514, bridgemaster, Ouse bridge 1512-13, junior chamberlain 1517-18, sheriff 1520-1, alderman 1522-d., master, merchant guild. 1523-5, mayor 1526-7.3


Peter Jackson, merchant, became a freeman of York in 1510-11. In 1515 he paid the city’s merchant guild for two ships’ voyages, and from 1523 to 1525 he was its master. By 1524 he was wealthy (though not one of the richer aldermen), being assessed to the lay subsidy on £20 in goods. He was then living in the rich central parish of St. Crux.4

Jackson’s experience as a merchant seems to have been in demand once he became an alderman. Both in 1524 and in 1525 he was sent on civic deputations to London, his instructions on each occasion including discussion with the Merchant Staplers about the wool export monopoly which York had lately acquired. His mayoralty occurred at a time of civic poverty and he set an example of economy by reducing the number of sergeants at mace. Three years later he and a colleague were given the important task of appearing before the council in the north at Pontefract to make charges against York malcontents.5

Of Jackson’s personality there are several glimpses: when in 1521 a former town clerk accused him of riot, he was described as ‘a furious, hasty and malicious man’, and as ‘rich, mighty, heady and proud’, and in 1527 the mayor and council were allegedly called extortioners in his house. But the council trusted him enough to give him important missions. Like most, but not all, of his brethren he was able to sign his own name. He was probably related to several aldermen: in the accusation of 1521 he was called ‘greatly allied ... by marriage of his wife’s daughters, of whom he had there three or four at the said riot’, and one of his own daughters married a son of Sir John Gilliot.6

The circumstances of Jackson’s election to Parliament remain a mystery. On 27 Sept. 1529 the recorder Sir Richard Page and George Lawson were chosen to represent York, but within two weeks of the opening of Parliament it was Jackson, not Page, who was sitting in the Commons as the city’s senior Member. It is possible that Page stood down in favour of Jackson; he was a dependent of Cardinal Wolsey, whose fortunes were in eclipse, but remained in favour with the King, who knighted him in the autumn, perhaps to compensate him for his supersession. Nothing is known about Jackson’s role in the Commons except that he and Lawson took steps to suspend a payment of £35 14s.7d. to St. Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster, which York had been making yearly, out of its fee-farm, since 1351. Jackson survived only the first two sessions, his will being proved at York on 20 Jan. 1532, five days after the commencement of the third. His death was noted when during the following summer the list of Members was revised, and he was eventually replaced by George Gale, who was apparently a kinsman.7

Jackson had made his will on 1 Nov. 1531, asking to be buried in his parish church. This may still have been St. Crux, as his charitable bequests, apart from one to the four York friaries, were to the Trinity guild and hospital in that parish. Arrangements were made for the guardianship of his children, James, Peter and Margaret, all minors. He did not mention his married daughters, who had probably received their portions on marriage. He assigned James and Margaret to his supervisors and fellow-aldermen, John Hogeson and John Shaw. He left his dwelling house to his three brothers, one of them a priest, on condition that they performed an obit for 20 years: two of them were also forgiven their debts to him, ‘as doth appear in my debt book’. He also left to his son Peter a house in the Pavement, York; to James a house at Dalton in the North Riding; and to Margaret a house at Pocklington in the East Riding. His three young children were made residuary legatees and, together with his wife and his clerical brother, executors. His inventory does not survive, but he was said to have died leaving movable goods worth over £600.8

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. M. Palliser


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. York pub. lib., R.H. Skaife ms civic officials, ii. 413; York wills 9, ff. 324v, 325; 11, f. 1; Yorks. St. Ch. Procs. i (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xli), 31.
  • 3. Reg. Corpus Christi Guild, York (Surtees Soc. lvii), 172, 173n; York archs. B9-11 passim; E179/279/1, m. 7.
  • 4. Reg. Freemen, York. i (Surtees Soc. xcvi), 233; York Mercers and Merchant Adventurers (Surtees Soc. cxxix), 126, 323; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. iv. 179.
  • 5. York Civic Recs. iii (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. cvi), 92-94, 104-5, 122; H. Heaton, Yorks. Woollen and Worsted Industries, 48-49.
  • 6. Yorks. St. Ch. Procs. i. 31-32; York Civic Recs. iii. 109; York archs. B11, f. 9.
  • 7. York Civic Recs. iii. 119, 127, 135.
  • 8. York wills 11, f. 1; Reg. Freemen, York, i. 258; J. N. Bartlett, ‘Some aspects of the economy of York in the later middle ages, 1300-1500’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1958), 246.