JONES, Henry I (?1532-86), of Abermarlais, Carm.

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. ?1532, 1st s. of (Sir) Thomas Jones of Abermarlais by 2nd w. Mary, da. of James Berkeley of Thornbury, Glos.; bro. of Richard and half-bro. of John Perrot. m. (1) by 1554, Elizabeth (d. 10 Aug. 1571), da. of Mathew Herbert of Cogan Pill, Glam., at least 1s. Sir Thomas; (2) Eleanor, da. of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester, wid. of Sir Roger Vaughan (d.1571) of Porthaml, Talgarth, Brec.; (3) 31 Aug. 1584, Elizabeth, da. of (Sir) John Salusbury II of Lleweni, Denb., wid. of John Salesbury of Rûg, Merion.; at least 1s. illegit. Kntd. 19 Oct. 1553; suc. fa. 1558/59.2

Offices Held

Commr. goods of churches and fraternities, Carm. 1553, armour 1569, musters 1570, victuals 1574, tanneries 1574, piracy 1579; sheriff, Card. 1553-4, 1559-60, Carm. 1573-4, 1583-4, Brec. 1581-2; jt. constable, Llandovery castle, Carm. 1554; j.p. Carm. 1558/59, q. 1561-d., Card. 1561; custos rot. Carm. by 1561-d.3


Henry Jones of Abermarlais was barely 21 when he began his long parliamentary career in March 1553: his mother’s first marriage to Thomas Perrot had ended with her husband’s death in 1531 and her second, of which he was the firstborn, had taken place by the beginning of 1533. It was therefore not he but an older namesake who was a household servant to Queen Anne Boleyn and her successors, and his own public career began with his election and his simultaneous appointment to the church goods commission early in 1553. His pricking as sheriff of Cardiganshire in the following autumn suggests that it was he, and not a namesake, who had been nominated a year earlier, even though he was then still under age.4

Jones was to sit in nine successive Parliaments, his Membership being uninterrupted by his first shrievalty, during which he was twice returned for Carmarthenshire. In the light of this alone there would be little case for identifying him with the Henry Jones who was returned for Old Sarum to the Parliament of 1558, and even less so because this Member was styled ‘armiger’ on the return whereas Henry Jones of Abermarlais had been knighted during Mary’s first Parliament. Yet there are grounds for thinking that the two were one and the same. If they were, the analogy with John Bateman would be a striking one. Like Jones, Bateman was regularly returned elsewhere, in his case at Nottingham, and his solitary appearance for Old Sarum in 1558 can be ascribed to his wartime absence abroad as the servant of the 2nd Earl of Rutland. Jones also served in this campaign, with the captaincy of 94 men, and he could well have felt the need to ensure himself a seat in the ensuing Parliament through the patronage of the commander, William Herbert I, 1st Earl of Pembroke, whose great-niece Elizabeth Herbert he had married. Bateman’s adoption by Pembroke at the request of Rutland would thus have brought together these two outsiders as Members for Pembroke’s borough of Old Sarum, and the error in Jones’s styling on the indenture could be held to reflect his unfamiliarity in the neighbourhood, as could the appearance of Bateman with the wrong christian name on the list of Members. (His only untitled namesake who merits consideration was a serjeant-at-arms of whom little is known and whose office appears to have been his only qualification as a nominee at Old Sarum.5) In the event, Jones was re-elected for Cardiganshire, so that if also returned for Old Sarum he would doubtless have chosen the knighthood of the shire and his borough seat have become vacant, but the lack of any trace of a by-election is by no means conclusive against the suggested identification.6

As a Member of the Parliament of November 1554 Jones was one of those found absent when the House was called in January 1555. He was informed against in the King’s bench in the following Easter term but as no further process was taken against him it is likely that his absence was not regarded as a gesture of dissent. Save in the unlikely event of his having been demoted to ‘Mr.’ Jones in the list of Members of the following Parliament who opposed one of the government’s bills he was not among the recalcitrants on that occasion. He was to have no difficulty in serving the Elizabethan regime, which he continued to support in a group of Welsh shires after he ceased to sit in Parliament. He died on 24 Sept. 1586.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Jones was returned for either Old Sarum or Cardiganshire.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from date of parents’ marriage and first commission. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 189-90; PCC 30 Chaynay; C142/213/69.
  • 3. CPR, 1553, p. 419; 1554-5, p. 62; 1563-6, pp. 301-2; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 60, 69, 109, 126, 132; APC, xiii. 142.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, vii, xiv, xvi, xix; E101/424/12 (i), f. 58; 179/69/47-48.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xviii; CPR, 1549-51, p. 173; 1550-3, p. 36; 1558-60, p. 175; 1566-9, p. 7; PCC 29 Daper.
  • 6. C193/32/2; 219/25/234; Wm. Salt Lib. SMS 264; HMC Foljambe, 6.
  • 7. KB29/188; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; C142/213/69.