MAYNARD, John (1508/9-56), of St. Albans, Herts.

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



Oct. 1553
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1508/9, s. of Nicholas Maynard of Axminster, Devon by Margaret, da. of John Ellis of ‘Ellis’, Devon. educ. G. Inn, adm. 1533. m. (1) Margery or Mary (d.1546), da. of Ralph Rowlett of London and St. Albans, at least 1s. 1da.; (2) by 1547, Dorothy, da. of Robert Perrot of Oxford, wid. of (?John) Bridges, at least 2s. inc. Henry 2da.1

Offices Held

J.p. St. Alban’s liberty 1540-d., Herts. 1554; commr. relief, Herts. 1550; under steward and keeper, St. Alban’s liberty 1546-d., bailiff at d.; steward, borough of St. Albans May 1553-d.2


John Maynard entered Gray’s Inn in the same year as his future brother-in-law Sir Ralph Rowlett may have done, and perhaps settled in St. Albans on account of his marriage; his father-in-law was a prominent local gentleman.3

By 1540 Maynard was sufficiently established to be named to the bench and to be appointed to local commissions of gaol delivery. Four years later he embarked upon the purchase of ex-monastic lands. He acted in partnership with London merchants but is not to be confused with his namesake, a mercer who rose to be sheriff of London, settled in Staffordshire, died only a few months after the Member, and also bought lands from the crown. There was also a John Maynard in Essex of some prominence. The three purchases in which John Maynard of St. Albans joined during the last years of Henry VIII at a total price of £2,857 mainly concerned the Hertfordshire lands of St. Alban’s abbey; much of the property was immediately resold. Maynard did not make another purchase until 1553 when he bought for £1,696 most of the remaining Hertfordshire property of St. Alban’s; this he also realienated, principally to the leaseholders.4

Granted the under stewardship of the liberty of St. Alban’s in February 1546, Maynard acted as deputy to Sir Richard Leeas bailiff of the liberty, and after a lawsuit, in which Lee’s right to the office was challenged, himself became bailiff: he was succeeded in both offices by Sir Robert Rochester. His appointment to the stewardship of the borough of St. Albans reflects his local prominence and explains his two elections to Parliament. He may also have promoted the return of Thomas Wendy, whom he mentioned in his will. Maynard was one of those informed against in the King’s bench in Easter term 1555 for having quitted the Parliament of November 1554 without licence before its dissolution, but he was not further proceeded against: perhaps he was able to plead illness as excuse for his absence, as he died in the next year, on 20 or 21 Oct. Although he had not been noted as standing ‘for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism, in the Parliament of October 1553, the confident tone of his epitaph in St. Michael’s church, St. Albans, points in that direction: In faith most firm to God, most loyal to the crown, Learned in the law, first steward of St. Albans town Him fairer arms in heaven god’s angels have emblazd Never shall his christian name out of God’s books be razd.5

His estate, the bulk of which he had purchased from Lee in 1547, was relatively small and was largely entailed on his first son (by his second wife) Henry. The eldest son, Ralph, was left an annuity of £10 to enable him to study law and an interest in a lease in Maynard’s will of 18 Oct. 1556. Maynard’s wife Dorothy was appointed residuary legatee and executrix. She was a daughter of Robert Perrot, the Magdalen College organist and a kinsman of John Perrot: according to the Oxfordshire visitation, she later married Thomas Skipwith of St. Albans (presumably not the ‘brother’ whom Maynard appointed overseer of his will) and then one Rogers ‘of the band of pensioners’. Henry Maynard’s son William was raised to the peerage as Baron Maynard.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Aged 45 in November 1554, C24/34, no. 29. Gen. Mag. vi. 593 seq., esp. pp. 635-41; Vis Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 15; Chauncy, Herts. i. 82; VCH Herts. ii. 401, 425; Vis Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 128-9; CPR, 1547-8, p. 201; PCC 3 Wrastley.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1553, p. 354; 1553-4, pp. 20, 33; 1555-7, p. 509; Req.2/18/64.
  • 3. VCH Herts. ii. 394, 404.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xvi, xvii, xix-xxi; CPR, 1553, pp. 114-15, 118-20, 163, 269; VCH Herts. ii. 331-2, 341, Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 24; C142/112/155, 151/55.
  • 5. Req.2/18/64; KB27/1176-86; C142/107/58; Gen. Mag. vi. 640.
  • 6. PCC 3 Wrastley; DNB (Perrot, Robert).