MICHELL, John I (by 1491-1546), of Cuckfield, Suss.

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 1491, 1st s. of John Michell of Cuckfield by Millicent; bro. of Thomas. m. (1) by 1508, Cecily, da. of John Shelley of Michelgrove; (2) Margaret, 7s. 3da. suc. fa. 1 Feb. 1525.1

Offices Held

Escheator, Surr. and Suss. 1528-9; j.p. Suss. 1534/35-d.2


The Michell family had been settled at Cuckfield from the 13th century and a junior branch was later established at Stammerham near Horsham. In the subsidy assessment of 1524-5 the lands in Cuckfield were valued at £13 a year. The family was dependent upon the dukes of Norfolk.3

John Michell the elder had cut a figure in local administration and while he lived he overshadowed his heir, but by 1529 he was dead and the 3rd Duke of Norfolk was poised for power. The younger John Michell’s return to the Parliament of that year for a borough controlled by Norfolk registered his arrival on the local scene as the head of the family: he may have been helped to it by his wife’s kinsman Sir Richard Shirley, who entered the House at the same time as one of the knights for Sussex. Nothing has come to light about Michell’s role in the Commons. It is probable that he sat again in June 1536, in accordance with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members, and he may have done so in either or both of the Parliaments of 1539 and 1542, when the names of the Members for New Shoreham are lost. Apart from his advent as a justice and occasional appearances in land transactions Michell’s last years are obscure. If he had maintained his attachment to the Duke of Norfolk he was spared the sight of that nobleman’s disgrace for he died on 15 Oct. 1546. No will has been found but the heir was a 38 year-old son Edmund. At the inquisition following his death it was found that Michell had been seised of five manors and that much of his property was held by trustees who were mainly kinsmen.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: R. J.W. Swales / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from younger brother’s. Comber, Suss. Genealogies (Ardingly), 265.
  • 2. E371/300, mm. 41, 50; LP Hen. VIII, xiii.
  • 3. Suss. Arch. Colls. liii. 109; Add. 5701, f. 47.
  • 4. NRA 14430; C142/55/30.