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

Background Information

No names known for 1510-23


 (aft. Apr. 1535 not known)
1539(not known)
1542(not known)
1545(not known)
by 4 Nov. 1549JOHN ZOUCHE I vice Story, disqualified5
by 23 Jan. 1552JOHN STURGEON 6
1553 (Mar.)(not known)
1554 (Nov.)THOMAS MARTIN 7

Main Article

Hindon lies in the parish of Bishop’s Knoyle or East Knoyle, which constitutes a detached part of the hundred of Downton. Like the borough of Downton, Hindon belonged to the see of Winchester and was administered by the bailiff of the manor, borough and hundred of Downton. Hindon was not incorporated and no borough records are extant for the period. Elections were held under the supervision of the bailiff, who as far as is known never held them for Downton and Hindon on the same day. No indentures survive from the early part of the 16th century, but there are four of the reign of Mary. They vary in both language and terminology, but none of them seems to resemble the indentures for Downton, even though at least one, that for the Parliament of 1558, is in the same hand as the Downton indenture for that Parliament. The names of the two Members returned in March 1554 are written over erasures, and perhaps in a different hand from that of the document; the names for 1558 may present a similar discrepancy. The contracting parties are the sheriff of Wiltshire and the bailiff and burgesses, both officers affixing their seals.9

In the late summer of 1529 Wolsey still held the see in commendam, and although his fall was imminent he appears to have wielded the customary parliamentary patronage; John Baldwin and John Hynde both belonged to the commission which he had set up earlier in the year to hear cases referred from Chancery. Baldwin must have vacated his seat on his appointment as chief justice of common pleas in 1535, but no by-election has been traced. The election of 1536 was held when Bishop Gardiner was abroad, and what appears to be a list of nominees for the three episcopal boroughs, prepared by Cromwell in his absence, gives for Hindon the names of the monastic visitor Thomas Lee and of the minister’s secretary Ralph Sadler. In 1547 Gardiner was disgraced and in prison: the civilian, John Story, then vicar-general for the diocese of London, could have owed his return to William Paulet, Baron St. John, as steward to the bishop, and his fellow-Member was perhaps another civilian, John Croke, born and bred at Winchester and associated with Cranmer. An outspoken opponent of reform, Story went into exile during the Parliament of 1547 and was replaced by the steward’s nephew John Zouche. Croke died about the time of Story’s replacement, and on the list of Members for the last session the name of John Sturgeon follows Zouche’s, being wrongly annotated ‘mortuus’. Sturgeon probably had Council backing, with perhaps Cranmer as his sponsor. No names are known for the Parliament of March 1553 when John Ponet was bishop after Gardiner’s deprivation. On his restoration at Mary’s accession Gardiner was able to nominate again: Thomas Martin and Oliver Vachell were members of his household, John Bekinsau and John Heywood had conspired with his nephew during the 1540s for the overthrow of Cranmer, and William Rastell was a kinsman of Heywood. Bekinsau’s return may also have been promoted by Paulet whose neighbour he was in Hampshire. The two civilians, John Gibbon and Henry Jones, returned in 1558 after Gardiner’s death presumably owed their Membership to Bishop White.

Author: S. R. Johnson


  • 1. LP Hen. VIII, x. 40(ii) citing Cott. Otho C10, f. 218.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Hatfield 207.
  • 4. CJ, i. 5.
  • 5. Hatfield 207.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Hoare, Wilts. Mere, 171, 194; VCH Wilts. v. 118-19; Wilts. Bor. Recs. (Wilts. Arch. Soc. recs. br. v), p. xi; C219/21/169, 22/94, 24/185, 25/137.