ABAROUGH (BAROW), John (by 1483-1540 or later), of Salisbury, Wilts.

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 1483. m. at least 2da.3

Offices Held

Member of the Twenty-Four, Salisbury 1505, auditor 1508, 1516-17, 1519, 1528, assessor for subsidy 1512-14, clerk of the staple 1515, mayor 1517, j.p. bef. 1520, 1540; commr. musters 1539; other commissions, Wilts. and Salisbury 1532-40.4


John Abarough is the most obscure of the Members who are known to have sat for Salisbury in the early 16th century. He probably came from a county family, as ‘Master John Abarowe of Salisbury’ heads the witnesses to the will of Dorothy Barow of North Charford, Hampshire, and Downton, Wiltshire, which was proved on 17 Feb. 1532. Dorothy Barow’s relationship to this witness is not stated, nor is the name of her husband who, if also called John, could have been the corn commissioner of 1528. The John Abarowe junior who was a commissioner for woods in Hampshire and Wiltshire in 1533 was presumably her son of that name who appears in the will and who in 1537 was described as a resident of North Charford; and the Richard Barowgh of Downton, gentleman, who died in 1552, was probably another son. Another possible connexion of the Member’s was with a family of North Barrow, Somerset. A Henry Abarough of that parish died on 6 July 1507, leaving a son John who, being aged 28 in 1524, could not have been the Member but was presumably the John Abarough, gentleman, who died on 28 Sept. 1538.5

The styling of John Abarough of Salisbury as ‘Master’ suggests that he was a lawyer, although his name is not found at any of the inns of court. He appears never to have been a member of the council of Forty-Eight, although he was nominated for membership of the inner council of Twenty-Four on 20 Nov. 1504 and elected to that body a year later. He was to be sworn in, however, only on 2 Nov. 1507 and this, together with his absence from the churchwardens’ accounts, implies that his chief residence was not in the city, although he must have spent the greater part of his active life there and in 1523 he was assessed for subsidy on goods worth £133 6s.8d. in New Street ward. On 8 May 1537 the canons residentiary of Salisbury told Cromwell that they could not prefer his nominee to the parsonage of St. Martin’s, as it had already been granted to John ‘Barowe’ and Charles Bulkeley, the former having been a tenant for many years. In 1538 Abarough was commissioned to examine a complaint brought against Robert South in the court of requests.6

It was with Thomas Brodegate that Abarough was returned on 4 Oct. 1515 to the second session of the Parliament which had sat for two months in the previous spring; the ledger of the corporation does not indicate why the original Members, Thomas Coke I and Richard Bartholomew, were replaced, but they were old men with a long record of service who may have wished for and obtained release. Abarough was again returned to Parliament, this time with Robert Keilway I, on 6 Mar. 1523; on the following 11 Sept. they claimed £25 8s. for parliamentary expenses covering 127 days, a sum which, payable in two instalments, represented the statutory rate of 2s. a day, whereas in 1515 payment had been promised only at the rate of 20d. a day.7

Abarough is last mentioned as a member of the Twenty-Four on 9 Dec. 1540.8

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Salisbury corp. ledger B, f. 233v.
  • 2. Ibid. f. 251v.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 208; C1/810/58-62.
  • 4. Ledger B, ff. 214v, 218, 225v, 228, 230, 232v, 236, 239, 239v, 243, 263; Req.2/3/218; LP Hen. VIII, iv, v, xiv, xv.
  • 5. PCC 12 Thower, 28 Powell; LP Hen. VIII, iv, vi, xii; Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 1; C142/61/59, 81/196.
  • 6. Ledger B, ff. 213, 214v, 217v; E179/259/16; LP Hen. VIII, xii; Req.2/3/218.
  • 7. Ledger B, ff. 233v, 251v, 253.
  • 8. Ibid. f. 293.