ASHBURNHAM, John I (by 1483-1518/23), of Guestling and Winchelsea, Suss. and High Halden, Kent.

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, s. of Thomas Ashburnham of Guestling, Winchelsea and London by Elizabeth, da. of John Dudley of Atherington, Suss.2

Offices Held

Comptroller of customs, Chichester, Suss. by 1504-14 or later, commr. musters, Suss. 1512, subsidy, Winchelsea 1514; jurat, Winchelsea Apr. 1515-Apr. 1518 or later; bailiff to Yarmouth 1515.3


John Ashburnham’s return to Parliament for Winchelsea with Robert Sparrow is known only from a copy of the list of Members for the Cinque Ports compiled in the 17th century which is annotated ‘Henry VIII’ without any regnal year being given. The names of the Members for Winchelsea are known for five Henrician Parliaments, leaving those of 1512, 1515, 1536 and 1539 unaccounted for, but as Ashburnham and Sparrow were both dead by 1528 they can only have sat together in the first two of these; that they did so in both is the more likely in view of the King’s request that the Members returned in 1515 should be those who had sat previously. Ashburnham’s father had done so in 1510, and to this precedent as a qualification he could add his customership at Chichester, the jurisdiction of which included Winchelsea, and ties with Sir Edward Guildford, for whom he acted in the construction of Camber castle guarding the approaches to the port. In the Parliament of 1512 he would presumably have supported the Act for the restitution of his cousin John Dudley (3 Hen. VIII, c.19). It was during the prorogation in 1515 that Ashburnham was made a jurat of Winchelsea and in that capacity he attended Brotherhoods of the Cinque Ports until Easter 1518. He was probably dead by 1521, when his father reappeared at these meetings after a lapse of ten years, and certainly predeceased his father, who died in the spring of 1523 after being named his executor. The younger Ashburnham’s will has not been traced.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Add. 34150, f. 138.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Ashburnham does not appear in any of the pedigrees of his family but his parentage is established by his ascription as of Guestling in 1505 and 1510, the placing of his name immediately under Thomas Ashburnham’s on the pardon roll of 1510 and the responsibility of Thomas Ashburnham for discharging his affairs after his death. CCR, 1500-9, p. 231; LP Hen. VIII, i, add.
  • 3. E122/35/15, 36/2, 212/21; LP Hen. VIII, i, ii; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix), 156-67 passim.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, i. ii.