ASHBURNHAM, John II (by 1528-62/63), of Ashburnham, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. by 1528, o. s. of John Ashburnham of Ashburnham by Lora, da. and coh. of Thomas Berkeley of The Vyne, Hants. educ. G. Inn, adm. 1542. m. prob. by 1546, Isabel, da. of John Sackville I of Withyham and Chiddingly, Suss., 3s. 3da. suc. gd.-fa. 1530/32.1
Commr. relief, Suss. 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553, sewers 1554, 1555, oyer and terminer 1554, survey of bpric. of Chichester 1559; j.p. 1554-d.; sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1557-8.2
John Ashburnham came of a family which had been settled in the parish of that name since at least the 12th century. On his father’s death he became heir apparent to his grandfather William, who by his own will of 29 May 1530 provided for the grandson’s succession to Ashburnham at the age of 22 if he married with the consent of the executors, his aunt Jane, her husband Richard Covert and their kinsman Walter Hendley. Since the marriage with Isabel Sackville, then aged five, had already been projected Ashburnham presumably did not have to wait until he was 27, the alternative time laid down by his grandfather, and it had probably taken place by 1546, when John Sackville and his son Richard Sackville II granted the rectory and advowson of Laughton, Sussex, to Ashburnham and another Sackville son-in-law, Nicholas Pelham. William Ashburnham also stipulated that the profits from his other lands were to accumulate in a chest at Battle abbey until the heir came of age, and asked George, 5th Baron Bergavenny and his brothers Sir Thomas and Sir Edward Neville to act as supervisors ‘for that these poor innocents [Ashburnham had three sisters] be of their blood’, Lora Berkeley being the daughter of a Neville.3
Ashburnham followed Walter Hendley to Gray’s Inn and was soon active on local commissions. His election as knight of the shire to Mary’s third Parliament answered to his standing and connexions in the county, his senior fellow being his kinsman John Covert. In Easter term 1555 he was informed against in the King’s bench as one of over a hundred Members who had quitted the Parliament prematurely without licence. He appeared in court in Michaelmas term and was granted until the following term to answer the charge; in Hilary term 1556 he submitted and was fined 53s.4d., two London gentlemen standing surety for him. His dereliction was not held against him and he was pricked sheriff in the following year. In April 1555 the Privy Council wrote to the sheriff of Sussex, Ashburnham and others about an unlawful assembly at Waldron, and in July 1558 to Viscount Montagu to tell him that Ashburnham and others were discharged of their obligation to supply demilances.4
In his will, made on 10 Apr. 1562 and proved on 18 May 1563, Ashburnham left all his household stuff at Ashburnham and London to his wife. His younger sons Thomas and William were each to have £200 at the age of 24 and his daughters Anne, Margaret and Eleanor £100 each at marriage or the age of 30. His wife and eldest son John (later a recusant) were named executors and as such were to hold his ironworks for four years before entering on them as part of their inheritance. His sister Anne Bolney and his ‘loving friend’ William Scott of The Mote, Kent, were to be the supervisors.5