COTHER, John (by 1490-1532 or later), of Ludlow, Salop.

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



? 1523
? 1536

Family and Education

b. by 1490.3

Offices Held

Bailiff, Ludlow 1511-12, 1521-2.4


The Cothers were an old burgess family of Ludlow, where a Watkin Cother had been bailiff in 1469, but little has come to light about John Cother apart from his official career. He was twice bailiff, and after his second term in office he was accused in the Star Chamber of wrongfully arresting Rowland Long within the 3rd Duke of Norfolk’s liberty at Holgate in south Shropshire.5

Cother’s Membership of Parliament was presumably the natural extension as well as the culmination of his local career. The returns made by Ludlow to Parliament early in the 16th century are lost, but an entry in the bailiffs’ accounts for the 1520s (now also lost) suggests that he and William Foxe had represented the borough in the Parliament of 1523, although it may have referred to the Parliament of 1529 when the two men certainly sat together. Despite his longer experience of the borough’s affairs Cother took second place to Foxe, perhaps because Foxe was of gentle birth and more influential in Ludlow. He was presumably the ‘Mr. Cother’ who was returned with Foxe to the following Parliament, that of 1536, as this would have been in compliance with the King’s wish for the re-election of the previous Members; yet the man so designated could have been Thomas Cother (d.1562), who was to be chosen bailiff with Foxe in 1537. This is a stronger possibility in that the date of John Cother’s death has not been found: he was presumably alive in 1532, as his name is not marked ‘mortuus’ on the list of Members revised in that year, but he could have died at any time thereafter.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Harding


  • 1. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 8-9 from bailiffs’ accounts (now missing).
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
  • 4. Bodl. Gough ms Salop 1, ff. 274v-5v.
  • 5. Bodl. Gough ms Salop 1, f. 272; St.Ch. 2/24/46, 25/202.
  • 6. Bodl. Gough ms Salop 1, f. 276v; C. A. J. Skeel, Council in the Marches of Wales, 191; Salop Par. Regs., Hereford Dioc. xiii. 214.