FLAMANK (FLAMOKE), John (by 1486-1535/41), of Boscarne, nr. Bodmin, Cornw.

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 1486, 2nd but e. surv. s. of Richard Flamank of Boscarne by Jane, da. and h. of Thomas Luccombe of Bodmin, bro. of Thomas. m. Joyce, da. of Sir Richard Nanfan of Trethewel, Cornw. and Birtsmorton, Worcs., 4s. inc. Gilbert. suc. fa. c.1514.2

Offices Held

Man-at-arms, Calais by 1507-11; yeoman of the guard by 1517; commr. subsidy, Cornw. 1523, 1524; mayor, Bodmin 1524-5, 1534-5; yeoman usher, the chamber by 1526.3


John Flamank belonged to a family settled in the neighbourhood of Bodmin which had played a leading part in its affairs since the 13th century. On the execution of his elder brother for treason in 1497 he became the heir to his family’s property. Little is known about his early career: while at Calais he enjoyed a position of some responsibility during the deputyship of his father-in-law Nanfan, for he wrote to Henry VII about the administration of the pale, but he was dismissed from his post in 1511 by Sir Gilbert Talbot for misconduct. It was perhaps in recompense for this that he later obtained an appointment in the royal guard, from where within ten years he had progressed in the Household to the King’s chamber.4

The Parliament of 1512 was called not long after Flamank’s dismissal from Calais, and he may have secured election at Bodmin in an effort to commend himself to Henry VIII. Early in 1515 the King asked that the previous Members should be chosen again, and at the election Flamank was returned as the senior Member for the town: presumably he enjoyed the favour of Wolsey to whom he was known through Nanfan. Both Flamank and his fellow-Member Thomas Trott received some money during 1515 towards their parliamentary expenses. Flamank soon became involved in disputes over his inheritance: in 1516 he complained that one Catherine Goff had wrongfully gained possession of some deeds, and two years later he quarrelled with the prior of Bodmin over lands on Ruthen Moor. He may have sat in the Commons for a third time in 1523 (for which the names of the Bodmin Members are lost), for in that year and in 1524 he was named to the commission for the collection of the tax granted in the fourth Parliament of the reign. His municipal career ran simultaneously with his Household advancement, reaching its climax when in 1524 he achieved the mayoralty. During the mid 1520s he was drawn into the dispute between the town and priory which lasted until the Dissolution. In 1534 Flamank was chosen as mayor again, but he is not known to have been re-elected to Parliament unless he sat in the Parliament of 1539; ten years earlier his influence seems to have been sufficient to ensure his son Gilbert’s return in his stead. Flamank was described on 18 Mar. 1541 as ‘recently deceased’.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: J. J. Goring


  • 1. J. Maclean, Trigg Minor , i. 243 citing the lost town records.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Maclean, i. 235-6, 282-3.
  • 3. Maclean, i. 236; LP Hen. VIII, ii-iv.
  • 4. Maclean, i. 279-83; LP Rich. III and Hen. VII (Rolls ser. xxiv), i. 231-40; HMC Var. ii. 316; LP Hen. VIII, ii.
  • 5. C1/409/52; Gilbert, Cornw. iv. 340-1; Bodmin Reg. ed. Wallis, 36, 302, 309-12; Maclean, i. 282.