FLETCHER, James (by 1521-58), of Cambridge.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1521. m. Mary, at least 1da.2

Offices Held

Coroner, Cambridge 1543, 1549, alderman by 1543, mayor 1546-7.3


In May 1543 James Fletcher and his fellow-coroner of Cambridge were summoned to appear before the Privy Council, and entered into a recognizance to make a further appearance later. The summons is likely to have been connected with the chronic hostility between borough and university, for Fletcher was later to be active on the borough’s behalf against the university, but it may have been in his private capacity since at the relevant time a London haberdasher laid an information against him before the Council accusing him of the illegal export of malt from Lynn to Middelburg in July 1542. Described variously as baker and grocer he is said to have been worth £300, presumably in goods. In his capacity as mayor, he replied to complaints by the vice-chancellor against the borough and refused the university proctors the keys of the town prison. For this refusal he was again summoned before the Privy Council, which after receiving an apology from him ordered him to repeat it not only before the university authorities but before the government and commonalty of the borough. Most of the later references to Fletcher relate to chancery actions about his business. Malt was evidently one of his chief concerns, and while a Member he ‘put’ a bill ‘into the Parliament house against malt bills’. Nothing else is known about this measure save that three months after the dissolution the corporation agreed to pay him 3s.4d. for it. The borough records make it clear that he left a will, which is otherwise untraced, and that he died in the later part of 1558; he left £5 to the corporation, which had some trouble in obtaining payment of the money from his widow and executrix.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Bodl. e Museo 17.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. C1/1427/44-47; C. H. Cooper, Cambridge Annals, ii. 3-4.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xxi; CPR, 1548-9, p. 240; St.Ch.2/29/96.
  • 4. St. Ch.2/29/96; LP Hen. VIII, xviii-xxi; C1/1122/23, 1427/44-47; Cooper, ii. 3-4; APC, ii. 133-4; Cambridge Guildhall reg. bk. 1539-82, f. 74v; Downing Coll. Camb. Bowtell mss, Liber Rationalis 1510-60, acct. 1558-9.