HEYDON, Christopher (1518/19-79), of Baconsthorpe, Norf.

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. 1518/19, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorpe by Anne, da. of Sir John Heveningham of Ketteringham. m. (1) by 1540, Anne (d.1561), da. of Sir William Drury of Hawstead, Suff., 3s. 4da.; (2) lic. 23 July 1563, Temperance (d.1577), da. of Sir Wymond Carew of Antony, Cornw., wid. of Thomas Grey of Merton, Norf., s.p.; (3) lic. 4 Oct. 1578, Agnes, da. of Robert Crane of Chilton, Suff., wid. of John Smith of Halesworth, Suff. and of Francis Clopton of Melford, Suff., 1da. suc. fa. 11 Mar. 1541; gd.-fa. 16 Aug. 1551. Kntd. 1549.1

Offices Held

J.p. Norf. 1547-d.; commr. relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; sheriff, Norf. and Suff. 1556-7, 1569-70; jt. (with (Sir) Edmund Wyndham) lt. Norf. 1560, dep. lt. 1570, custos rot. 1564-d.; high steward, Norwich cathedral aft. 1557.2


Christopher Heydon inherited landed wealth accumulated by a succession of long-lived ancestors, beginning with the John Heydon familiar from the Paston Letters. This John Heydon’s son Sir Henry acquired much land and built the house at Baconsthorpe. His son Sir John lived to a great age, outliving his own son Sir Christopher, so that Sir Christopher’s son and namesake had to wait until his grandfather’s death before succeeding to the extensive property in north-east Norfolk and the manors elsewhere in that county and in Kent.3

Heydon’s election as a knight of the shire when in his mid twenties and before attaining the headship of the family is the more unexpe