MORE, John (by 1506-81), of Cannon Row, Westminster, Mdx. and Crabbet, Worth, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. by 1506, 2nd s. of Edward More of Larden, Salop, by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Cludd (or Clwyd) of Orleton, Salop. educ. ?Oxf. BA adm. 18 July 1519; M. Temple, adm. 2 Nov 1520. m. by June 1547, Agnes (d. 28 Feb. 1557), da. and h. of John Moulton of Lancs. and Westminster, 1s. Edward† 2da.2
Lent reader, M. Temple 1544.
Harbinger, gent. pens. by 1545, clerk of the check by 1552-d.; collector of customs, Chichester 9 July 1546-50 or 51.3
John More was a lawyer who entered the royal household. He had already become a gentleman pensioner when in 1543 he was chosen as his inn’s Autumn reader, and it was perhaps as much his duties at court as the outbreak of an epidemic which postponed his reading until the following spring. As the King’s servant he received an annuity of £10 in 1545 and with the support of (Sir) William Petre (whom he may have known at Oxford) a post in the customs during the following year. His collectorship presumably accounts for his only (known) appearance in Parliament when in 1547 he was returned for Winchelsea with John Rowland, a colleague in the customs at Chichester. It is possible that Protector Somerset, who as treasurer was head of the customs administration, nominated both men for election by the Cinque Port, perhaps with the agreement of his brother Admiral Seymour: a connexion with the Seymours is suggested by More’s provision of demi-lances for the Scottish campaign of 1548 and by the loss of his collectorship after the Protector’s overthrow. As a stranger to Winchelsea he is unlikely to have been involved in the private Act for the town and its neighbour Rye (2 and 3 Edw. VI, c.30) passed during the second session, and the Journal throws no light upon his part in the House. His fellow-Member Rowland, who died during the Parliament, left the King a sum of £6 13s.4d. remaining in More’s hands which had been due to him on 25 Mar. 1549 and ‘the residue that shall remain in his hand I forgive him’.4
More’s wife was a girl of 17, less than half his age, when in the summer of 1547 he took livery of her inheritance: this included a house and other property in Westminster near the palace gates. In 1550 he bought the manor of Little Horningsheath, Suffolk, from (Sir) Robert Southwell, perhaps with the intention of making it his country seat, but two years later he sold it to Thomas Lucas. In the following year he acquired the manor of Worth from Edmund Michell of Cuckfield, and this he did make his home. In 1564 he obtained from the crown for £194 the reversion of some Welsh rents and a grant of Penmon priory and the vicarage of Llanwellwyfo, Anglesey; he was then styled ‘the Queen’s servant’, a description applied in the following year to the John More who was awarded an annuity of £44 13s.4d. ‘for his service in the wars.’5
Outside his official duties little has come to light about the last years of More’s life. In 1571 he stood surety on his son Edward’s admission to the Middle Temple. He made his will on 18 July 1572: after asking to be buried at Worth and remembering the poor there and at Westminster, he provided for his children, grandchildren and servants and appointed his son as residuary legatee and executor. He died on 19 Jan. 1581 and the will was proved in the following month.6