MOUNSLOWE, alias LANGLEY, Fulk (by 1517-56 or later), of London and Salisbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. by 1517. m. ?(1) Jane, da. of Thomas More of Larden and Munslow, Salop, wid. of Richard or Roger Westcott; ?(2) Elizabeth.1
Member of Household by 1538-?40; yeoman of the chamber to Queen Anne of Cleves 1540, bailiff, Salisbury by 1549.2
This Member’s origins are obscure, the more so by reason of his two surnames. Although he does not appear in any of the Langley pedigrees, he may have been descended from the John Langley of Bristol and Toddington, Gloucestershire, who between 1422 and 1442 sat in Parliament for Chippenham, Bristol and Gloucestershire, and if he was the Fulk Langley who married into the More family of Larden and Munslow that might account for his alternative name. (It would also have made him a nephew of John More, Member for Winchelsea in the Parliament of 1547, Who may in turn have been associated, both in the royal household and in customs administration at Chichester, with Henry Wheeler, lord of the manor of Heytesbury at the time of Mounslowe’s return for that borough.) For the Mounslowe family at this period no pedigree has been found, but the name was borne by an abbot of Winchcombe and chaplain to Henry VIII, a chamberlain of Worcester, and a mercer of London.3
Fulk Mounslowe first appears in 1538 when he is included in a list of servants in the royal household: how long he had served there we do not know, but we might make the guess that his namesake and possible kinsman the abbot had procured his entry. His inclusion two years later among the Queen’s yeomen ‘as yet to no place appointed’ implies that, having transferred to Anne of Cleves’ service, he was made redundant by the divorce: it seems to have been the end of a chapter, for no further reference to Mounslowe in any branch of the royal service has been found. In its stead he embraced the profession of merchant. Already in 1539 he had been made ‘free of the City by redemption in the mystery of tapissers’, and it was as a ‘clothier’ that two years later his purchase of 40 ‘balettes of wode’ was made the subject of an inquiry to establish whether they were ‘foreign bought and foreign sold or not’. He was still in London early in 1543, for on 27 Feb. of that year he witnessed the will of Robert Cawarden, a painter stainer, who also made him an executor and entrusted to him certain implements of his craft; but by 1545 he was established in Salisbury, presumably in connexion with the cloth trade, and there he seems to have settled for life. He paid 20s. towards the city’s subsidy in 1545, witnessed a debt payment with the mayor and others two years later, and by 1549 was made bailiff, a capacity in which he was informed against in the Exchequer in February 1550 by an Andover mercer for failing, over a period of nine months, to search for illegal gaming houses in the city.4
It is not easy to account for Mounslowe’s return for Heytesbury to two Marian Parliaments. One possibility is that he owed it to some connexion with the city of Worcester, where a John Mounslowe (who may also have originally borne the name Langley) was at this time chamberlain. The link between Heytesbury and Worcester may not have been as tenuous as at first sight appears, since the lord of the manor of Heytesbury, Henry Wheeler, had a namesake and possible kinsman in one of the bailiffs of Worcester, and Mounslowe’s fellow-Member in his first Parliament, Thomas Hill, was Worcester’s town clerk of that name. Unlike Hill, however, Mounslowe had other Wiltshire connexions which could have served his turn. At Salisbury he had been, since March 1549, a tenant of Laurence Hyde in respect of part of the former property of Beauchamp’s chantry in the cathedral: Hyde was a London lawyer who acted for (Sir) John Thynne, and from his neighbouring residence at Longleat Thynne may already have begun to wield the influence at Heytesbury which was to grow with the years.5
Whatever the patronage which propelled him there, Mounslowe left no recorded trace on the proceedings of the House. A similar silence shrouds his post-parliamentary career. He is last heard of when in August 1556, as Fulk Langley, ‘yeoman’, of Salisbury, he and George Wilson alias Wilton, a merchant of the same city, were sworn in a recognizance of 50 marks for Wilson’s appearance before the Privy Council on the first day of the following term. No will or other evidence seems to have survived which would indicate where he died, unless the Elizabeth Mounslowe of Alderbury, near Salisbury, who made her will on 22 Apr. 1569 was his widow, a supposition unsupported by its contents.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: R. L. Davids
- 1. Date of births estimated from first reference. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 365; Wilts. RO, peculiar ct. of dean of Sarum wills, R2/39.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiii-xv; E159/328/Rec. Hil. f. 38.
- 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), vii. 394; LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xx, xxi.
- 4. City of London Guildhall RO, rep. 10, ff. 92a, 247v; London Consistory Ct. Wills (London Rec. Soc. iii), 85-86; Wilts. N. and Q. iii. 460; CPR, 11548-9, p. 287; Wilts. Arch. Soc. recs. br. x. 39; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxix. 145; E159/328/Rec. Hil. f. 38.
- 5. CPR, 1548-9, pp. 185, 189, 287; 1553, p. 243; 1554-5, p. 81; Harl. 1174, f. 7v; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 144-5; Bath mss. mss, Thynne pprs. 1, f. 83; 2, f. 198.
- 6. APC, v. 344; Wilts. RO, peculiar ct. of dean of Sarum wills, R2/39.