PERTE, John (by 1514-49/51).
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Family and Education
b. by 1514, s. of John Perte of Tewkesbury, Glos. m. Anne, da. of Edward Tyndale of Pull Court, Worcs., at least 1s.2
Bailiff, Tewkesbury abbey’s manors of Burnett, Som. and Pull, Worcs. by 1535; jt. auditor, ct. augmentations, all woods 16 Apr. 1545-d., jt. (with Matthew Herbert and later with William Wightman) receiver, S. Wales by 1547-d., auditor, N. Wales by 1547-d., woodward, S. Wales temp. Edw. VI; jt. bailiff, manor of Hartbury, Glos. 27 Apr. 1546- d.; servant of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley by 1549.3
The Commons Journal records that on 9 Jan. 1549 a bill for hats and caps was committed after its second reading to ‘Mr. Perte etc.’. This is the only evidence that the Parliament then in session included a Member of that name. His identification with John Perte, an official in the court of augmentations, presupposes that Perte must have died before the end of 1551, when the revised list of Members of the Parliament was drawn up, and in all probability that he was legally qualified, as Members to whom bills were committed customarily were. Although Perte’s name has not been found in the records of any inn of court, his enjoyment of the style ‘esquire’ implies that he was a trained lawyer. The date of his death is also a matter of inference from somewhat confusing evidence. He was alive in the spring of 1549 but dead by 3 May 1553, when property which he had leased in Middlesex was sold by the crown. Between these dates there are to be found mentions of him in the report on the financial courts submitted at the end of 1552 and in another of 1 Sept. 1552 by the pension commissioners for Gloucestershire, stating that he had died in the August of the sixth year of Edward VI, that is, August 1552. Although the references in the first of these documents could have followed, and not preceded, his death, those in the second cannot be reconciled with his omission from the Members present during the final session of the Parliament, which ended on 15 Apr. 1552. In the absence of any discoverable namesake with whom he may have been confused, it appears likely that the regnal year is mistaken, the ‘vi’ perhaps being an error for ‘iv’, and that Perte was replaced in the Commons by 1551.4
Perte was of Gloucestershire origin and could claim gentle birth. Nothing is known about his upbringing or early career save for his receipt of a small legacy on the death of his father in 1523. The father is said to have been an official in the service of Tewkesbury abbey, but this may be to confuse father and son, as Perte had himself entered the abbey’s service by 1535 and he married one of the daughters of the abbey’s steward: he was also in receipt of an annuity from Winchcombe abbey, Gloucestershire. His services were presumably retained by the crown after the Dissolution, as were his father-in-law’s, and in 1544 he signed a receipt of expenses incurred by some soldiers going with the King to France. In the same year he was party to several land transactions involving gentlemen of the west country; in March Maurice Denys sold to him the ex-Augustinian friary in Bristol, which Perte soon resold, and in June William Sharington conveyed to him and Henry Brouncker a manor in Berkshire.5
Perte’s appointment, at the same time as a brother-in-law’s, to the court of augmentations in 1545 may have been connected with his introduction to Queen Catherine Parr, whose accounts he was helping Anthony Bourchier to audit two years later, and to Catherine’s last husband Thomas, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who leased to him the site of the ‘clerks’ at Offley in Hertfordshire. It was doubtless to one or other of these patrons that Perte owed his election to the Parliament of 1547; he probably sat for a borough in Wiltshire (the returns for all of them being lost), where the couple’s influence was extensive. After Seymour’s fall Perte was one of his servants recommended to the Protector Somerset by (Sir) Hugh Paulet and John Berwick as suitable to enter the Protector’s service, but with what result is unknown. His widow was to marry William Clerke, another of the men so recommended, and his brother-in-law Thomas Tyndale replaced him as the auditor in the court of augmentations for North Wales.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Authors: P. S. Edwards / A. D.K. Hawkyard
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; CJ, i. 6.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from first two appointments Worcester consist. ct. wills 1523; B. W. Greenfield, Gen. Fam. of Tyndale (1843) no pagination; PCC 9 Spence.
- 3. Val. Eccles. ii. 475, 480; W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations. 110, 281, 494; LP Hen. VIII, xx, xxi; HMC Bath, iv. 109.
- 4. CJ, i. 6; CPR, 1553, p. 170; Rep. Roy. Comm. of 1552 (Archs. of Brit. Hist. and Culture iii), 49, 61, 63; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xlix. 119, 120; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi). 170; CPR, 1553, p. 119.
- 5. Worcester consist. ct. wills 1523; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xlix. 119, 120; lix. 248; LP Hen. VIII, xix.
- 6. E163/12/17, nos. 31, 56; Bath mss, Seymour pprs. 9/245 ex inf. Julianna Marker; HMC Bath, iv. 109.