SALVEYN, John (by 1531-70/71), of London.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1531, yr. s. of Gerard Salveyn of Croxdale, co. Dur. by Joan. educ. L. Inn, adm. 14 Feb. 1545, called 1552. m. (1) Martha; (2) Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Wheler; ?at least 1s. d.v.p.1

Offices Held

Pens. L. Inn 1558-9, butler 1560, bencher 1562, Autumn reader 1564, Lent 1569, keeper of black bk. 1564-5, treasurer 1566-7, gov. 1570-d.


John Salveyn was a younger son in an established Durham family. His career as a lawyer began badly for in the spring of 1551 he and Robert Monson were expelled from Lincoln’s Inn for breaking the window of William Roper; both were re-admitted in the following November and called to the bar early in 1552. He probably owed his return for Maidstone to his fellow-Member William Wotton, who had entered Lincoln’s Inn in 1547. Maidstone had been incorporated in 1549 but the charter made no mention of its parliamentary representation and on 21 Mar. 1553, three weeks after the opening of Parliament, the Commons deputed two Members, Robert Broke and Richard Morgan, to examine the charter and in the meantime ordered Salveyn and Wotton to withdraw from the House: the borough did not return Members again until 1563 when it did so under a new charter.2

Salveyn, unlike Wotton, did not sit again and little has come to light concerning him apart from his steady progress at Lincoln’s Inn. Before his second reading in 1569 the Privy Council wrote to remind him of the obligation to take the oath of supremacy. His family was Catholic—his brother Anthony Salveyn, a former master of University College, Oxford, was deprived of his office as vicar general of the bishop of Durham at the accession of Elizabeth and his nephew George Birket or Birkhead was to become the second of the Catholic archpriests—but nothing is known of his own religious sympathies although the circumstances of his return for Maidstone suggest that he was then expected to support the Duke of Northumberland. He made his will on 10 Dec. 1570 and asked to be buried in the parish church, next to his wife Martha, if he should die while resident ‘here in the parish of St. Margaret’s in Lothebury’. He left to his nephew Gerard Birkhead £20, a black nag ‘going at Mr. Temple’s at Burton Dassett’, Warwickshire (presumably John Temple of Lincoln’s Inn, father of Thomas Temple) and all the debts owing to him from his eldest brother Gerard Salveyn. He gave a gold ring to his sister Isabel Birkhead, all his books and a gold ring to his brother-in-law Richard Wheler, who had been admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1566, and gold coins to three godsons (one of them the son of Thomas Wilbraham, recorder of London, with whom Salveyn had acted as feoffee for Sir Thomas Chaloner in 1565), his wife’s three sisters and their parents. He also bequeathed his father-in-law, a London draper, his gelding ‘going at Mr. Wotton’s’, a legacy which suggests that he had maintained his friendship with the family of his fellow-Member who had died in 1556. He left the residue of all his goods to his wife and named her and his father-in-law executors. The will was proved on 7 Mar. 1571.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from education. Surtees, Durham, iv. 118-19; PCC 12 Holney. Although Salveyn may have been older than 14 when admitted to Lincoln’s Inn—his eldest brother was born by 1513—he can hardly have been the John Salwey who in 1526 was licensed to marry Martha Nelson of St. Gregory’s, London, Mar. Lic. London (Harl. Soc. xxv), 5.
  • 2. Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 297, 298, 300; CJ, i. 25.
  • 3. Bull. IHR, sp. supp. 11, p. 9; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 503; G. Anstruther, Seminary Priests, i. 35; PCC 47 Bakon, 11 Holney.