SCRIVEN, John (by 1525-60), of Poole, Dorset.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1525. m. by Sept. 1546, Agnes, da. of William Biddlecombe of Poole, 2s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Poole 1549-50, mayor 1557-8.2


John Scriven was a merchant trading from various Dorset ports from 1547 until his death. As he remembered the children of Thomas Scriven, cofferer of the Household between 1552 and 1554, in his will, he was perhaps like the cofferer of west midland origin. One of his name was a yeoman in the Household during the 1540s, and apparently another a Shaftesbury baker said to be ‘of evil name and fame, using and keeping a house of bawdry’. The baker and his wife Maud had left Shaftesbury by 1546 whereupon they may have moved to Poole, but if the merchant and the baker are one and the same Maud Scriven must have died sometime before September 1546 when William Biddlecombe made his will naming his son-in-law, the merchant, an executor.3

Scriven’s return for Poole to the first Marian Parliament was a stepping-stone in his municipal career and is presumably to be explained by his marriage into the Biddlecombe family of which he was effective head during the minority of William Biddlecombe’s children; Anthony Dillington, his fellow-Member in 1553, later married into the Biddlecombes. Neither Scriven nor Dillington opposed the initial measures towards the restoration of Catholicism. Scriven is one of the electors named on the indenture for Poole dated I Nov. 1554. After his mayoralty in 1557-8 he was returned for the nearby borough of Wareham early in Elizabeth’s reign. He died between 8 Dec. 1560 when he made his will and the 14th when it was proved.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. PCC 28 Alen, 60 Mellershe.
  • 2. Poole recs. envelope 6; Hutchins, Dorset, i. 34.
  • 3. E122/122/4, 7, 21, 123/2; 179/104/185; 315/439, f. 15v; LP Hen. VIII, xvii; PCC 60 Mellershe; C1/1066/6-11, 1404/39-42; Req.2/10/133; C. H. Mayo, Shastonian Recs., 81.
  • 4. C219/23/51; PCC 60 Mellershe.