STAVELEY, John (by 1523-59), of Southampton.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1523. m. Joan, at least 2s.1

Offices Held

Steward, Southampton 1544-5, water bailiff 1546-7, ct. bailiff 1550-1, sheriff 1552-3, mayor 1554-5.2


John Staveley was a grocer who had a house and a shop in Holyrood parish, Southampton. He traded on occasion in oil and ‘images’ and may have been the merchant stapler who was pardoned in 1559 for shipping wool from London to Bruges instead of to Calais. From 1548 he acted as attorney for a number of people, taking and delivering seisin of their property. During his mayoralty he sought to check absenteeism among members of the sisterhood of woolpackers by decreeing that after an absence of three months they should re-enter the sisterhood only with the permission of the mayor. His election to the last Marian Parliament accorded with the town’s practice of choosing an ex-mayor to accompany the recorder. In 1559 he was one of those who received directions from the ecclesiastical commissioners for the ordering of religious affairs in the town.3

Staveley was present at a town meeting on 2 Oct. 1559 but was dead by 15 Nov., when his goods were valued at £236 in an inventory drawn up according to his instructions. He had made an elaborate will on 28 Dec. 1557, that is, after his election to Parliament, but his failure to name an executor meant that his property was eventually administered as that of an intestate. He had provided for a fourfold division of his household goods, his wife taking one part and his children the rest; his wife was also to have his stock and leases and to bring up the children, to whom the mayor and his brethren were asked to act ‘as fathers’. Staveley bequeathed to the town a piece of plate worth 40s.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Hants RO, wills 1560.
  • 2. Third Bk. of Remembrance, i (Soton Rec. ser. ii), app. i; ii (ibid. iii), app. i.
  • 3. Black Bk. iii (Soton Rec. Soc. vii), 91, 95, 105-11, 117; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 24, 412; HMC 11th Rep. III, 94.
  • 4. Third Bk. of Remembrance, ii. 74n; Hants RO, wills 1560; Black Bk. iii. 106-11; C. Platt, Med. Southampton, 213.