STURGEON, John (by 1498-1570/71), of London.

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




Family and Education

b. by 1498, 1st s. of Henry Sturgeon of London, by w. Joan. m. by 1522, at least 3s. 2da. suc. fa. Aug. 1526.2

Offices Held

Auditor, London 1537-8, 1542-4, bridgemaster 1547-8, chamberlain 1550-63; gov. Merchant Adventurers 1545, 1548-50.3


John Sturgeon may have been related to two 15th-century namesakes, a London mercer who sat in Parliament for the City and his more distinguished son who was knight of the shire for Hertfordshire. The latter held Gatesbury, Hertfordshire, and in his will of 1526 Sturgeon’s father, a London ironmonger, mentions a kinsman at nearby Ware. Sturgeon did not follow his father’s trade, being a member of the company of haberdashers by 1519 at about which time he imported haberdashery to the value of £248, but he lived in his father’s parish of St. Benet Gracechurch, where (as his father had done) he served as churchwarden.4

Sturgeon was common councilman for Bridge ward in London by 1535. On 27 Jan. 1536 he was one of a number of commoners appointed by the court of aldermen to discuss ‘such matters as shall be profitable for the common wealth of this city’ at the coming session of Parliament. Later, when he was himself a Member of Parliament, he and the other Members for London were enjoined to consult among themselves about the City’s parliamentary programme before the beginning of the session of 1543, and on 21 Feb. 1544 the court of aldermen agreed that they should oppose a bill ‘against merchants, for packing of woollen cloths’. He had been named a commissioner in the Act for the partition of Wapping marsh (35 Hen. VIII, c.9). Later in 1544 he was imprisoned ‘for his wilful disobedience’ and only released by the court after Chancellor Wriothesley had sent letters in his favour. In June 1545 he was employed to convey money overseas for the King, and when in November he showed the aldermen a letter from Sir Edward Bray ‘concerning certain provision to be made for conveying of wood to this City’ the Members were told to ‘use their discretion therein as they shall think good at the Parliament’.5

On 26 Nov. 1547 Sturgeon was appointed by the common council of London to assist in the preparation of an answer to a bill introduced four days earlier into the Lords ‘against the City’ for the river Thames: whether or not the answer was completed no more was heard of the bill. Sturgeon’s employment in this matter may mean that he sat in the Parliament of 1547 from the outset, but it is more likely that his experience in the two previous Parliaments, not current Membership, accounts for his inclusion in the 28-strong committee. His later Membership of the Parliament is known from a list revised for its final session in 1552 where his name is struck through and erroneously marked ‘mortuus’. Unlike John Story, whose name precedes his and is also deleted, Sturgeon is not known to have been replaced in the Commons. The notice of his death some 18 years prematurely was perhaps a simple clerical error, but it could be that Sturgeon’s name had been confused with that of John Croke and that he himself was Croke’s replacement. Whenever he was returned for Hindon he presumably owed his election to the Privy Council and perhaps especially to the influence of Cranmer. As early as 1536 letters which Sturgeon wrote to a friend at Calais, evidently on religious matters, were prudently burnt by the recipient, whose reply of June 1536 reveals that Sturgeon was then a friend of Hugh La