UVEDALE (EVEDALE, UDALL, WOODALL), John (by 1482-1549), of Marrick, Yorks.

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 1482, s. of Juliana Skoore (Scory) of Banwell, Som. m. da. of one Brightman, 1s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Clerk in the signet office 1503-?25; clerk of the pells, the receipt of the Exchequer 1516-d.; keeper, Brasted park, Kent by 1521; sec. to Duke of Richmond Aug. 1525-36, to Queen Anne Boleyn June 1533-6, to the council in the north Jan. 1537-d.; clerk of the signet in N. and S. Wales 1533; j.p. Yorks. (E., N. and W. Ridings) 1538-?d.; commr. for suppression of monasteries, Yorks. 1539; treasurer for the garrisons in the north, Aug. 1542-Jan. 1544, Oct. 1545-d.3


The view that John Uvedale was by-elected for Berwick to the Parliament begun in 1529 rests on a conjunction of circumstances. From at least the spring of 1532 one of the Berwick seats had been vacant through the death of John Cooper and the replacement is likely to have been made, as many others are known to have been, in time for the opening of the fifth session in the following February. Because no evidence of a by-election at Berwick survives, and as the borough does not appear on a list of vacancies, with suggestions for filling them, which Cromwell compiled about this time, any suggestion as to the identity of its new Member must be tentative, but Uvedale may be thought a likely choice. His Membership from at least 1534 is established by the inclusion of his name (in the form ‘John evedalle’) in another list drawn up by Cromwell, probably in December of that year, and thought to be of Members who had a particular, but unknown, connexion with the treasons bill then on its passage through Parliament; his official standing makes it certain that he had been brought into the Commons as a nominee of the government; and his employment in the north would have made his by-election at the border town an appropriate method of doing so. Once in the House Uvedale is also likely to have stayed there, and this he could have done as a Member for Berwick, not only in 1536, when the King asked that the previous Members should be returned, but in any or all of the three following Parliaments, those of 1539, 1542 and 1545, for which the names of one or both of the Berwick Members are lost. He was, however, in the north during at least part of the third session of the Parliament of 1539.4

All that is known of Uvedale’s parentage comes from the will of Juliana Skoore of Banwell, Somerset, who in 1542 left all her goods to George, son of Thomas Woodall, assigning his ‘governance’ during nonage to her son John Uvedale, one of the King’s council in the north, whom she also appointed principal overseer. The identity of Juliana Skoore is not known: her first husband, John Uvedale’s father, may have come from the family of Woodhall or Woodfall of Churchill by Banwell. Uvedale, in his own will, referred to ‘my brother’s bastard son George Uvedale’. Although he always signed himself Uvedale, John Uvedale’s surname was often spelled as Woodall, especially by the 3rd Duke of Norfolk and other members of the council in the north. The Yorkshire family of Uvedale had given rise in the 13th century to two lines, one of which settled in Hampshire. If Uvedale sprang from either of these he probably owed his advancement to his Hampshire kinsmen: both Sir William Uvedale of Wickham and his brother Henry, who moved to Crichel in Dorset, were of the King’s privy chamber and the first of them was for many years a member of the council in the marches of Wales.5

In addition to his work in the signet office, Uvedale succeeded Robert Blackwell as clerk of the pells at the Exchequer; this post he may have owed to the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, the lord treasurer, to whose will of 1520 he was a witness. As writer of the tallies and pells he was assessed for the subsidy of 1523 on goods worth £40; later in his career he executed this office through his son-in-law Gilbert Claydon. His ability brought Uvedale to the notice of the King and Wolsey, and in 1525 he was one of the group of trusted men chosen to conduct affairs in the north under the young Duke of Richmond. He became Richmond’s secretary and remained a member of his council until the duke’s death, although in 1528 he was brought to court by Wolsey to put his views on Irish policy before the King: earlier in that year the council in the north objected to his keeping the profits of an office which his deputy John Bretton had earned. Within a few years Uvedale was called on to serve other members of the royal family: in the spring of 1533 Cromwell sent from Calais a bill for the King’s signature to his appointment as secretary to Anne Boleyn, and when in the following autumn he and others, including Cromwell, were granted leases of lead mines in Dartmoor forest he was styled ‘the Queen’s secretary’.6

The unrest in the north which culminated in the Pilgrimage of Grace led to the re-establishment of the King’s council there in January 1536, under the lieutenancy of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk and with wider powers than before. Uvedale was reappointed as its secretary and made keeper of a new, specially designed, signet; he was to spend the rest of his life in the varied responsibilities arising from this office. In May 1537 he was sent with Anthony Rous to survey Bridlington and Jervaulx abbeys. He assisted Norfolk in the examination of seditious persons in 1537 and 1538, being appointed to special commissions for the indictment of treason as well as to the commissions of the peace in these and later years. In October 1537 Chancellor Audley suggested to the King that the president and secretary of the council in the north should take recognizances either jointly or separately and offered, with Cromwell’s assent, to make Uvedale a master in Chancery. For his part, Uvedale was by no means satisfied with his position: writing to thank Cromwell for his ‘recent advancement’ he nevertheless complained that the income was insufficient to ensure him qualified assistants, and two months later this ‘old, true and steadfast friend’ of the minister made an unsuccessful plea for some post under the King or Prince Edward. In 1539 Uvedale was appointed a commissioner to take the surrenders of five priories in Yorkshire, and in the next year that of the hospital of St. James in Northallerton. The wide interests arising out of his work were reflected in two letters to Cromwell in the spring of 1540: in the first he enclosed his draft of a bill to curb malt production at York, with the request that it should be corrected and ‘preferred’, and in the second he reminded the minister that when recently in London he had moved him ‘to be a mean to the King’ that all bishops should be enjoined to set up in cathedral and collegiate churches ‘two or three bibles, as seemly and as ornately as they can deck them, with seats and forms for men of all ages to read and study on them’.7

Uvedale does not appear to have speculated in monastic property, but he found at Marrick a site for his own residence and in January 1538 he asked Cromwell to obtain for him a lease of the house, demesne and parsonage. He did not acquire it without some difficulty: writing as ‘your oldest disciple’ to thank Cromwell for the present of a stallion in April 1540, he sent William Strickland his servant for help in obtaining the lease which the chancellor of augmentations had delayed, although he had passed other leases to persons who ‘were of contrary opinions in the late commotions’. A 21-year lease was not issued until June 1541, and Uvedale had to wait another four years before attaining ownership.8

The preparation for the war against Scotland in 1542 laid on Uvedale the arduous duties of treasurer and paymaster of the forces under Norfolk’s command. While remaining secretary and a member of the council, his clerkship was by the King’s instructions committed during his absence to a man chosen by the president. He continued as sole treasurer until this office was split in preparation for an invasion of greater magnitude in the spring of 1544; in February (Sir) Ralph Sadler was sent north to become high treasurer, leaving to Uvedale the title of under treasurer. His work, involving the distribution of large sums of money, was made more difficult by the constant shortage of coin to meet all demands. To save expense, the Earl of Hertford’s advice to end Sadler’s appointment was carried out in October 1545 and Uvedale again became sole treasurer. He remained in harness until his death on 20 Oct. 1549, although more than a year earlier he had written of his great age and grievous illness.9

Uvedale had acquired certain right in land, leases, mines and fees, which by his will of 24 Oct. 1546 he left to his son Avery, together with goods and jewels. To his daughter Ursula, wife of Gilbert Claydon, he bequeathed a large herd of cattle and sheep, and to his ‘brother’ Thomas Brightman a turquoise ring and an ambling horse. The will was proved on 2 Mar. 1550 by his son Avery, who was then aged 24 and more and who in the pardon roll of October 1553 was described as of Marrick alias of the Middle Temple.10

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; LP Hen. VIII, vii. 1522(ii) citing SP1/87, f. 106v.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Coll. Top. et Gen. v. 244, 253; PCC 6 Coode.
  • 3. DNB; LP Hen. VIII, ii, iv-vii. xi-xvii, xix-xxi; Eliz. Govt. and Soc. ed. Bindoff, Hurstfield and Williams, 219; SP 1/29, f. 179; CSP Dom. 1601-3, Add. 1547-65, pp. 383-4; R. R. Reid, King’s Council in the North, 102, 104, 150; CPR, 1547-8, p. 92.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, vii. 1522(ii) citing SP 1/87, f. 106v; xv.
  • 5. Coll. Top. et Gen. v. 240-6; PCC 6 Coode; E178/1966, f. 17; Surr. Arch. Colls. iii. 63-192 passim; Vis. Dorset ed. Colby and Rylands, 33-34; Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 144-5; Req.2/67/70.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, ii, iv, vi, xv; Eliz. Govt. and Soc. 219; SP Hen. VIII, ii. 136-40; iv. passim; Test. Vet. ed. Nicolas, 604; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 464; Cam. Misc. iii(4), pp. xxiv, lxx.
  • 7. LP Hen. VIII, xii, xiv, xv, add; Reid, 150, 254 and n; SP Hen. VIII, iv. passim; Merriman, Letters, Thos. Cromwell, ii. 99; Elton, The Tudor Constitution, 203; Reform and Renewal, 26, 78.
  • 8. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xviii; PCC 6 Coode.
  • 9. LP Hen. VIII, xvii-xxi; P. H. Williams, The Tudor Regime, 90; APC, i-ii passim; SP Hen VIII, iv. passim; CSP Dom. 1601-3, Add. 1547-65, pp. 383-4; Wards 7/5/67; Hamilton Pprs. ed. Bain, ii. 605-6, 608, 612, 733; HMC Bath, iv. 73.
  • 10. LP Hen. VIII, iv; PCC 6 Coode; CPR, 1553-4, p. 442; Req.2/22/4.