WATSON, John, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. and Lincoln's Inn, London.

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

?s. of John Watson of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. educ. L. Inn, adm. 29 May 1550.3

Offices Held


A John Watson sat for each of the Northumbrian boroughs in three of the Parliaments summoned between 1547 and 1554, but whether the name. covers one, two or even three individuals has not been established.

Least difficult to trace is the Member for Newcastle in the Parliament of November 1554. Named on the torn indenture as ‘[blank] Watson, gentleman, of Lincoln’s Inn’, he is given the christian name ‘Johannes’ on a copy of the Crown Office list. He was clearly the John Watson admitted to the inn on 29 May 1550 and, with no one else of his surname found there during these years, doubtless also the ‘Mr. Watson’ elected escheator of the inn for the year 1552-3. His appearance on the pardon roll of 1559 as ‘of Lincoln’s Inn ... alias late of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’ shows that his affiliation with that town was not limited to his election there. So much might have been inferred from the preponderance of townsmen among Newcastle’s Members, especially as Watson had been elected to a Parliament which the Queen wished to see composed of such Members. He was almost certainly related to the John Watson who was the town’s sheriff in 1523 and to another who was sheriff in 1567 and mayor in 1574, but he is scarcely to be identified with the second of these, who had made his way as a merchant adventurer while the Member followed the law— this is probably why the election indenture contains the distinguishing suffix. He cannot be certainly traced among the several John Watsons who lived and died at Newcastle during the last quarter of the century nor among those in or near London.