BACON, John (d.1576), of Norwich and Great Yarmouth, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

Prob. s. of Henry Bacon, grocer and alderman of Norwich. m. (1) Beatrice Mingay of Norwich, ?s.p.; (2) Anne, wid. of one Lawghe of Norwich, ?s.p.

Offices Held

Freeman, Norwich 1550; paymaster of the haven, Great Yarmouth 14 Sept. 1571, bailiff 1573.


Bacon was a Norwich grocer before removing to Yarmouth, where he was active on the governing body in the early 1570s. During a prolonged dispute between the town and Sir Henry Jerningham, a local gentleman, he several times represented his colleagues on the corporation. In December 1571 the Yarmouth assembly instructed him and William Harebrowne to go to Jerningham with a plea that he should put his complaints in writing, and early in the following year Bacon was one of four Yarmouth townsmen who visited Sir Christopher Heydon and Sir William Butts about the same matter. In April 1572, when it looked as if the Jerningham business would have to be settled in London, the town appointed Bacon as ‘solicitor’ to ‘travail ... in the town’s affairs before the Parliament’, and he was given custody of ‘such writings as shall be thought meet to be occupied by him ...’ However, about a fortnight later, during the first two days of the Parliament, the Yarmouth assembly was still collecting ‘such writings and charters’ as Bacon had asked to ‘have sent ... up to London’. Instructions for two of his later visits to the capital are reported in the local records, one in April 1573 ‘to follow the town’s suits’, and the other, on which he was accompanied by Thomas Damet early in 1575, ‘to confer with the men of the ports’. It was in this year that Bacon thought about returning to Norwich. He made his will on 26 Jan. 1576 and was dead by 19 Feb. when a by-election took place at Great Yarmouth. The will expressed Bacon’s belief that ‘at the last day I shall rise out of the earth and in flesh I shall see my Saviour’. In addition to legacies for his relatives, there were bequests to the poor of Norwich, St. Giles’ hospital and numerous nearby parishes and villages. The three ‘daughters’ mentioned were in fact step-daughters. The will, which was contested by his brother Thomas, was not proved until 22 May 1579.

Swinden, Yarmouth, 942; Norwich and Yarmouth ass. bks. passim; P. Millican, Freemen of Norwich, 71; PCC 6 Carew, 24 Bakon.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.