BULLOCK, John (d.1607), of Darley Abbey, Derbys.

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

1st s. of John Bullock of Greenhill. educ. I. Temple 1554. m. Elizabeth (d.1582), da. of William Pierson of London, stepda. of Sir Thomas Chamberlain, 4s. 3da. suc. fa. 1579.1

Offices Held

Bencher, I. Temple 1573, Lent reader 1576, 1585, treasurer 1586-8.


There were several branches of the Bullock family living in Derbyshire in Elizabeth’s reign, at Unstone, Darley abbey and Greenhill. In 1574 John Bullock, almost certainly the 1571 Member, bought the site of Darley abbey, near Derby, from the West family, who after the dissolution of the monasteries had turned the buildings into a manor house. His younger brother James continued to live on the Greenhill property, not far from Alfreton.2

Much of Bullock’s time must have been spent in London, where he remained an active member of the Inner Temple from 1554 to at least 1594. He had rooms in Figtree Court, where he was in fairly constant residence, judging from the number of times that he was asked to audit accounts, survey chambers or witness deeds. He was one of the syndicate of benchers representing the Inner Temple for whom in 1583 Nicholas Hare procured the buildings of Lyon’s Inn. He was described as ‘protestant’ when the Inner Temple drew up a list, about 1579, showing the religion of its members. He may have acted as lawyer for the earls of Rutland: it was at Bullock’s request that in 1594 the admission fine for Roger Manners was reduced to 66s.8d.

The only mention of Bullock’s name in the Commons journals is on 5 Apr. 1571, at the beginning of the session, when he and four others were directed to attend the next day to explain why they had come to the Parliament without having been returned by the clerk of the Crown. One of the other four was John Garnons ‘said to be excommunicate’, two others were never admitted to the House, and the fourth was Bullock’s colleague Edward Lewknor. In 1563 the House had challenged the right of the Tamworth burgesses to sit, and the 1571 incident may show that the matter was raised again at the next opportunity. There is no obvious reason for Bullock’s association with Tamworth. As a London lawyer he is likely to have had connexions at court. Perhaps the Earl of Leicester was behind him. In 1574 he was holding the stewardship of the manor of Arnold, Nottinghamshire, an Exchequer appointment again suggesting that he had influential friends at court.3

Bullock’s will, drawn up 18 Apr. 1607, was proved in May 1609. He described himself as ‘verily trusting and believing steadfastly to be saved only by the death, passion and mediation of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. He left large sums of money to his descendants—£200 to one of his sons, £300 to a daughter, and £500 as a marriage portion for a granddaughter. The will contains a schedule of gifts to the poor in a number of parishes, the clergy being asked to see that only sober livers and regular church attenders were to benefit. Other relatives mentioned included a brother-in-law Edmund Pierson, and Francis Fitzherbert, husband of Elizabeth, Bullock’s only surviving daughter. He died 12 Oct. 1607, and on the following day was buried at St. Alkmund’s, Derby.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xxxviii), 446-7; Ll. C. W. Bullock, Mems. Fam. Bullock, 65 and app.; PCC 45 Dorset.
  • 2. J. C. Cox, Notes on Derbys. Churches, iv. 120.
  • 3. CJ, i. 83; E315/309.
  • 4. PCC 45 Dorset; C142/302/113.