BURGOYNE, John (c.1538-1605), of Sutton, Beds.

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

b. c.1538, 1st s. of Thomas Burgoyne of Sutton by Anne, da. of John Bowles of Wallington, Herts. ?unm. suc. fa. 1546.1

Offices Held

Commr. to enforce Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy, dioceses of Lincoln and Peterborough 1571.2


Burgoyne’s main estates were at Sutton, Dunton and Potton, Bedfordshire, but he also owned property elsewhere in the county, in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, and over the Huntingdonshire border. He was only about eight when, on the death of his father in August 1546, he became the ward of Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich, who drew an annuity of 50 marks from the Burgoyne lands until John was granted livery in December 1560. Soon after taking over the administration of his property he sold lands in Girtford and Sandy, Bedfordshire, but he later increased his estate by buying in 1565 the manor of Potton Much Manured and, in 1587, the three parts of the manor of Dunton, with lands at Ashwell, Hertfordshire.3

Burgoyne was returned once for his local borough, but he is not mentioned in the known proceedings of the House. In fact few references to him of any kind survive, apart from those concerned with land. In 1564 he was recommended by the bishop of Lincoln as ‘earnest in religion’ and suitable to become a justice of the peace, but surprisingly, he is not known to have been put on the commission. In June 1595 a patent was issued exempting him ‘aged sixty [sic] and blind’ from the offices of justice of the peace, sheriff, escheator or collector. He was wealthy enough to be asked to subscribe £40 to the Armada fund and to provide a mounted musketeer for the 1601 Bedfordshire musters.4

Burgoyne died 26 Apr. 1605, and his will was proved 5 June the same year. He left £100 to repair the tomb at Sutton where he wished to be buried with one of his sisters and her husband, Sir Robert Catlin. The will mentions another sister, Lady Mary Spencer, and a kinsman Oliver Bowles, who was to receive money to study divinity and to have the benefice at Sutton when a vacancy occurred. As well as making generous provision for a number of servants by name, Burgoyne left charitable legacies totalling over £160, to the poor of Sutton and other parishes, to prisoners at Bedford, and for repairs to Sutton church and bridge.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. E150/41/1; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 7.
  • 2. CPR, 1569-72, p. 277; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 48.
  • 3. VCH Beds. ii. 220-48; Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. xxxvi. 92; C142/288/115; PCC 38 Hayes; CPR , 1547-8, p. 12; 1558-60, p. 446; 1560-3, p. 383.
  • 4. Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 29; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 48; Beds. N. and Q. i. 162; APC , xxxii. 285.
  • 5. PCC 38 Hayes; C142/288/115.