CLAVELL, John (1541-1609), of Barneston and Wareham, Dorset.

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. 2 May 1541, 1st s. of John Clavell by Thomasine, sis. of William Hemerford, rector of Folke, Dorset. educ. Winchester 1558. m. (1) Millicent, da. of John Gifford of Itchel, Hants, 3s. 1da.; (2) Susan, da. of Robert Coker of Mappowder, 3s. 5da. suc. fa. 1558.1

Offices Held

J.p. Dorset 1577.


Clavell and his brother William were deeply implicated in the piracy rampant in the Isle of Purbeck during the early 1580s, and his return to Parliament, just after the trial and execution of the pirate Clinton Atkinson, for Hatton’s borough of Corfe Castle along with Francis Hawley is therefore not surprising. His manor of Barneston, near Corfe Castle, was held as a parcel of the duchy of Cornwall manor of Fordington, and Clavell entrusted or mortgaged it soon after coming of age, and again in 1594. He sold outright some more property in 1601, about the time that he was prominent in measures for the defence of the Isle of Purbeck. There is evidence that he was a Church papist, and his eldest son married a recusant, a great grand-daughter of Sir Thomas More. His eldest daughter Grace was named as a recusant in 1593. Clavell died 5 Jan. 1609, having made his will 23 July 1606. He is described as of Wareham, and wished to be buried in St. Peter the Apostle, of Church Knowle, Purbeck, where there is a brass of him kneeling, in full armour, with his two wives and four of his children. The widow was sole executrix and residuary legatee.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


  • 1. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 570-1; iv. 182; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards.
  • 2. R. Lloyd, Dorset Elizabethans , 52-4, 56, 203, 208, 313; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. vi. 121, 254, 318; Harl. 3324, f. 58; Wards 5/11/1967; Recusant Roll 1593-4 (Cath. Rec. Soc. lvii), 143; C142/313/104; PCC 15 Dorset.