EDMONDS, John (d.1606), of Cambridge.

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

s. of John Edmonds (d.1544), master of Peterhouse. m. (bef. 1560), Katherine, da. of Roger Walsh of Thaxted, Essex, 5s. 2da.

Offices Held

Alderman, Cambridge, mayor 1586-7, 1605-d.


The son by a secret marriage of a scholar in holy orders, at a time when clerical marriage was still illegal, Edmonds was brought up by his uncle John Mere, esquire bedell to the university. It was not until the reign of Elizabeth, when Mere was dead and he himself an adult and married, that he took his father’s name. Together with Mere, Edmonds’s father had appointed as his executor Matthew Parker, later archbishop of Canterbury, and it was in Parker’s household that Edmonds was first employed at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign. Dismissed for ‘ingratitude and stubbornness’, he, the son of a master of Peterhouse, was taken on as butler by another master, Dr. Perne, dean of Ely. Here Edmonds remained for six years, becoming praiser and vintner to the university, and eventually leaving Perne’s service to set up as a merchant in the town. In 1586 Edmonds was elected both mayor and MP. But he was ‘so lusty in his sudden office of his mayoralty’ that the always smouldering relations between town and university flared up, and lawsuits and appeals to Burghley and the Privy Co