FLOWER, John (1535-1620), of Whitwell, Rutland.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Sheriff, Rutland 1565-6, 1569-70, 1577-8, j.p. from c.1573-8.
Of a family established in Rutland for two centuries, Flower was only five years old at his father’s death, when his wardship was granted to Andrew Nowell† who had married Flower’s grandmother. His standing in the county and his connexion with Nowell and the Haringtons was sufficient to obtain him one election as knight of the shire, in 1563, with his father-in-law as co-Member. The last 50 years of Flower’s life were dogged by financial hardship and, despite the 1564 bishops’ report describing him as an ‘earnest furtherer of religion’, suspicion of recusancy. About 1578 he was removed from the commission of the peace and in 1582 was summoned before the High Commission on suspicion of harbouring the priests Chambers and Campion. His wife, son and daughter-in-law were all Catholics, and by the time of Flower’s death on 30 Apr. 1620, when his son and heir John was aged over 50, litigation and, probably, recusancy fines had consumed most of the property.2