ST. JOHN, Oliver I.

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

Offices Held



Oliver St. John of Sharnbrook, 2nd s. of Sir John St. John of Bletsoe by Sybil, da. of Rice ap Morgan ap Jenkyn ap Philip. m. Mary, da. of William Fitzjeffrey of Thurleigh, Beds., 5s. 4da.

?Sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 1551-2.


Oliver St. John of Thurleigh and Keysoe, Beds., nephew of the above, 1st s. of Alexander St. John by Jane or Joan, da. of George Dalyson of Shingle or Cranesley, Northants. m. Margaret, da. of Thomas Eston or Easton of Holme, Beds., wid. of John Gooderick of Doddington, Ely, ?1da.

J.p. Beds. by 1579; ?auditor of the Exchequer 1583.1

Between 1540 and 1558 there were at least three Oliver St. Johns active in Bedfordshire, the two above and their relative Oliver St. John, who became 1st Baron St. John in January 1559. Thus, unless a seat is mentioned, it is difficult to say which of the three is meant in any particular instance. The Bedfordshire justice of the peace in 1554 and sheriff for Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire 1551-2 was probably the future Lord St. John.2

By 1563 Oliver St. John of Sharnbrook, about seven miles from Bedford, must have been an elderly man, if, indeed, he was still alive. His brother, Sir John, died 1558. Oliver St. John of Thurleigh and Keysoe—on the whole the most likely person to have been the 1563 Member—was evidently of age by 1553, when he and Robert Thornton paid over £800 for monastic land in several counties. His career, apart from the one reference to him as an auditor of the Exchequer, is obscure. His will, made 27 Sept. 1586, was proved 5 Feb. 1591. It asked that he should be buried at Keysoe, and left 40s. to the poor of the parish, with legacies to his stepson Henry Gooderick and to other relatives. The widow, Margaret St. John, was appointed sole executrix, with John St. John, 2nd Baron St. John as one of three overseers. There was evidently a query about the value of the property, as a sentence ‘per valore’ is attached to the will.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Harl. 5186, p. 22; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 53-5; Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 150; Vis. Cambs. (Harl. Soc. xli), 48. One of the pedigrees gives Alice (m. John Clopton) as sis. (not da.) of this Oliver.
  • 2. CP; LP Hen. VIII, xiv(2), p. 202; xv. p. 6; CPR, 1553 and App. Ed. VI, p. 351; 1533-4, p. 17.
  • 3. CPR, 1553 and App. Ed. VI. pp. 82-8; PCC 9 Sainberbe.