ST. JOHN, William (1538-1609), of Farley Chamberlayne, Hants.

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. 1538, s. of John St. John (d.1576), of Lydiard Tregoze, Wilts. by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Richard Whethill of London; half-bro. of Nicholas St. John. educ. ?Jesus, Camb. 1547. m. by 1568, Barbara Gooce or Goore, wid. of Thomas Twyne of Wonston, 2s. inc. Henry 4da.

Offices Held

J.p. Hants from c.1577, sheriff 1587-8.


St. John was born on his father’s estate at Farley and was presumably living there when he was returned for the newly enfranchised borough of Stockbridge in 1563. A few years after his first election, his marriage brought him another manor in the neighbourhood; and before 1576—when his half-brother Nicholas inherited the main estates in Wiltshire—Farley and Littleton, Hampshire, were settled upon him. St. John was ‘a man of great countenance and credit’, often serving as a county official, for example inspecting the fortifications of Portsmouth, and providing horse for the Irish campaigns at the end of the century. In January 1602 he quarrelled with (Sir) Hampden Paulet, on whose behalf the Marchioness of Winchester complained to the Privy Council.

St. John died 8 Apr. 1609, being succeeded by his son Henry. In his will, he hoped to be saved by Christ’s ‘merits, death and passion only’ and to be ‘received into the company of His elect’. He asked to be buried with ‘little charge’, but gave detailed specifications for the ‘memorial for posterity’, made of freestone from the Isle of Wight, which was to be raised to him under the supervision of his son-in-law, (Sir) Francis Castilion.

PCC 114 Dorset, 32 Carew; Wilts. Colls. 170; VCH Hants, iii. 458; iv. 374, 444; W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Hants, 148; C142/321/87; APC, xix. 68; xxiii. 184, 209, 237; xxxii. 279; Lansd. 104, f. 89; HMC Hatfield, xii. 34.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Alan Harding