MAJOR (MAYOR), John (-d.1629), of Southampton, Hants.
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Family and Education
o.s. of John Major, brewer, of Southampton and his w. Joyce.1 m. by 1599, Anne (d.1646),2 da. of John Searle, yeoman, of Cossam, Carisbrooke, I.o.W., 1s. 4da. (2 d.v.p.).3 suc. fa. by 1611.4 d. 21 Feb. 1629.5
Constable, Southampton 1603-4,6 steward 1611-12, bailiff 1612-13, sheriff 1613-14, alderman 1615-d., mayor 1615-16;7 commr. subsidy, Southampton 1608,8 gaol delivery 1615-d.,9 piracy 1618-at least 1619.10
Major’s father, probably a Jerseyman, settled in Southampton and held office as mayor in 1600.11 Major himself prospered as a merchant, exporting cloth to France in partnership with George Gollop*, and served on the corporation. By 1622 he could afford to purchase the nearby manor of Allington for £900; and despite the loss of a cargo to French pirates in 1624, he was assessed at £10 for the Privy Seal loan in the following year.12
Returned for Southampton with Gollop to the third Caroline Parliament, he was, as ‘Mr. Mayor’, granted leave of absence on 17 Apr. 1628.13 He attended the second session, being granted 20 days’ leave ‘for his occasions’ on 12 Feb. 1629.14 He may have been taken ill on the road, for although described himself as in good health when he drew up his will on 20 Feb., he died the following day. In addition to generous cash bequests to his wife, children and grandchildren, he left £200 to found an almshouse, mourning rings to numerous friends and relatives, and £2 each to his servants.15 His only son Richard, who sat for Hampshire during the Interregnum, had a daughter who married Richard Cromwell†.16
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. Hants RO, 1609B58/1; Assembly Bks. 1602-8 ed. J.W. Horrocks (Soton Rec. Soc. xix), 7.
- 2. PROB 11/196, f. 289.
- 3. Stowe 645; PROB 11/105, f. 228v; PROB 11/155, f. 171v.
- 4. Exams. and Deps. 1622-7 ed. R.C. Anderson (Soton Rec. Soc. xxix), 8.
- 5. C142/706/26.
- 6. Third Bk. of Remembrance, pt. 4 ed. T.B. James (Soton Rec. Ser. xxii), 96.
- 7. Assembly Bks. 1611-14 ed. Horrocks (Soton Rec. Soc. xxiv), 1, 45, 81; Assembly Bks. 1615-16 ed. Horrocks (Soton Rec. Soc. xxv), 28; List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 226.
- 8. SP14/31/1.
- 9. C181/2, f. 239, 356v; 181/3, ff. 20, 241v.
- 10. C181/2, ff. 309v, 340.
- 11. Exams. and Deps. 1601-2 (Soton Rec. Soc. xxvi), 4.
- 12. VCH Hants, iii. 487; Exams. and Deps. 1622-7 (Soton Rec. Soc. xxix), 45-6; Add. 21922, f. 17.
- 13. CD 1628, ii. 509.
- 14. CJ, i. 929b.
- 15. PROB 11/155, f. 171v.
- 16. Add. 39969, f. 548.