ARUNDELL, John II (by 1534-80), of Trerice in Newlyn, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1534, s. of Sir John Arundell of Trerice by 2nd w. Juliana, da. of James Erisey of Erisey in Grade and Ruan Major, wid. of one Gourlyn. m. (1) 1562, Catherine, da. and h. of John Cosworth of Cosworth in Colan, wid. of Alan Hill, 4da., (2) settlement 1 Mar. 1573, Gertrude, da. of (Sir) Robert Denys of Holcombe Burnell, Devon, 2s. inc. John 2da. suc. nephew John Arundell aft. 1561.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. 1573-4; j.p.q. 1579.


A junior branch of the ancient Cornish family of Arundell had been seated at Trerice since Edward III’s reign. Sir John Arundell, who had been a courtier, died in 1561 leaving as his heir his three year-old grandson John: this boy was not to enjoy his inheritance for long, and on his death the family property passed to his uncle and namesake. This John Arundell had been a favourite son, and that partiality doubtless contributed to Arundell’s two appearances at Westminster during his father’s lifetime, although neither occurred while Sir John Arundell was sheriff in 1554. Mitchell was owned by Arundell’s kinsmen, the powerful Arundells of Lanherne, and until the accession of Elizabeth that family’s support was a pre-requisite for election there. In 1555 Arundell’s prospects were improved by a combination of circumstances: his namesake of Lanherne was returned for Preston, Sir John Arundell of Lanherne was sheriff, and a cousin Richard Chamond was elected knight of the shire for Cornwall. Three years later John Arundell of Lanherne was to sit for the shire, and his promotion made way for Arundell’s re-election for Mitchell. The Catholicism of the Arundells of Lanherne was distasteful to Elizabeth, and after 1558 their authority in Cornwall waned. It was perhaps for this reason, as much as for his being ‘a somewhat inarticulate man ... who preferred to stay at home and superintend the building of Trerice’, that Arundell did not reappear in Parliament.2

In view of his retiring nature it is not surprising that Arundell played little part in the public life of Cornwall. As sheriff in 1574 he was of some assistance to the 2nd Earl of Bedford when he came to Cornwall as lord lieutenant; in 1580 he was asked to help with the survey of coastal defences and with the apprehension of escaped pirates. Arundell died not long after receiving these instructions; he made his will on 14 Sept. and on 3 Nov. an inquisition post mortem was held at Bodmin. He entrusted much of his property to feoffees, who were to pay his debts, look after his children and transfer the estate to his heir when he came of age. He left £400 each to his two unmarried daughters and named as supervisors Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Sir John Chichester, Thomas Cosworth, Sir Richard Grenville, Francis Godolphin and Thomas St. Aubyn.3

One of the feoffees appointed to administer Arundell’s property was his son-in-law Richard Carew, who left this description of him: Private respects ever with him gave place to the common good; as for frank, well-ordered and continual hospitality, he outwent all show of competence; spare but discreet of speech: better conceiving than delivering ... Briefly, so accomplished in virtue, that those who for many years together waited in nearest place about him, and by his example learned to hate untruth, have often deeply protested how no curious observation of theirs could ever descry in him any one notorious vice.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: J. J. Goring


  • 1. Presumed to be of age at election. Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 12, 104; F. E. Halliday, Richard Carew, 312; Wards 7/20/179; Duchy Cornw. RO, 131.
  • 2. Halliday, 9, 221; C3/2/64; 142/129/8, 23; Arch. Jnl. cxxx. 245-7.
  • 3. CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, p. 545; APC, viii. 304, xi. 381-2, xii. 110; Wards 7/20/179; PCC 40 Arundell.
  • 4. Halliday, 221.