BATEMAN, John (by 1522-96), of Newark-upon-Trent, Notts.

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 1522, ?s. of John Bateman of Ramsey, Hunts. by Alice, wid. of John Spondon of Ramsey.1

Offices Held

Sec. to 2nd Earl of Rutland by 1549-63, to 6th Earl of Shrewsbury by 1569.2


Little has come to light about John Bateman before 1543 when he is found in the service of the Manners family. His parents may have been the John and Alice Bateman of Ramsey who in 1538 were involved in a chancery suit with a royal household official over property in Newark; Alice Bateman’s first husband John Spondon had provided for an obit at Newark which in 1545 was being kept by a John Bateman, presumably either her husband or her son.3

Bateman was to give many years of service to successive earls of Rutland. In 1543 he bought an English testament for the 1st Earl’s countess and when the earl died in the same year he was charged with making bequests to a blind priest and the bedesmen of Bottesford. By 1549 he had become one of the 2nd Earl’s two secretaries who served with him on the Scottish borders during his wardenship of the east and middle marches, and he retained that position until Rutland’s death in 1563.

It was undoubtedly to Rutland that Bateman owed his return to the Parliament of 1555 and to its successors of 1559 and 1563: himself a Newark man, he had no known connexion with Nottingham. If, as is likely, he shared his master’s Protestantism, he might have been expected to align himself with the opposition to the Marian regime, but his name is not to be found on the list of Members who in 1555 followed Sir Anthony Kingston’s lead in voting against the government. In October 1558 a John Bateman was reported to be in exile at Geneva: although there is nothing to suggest his identification with Rutland’s servant, a spell abroad at this time would not have been inconsistent with Bateman’s position in the earl’s household and it might account for the break in 1558 in his otherwise almost continuous Membership for Nottingham over a period of 30 years.4

There are, however, grounds for believing that Bateman was also returned to the last Marian Parliament. On the two known copies of the official list of Members of that Parliament the name ‘Thomas Bateman generosus’ appears as that of the second Member for Old Sarum. As the election indenture is defaced in a way which obliterates this Member’s name, there would normally be no check on its accuracy or any inducement to reject it, but this happens to be an exception. A list of Members for Old Sarum dating from the early years of the 17th century, and based on ‘the rolls of them that have the election of the burgesses’ there, gives the name of the second Member for 1558 as ‘John Bateman’, and since all its other names are identical with those derived from elsewhere there can be little doubt that it has Bateman’s christian name correctly and that the ‘Thomas’ of the official list is an error arising from the similarity of the two names when written, and especially when abbreviated, in Latin. This conclusion is strengthened by the difficulty of finding a Thomas Bateman with any claim to consideration as the Member. That John Bateman should have found a seat at Old Sarum is, by contrast, readily explained as a by-product of the campaign of the previous summer, when his master Rutland had served as a general of horse in the army with which William Herbert I, Earl of Pembroke, captured St. Quentin. Rutland’s continued preoccupation with the war at the close of the year may well have prevented him from securing Bateman’s re-election at Nottingham and so have led him to take advantage of Pembroke’s influence at Old Sarum to procure his secretary’s return there. Bateman’s fellow-Member was probably Sir Henry Jones, a relative by marriage of Pembroke, who was, however, styled ‘armiger’ on the indenture: this error and the mistake over Bateman’s christian name could be held to reflect the unfamiliarity of both men in the neighbourhood. Bateman’s Membership of this Parliament would make it unlikely, although not impossible, that he was the exile at Geneva: he could have attended the first session of January-March 1558 but would presumably have missed the second in the following November after his admission as a ‘resident’ of Geneva on 24 Oct.5

Bateman’s will of 26 Aug. 1596 makes no mention of a wife or child. It was proved on the following 7 Oct.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: C. J. Black / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. C1/762/11-14.
  • 2. HMC Rutland, iv. 362; CSP Scot. 1563-9, pp. 663, 675, 679.
  • 3. C1/762/11-14; C. Brown, Newark, i. 238.
  • 4. HMC Rutland, i. 71, 89, 91, 100; iv. 339, 342, 362; C. H. Garrett, Marian Exiles, 82.
  • 5. C193/32/2; 219/25/234; Wm. Salt Lib. SMS 264; HMC Hatfield, xv. 386.
  • 6. York wills 26, f. 373.