BRADSHAW, John I (by 1489-1567), of Ludlow, Salop and Presteigne, Rad.

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 1489, s. of Robert Bradshaw. m. (1) by 1510, Margaret, da. of Richard Chapman, at least 1s. John II 1da.; (2) by May 1538, Alice, da. of Roger Fowler of Norf.; at least 2da.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Ludlow 1531-2, 1535-6, 1541-2; sheriff, Rad. 1542-3, 1553-4, 1564-5; commr. relief, Pemb. and Rad. 1550, goods of churches and fraternities, Rad. 1553; j.p. Rad. by 1558/59-d., ?q. Card. 1564.2


Said to be of Lancashire descent, John Bradshaw was a prosperous merchant who entered early into the market for monastic lands. In March 1537 he obtained a lease of St. Dogmael’s priory and Caldy manor, Pembrokeshire. In the following year he married a niece of Bishop Rowland Lee, president of the council in the marches. The marriage appears to have been arranged by Bishop Lee, who had probably been responsible for the lease to Bradshaw of St. Dogmael’s and Caldy and who now intervened with Cromwell on his behalf over a short-term lease of tithes which he held of the abbot of Wigmore and wished to turn into one for his life and that of his widow. This was the beginning of a complex struggle with Thomas Croft for possession of the abbey. On the abbey’s surrender in November 1538 Lee committed its custody to Bradshaw and sent him to Cromwell with the account books and plate and a request for a lease of the site and demesne lands. Bradshaw made an unsuccessful bid to purchase Wigmore on the birth of his grandson James but had to be content in August 1540 with a 21-year lease. Three years later he managed to buy St. Dogmael’s and Caldy, together with the Wigmore lands at Presteigne, for £512. He also held for a short while a lease of Wenlock priory.3

Presteigne was to become Bradshaw’s principal residence and he served his first term as sheriff of Radnorshire in 1542-3, two years after his son-in-law John Baker IV, but as late as 1548 he could still be described as of Ludlow. Bishop Lee was dead when Bradshaw was returned as senior Member for Ludlow to the Parliament of 1545 but he may have enjoyed the support of the council in the marches to which his friend Adam Mytton had been appointed in 1543. The Foxe brothers, who had taken both Ludlow seats in the previous Parliament, had evidently not outlived the consequences of their dispute with Lee, although Bradshaw’s fellow-Member Thomas Wheeler was their brother-in-law. Bradshaw’s migration to Wales was marked in 1546 by a grant of the reversion of his pew in Ludlow church to John Allsop and Thomas Blashefild. He was nominated for the shrievalty of Radnorshire four times between 1547 and 1552 before being pricked in the autumn of 1553. During this second term his son (who had himself been pricked in preference to his father in 1551) Was returned for Radnorshire to Mary’s second Parliament. Bradshaw’s position during the reign seems to have been unaffected by his earlier association with William Thomas, the Edwardian clerk of the Privy Council, who may have been his relative by marriage and to whom he had transferred his remaining interest in the Wigmore lease, Thomas in return securing him in November 1552 a grant of the rectory and advowson of Presteigne.4

Bradshaw continued active in Radnorshire in the reign of Elizabeth, taking his third turn as sheriff in 1564-5, although, like all his fellow-justices in the shire, he was said in 1564 to be no more than ‘neuter in religion’: his brother-in-law Brian Fowler was a recusant. He made his will on 4 Aug. and died on 30 Sept. 1567.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Harding


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 257; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 190; Vis. Norf. (ibid. xxxii), 121; PCC 48 Arundell.
  • 2. Bodl. Gough Salop 1, ff. 275v-276; CPR, 1553, pp. 364, 419.
  • 3. Dwnn, i. 257; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xiv, xvi, xviii, xx; VCH Salop, i. 45.
  • 4. CPR, 1548-9, p. 14; 1550-3, p. 264; 1553, pp. 317, 328, 376, 388; 1553-4, pp. 289-90; 1555-7, pp. 63, 249; PCC 30 Loftes; Ludlow Churchwardens’ Accts. (Cam. Soc. cii), 28.
  • 5. Cam. Misc. ix(3), 16; PCC 48 Arundell; C142/148/48.