CAMPANETT, John (by 1519-57), of London and Tickencote, Rutland.

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 1519. m. Jan/Mar. 1551, Margaret, da. of Randolph Lynne of Graveley, Cambs. by Elizabeth, da. of William Dale, s.p.2

Offices Held

High steward, the dean and chapter of Peterborough’s lands, Northants. 1553-d.3


In 1529 a John Campanett was a witness to the will of Sir John Digby, and although he cannot be identified with the later Member a connexion with the Digby family would help to explain John Campanett’s unusual marriage. His wife Margaret Lynne was, as her mother’s heir, one of the coheirs of William Dale, a substantial local gentleman. In 1542, when she was eight, her father sold her wardship to Henry Digby of Tickencote on the understanding that she should marry one of his sons. She was accordingly contracted to Jasper Digby but, less amenable than most young women of the time, refused her consent and had the satisfaction of seeing an ecclesiastical court annul the marriage. Even before sentence was given arrangements were in hand for another marriage. Henry Digby assigned his lease of Tickencote to William Campanett of Stamford, draper, almost certainly John Campanett’s brother, and John married Margaret as soon as the sentence was pronounced. He was to claim in his will that the affair had cost him a great deal of money, and that he was compensated by having Tickencote assured to him and his heirs whether by the marriage or apart from it.4

Campanett was a lawyer who practised as an attorney in the common pleas. He is found associated with many influential people, and generally in a legal capacity: he was a trustee for Andrew Nowell, and in 1544, when he was living in London, he stood surety for Edward Watson. Five years later he shared with Edward Montagu a grant of Serjeants’ Inn, Fleet Street, and the rectory of Slawston, Northamptonshire: Montagu received the inn and Campanett took the rectory, which he later exchanged for that of Tickencote. Described as Montagu’s servant in a local dispute, Campanett may well have owed to Montagu his by-election for Peterborough following the death of Sir Wymond Carew in 1549. The date of the by-election is not known, but as Carew died over two months before the opening of the third session Campanett probably took his place in the Commons during that session: his admission to the freedom of Peterborough, which occurred sometime before 1552, was probably intended to qualify him as one of the city’s Members. Montagu’s continuing favour with the Dudleys could well have procured Campanett’s re-election to the next Parliament, that of March 1553, for which the names of Peterborough’s Members are lost. Nothing is known about his role in the House. Despite a protest Montagu helped to prepare the device barring Mary Tudor from the throne, and although she did not dismiss him from office his authority in his native county was shaken; it was perhaps for this reason that Campanett did not reappear in Parliament.5

In 1553 Campanett transferred his lease of the episcopal manor of Walton to John Mountsteven in exchange for lands in Lincolnshire and the stewardship of the Northamptonshire lands of the dean and chapter of Peterborough. He consolidated his other property by further exchanges, and bred cattle and sheep on his small estate. It was as a sick man that on 6 May 1557 he made a will providing for his wife, sisters and brother, and a few days later he died. His two executors, his widow and his brother, quarrelled over the settlement of his property that Campanett had made in favour of his brother, and in a series of lawsuits early in Elizabeth’s reign his widow succeeded in asserting her claim. She took as her second and third husbands Paul Gresham and Robert Radcliffe.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from younger brother’s age at i.p.m., C142/115/37. Blore, Rutland, 61, 63; PCC 49 Wrastley; CPR, 1548-9, p. 367.
  • 3. Peterborough cath. lib., Mountstevings reg. f. 42v.
  • 4. Lincoln Diocese Docs. (EETS cxlix), 149; Blore, 63; CPR, 1550-3, p. 60.
  • 5. CP 40/1141, r. 443, 1142, r. 643; LP Hen. VIII, xix; CPR, 1548-9, p. 367; Peterborough cath. lib., Mountstevings reg. f. 68; Northants. RO, Montagu letters, iv. 22; VCH Rutland, ii. 281; DNB (Montagu, Sir Edward).
  • 6. Peterborough cath. lib., Mountstevings reg. ff. 42, 69; bp.’s ct. rolls, 5, 11, 12; CP40, 1 Mary, m. 19; St.Ch.2/34/108; PCC 49 Wrastley; C142/115/37; Wright, Rutland, 123; VCH Rutland, ii. 276, 278; Blore, 61, 63.