CHADERTON (CHATERTON), John (by 1515-57), of Portsmouth, Hants.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1515. m. by 1553, Eleanor, da. of John Mill I of Southampton, 4s. 1da.3

Offices Held

Servant of Sir William Fitzwilliam I by 1536; burgess, Portsmouth 1537-d.; capt. Portsmouth by 1540, Southsea castle 1545-d.; j.p. Hants 1554-d.4


According to his son Henry, the Jesuit, John Chaderton was ‘sprung from the ancient house called Chatterton Hall, in the county of Lancaster’ and married ‘a daughter of the house of Tichborne, a family of great antiquity in Hampshire’. Neither claim has been confirmed. Chaderton’s name certainly has a Lancastrian ring but it has not proved possible to connect him with either of his best-known namesakes from that county, Laurence, master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, or William, bishop of Chester and Lincoln, while his leasing of the rectory of Childwall, near Liverpool, is probably to be linked with his career rather than his origin. That Chaderton married a Hampshire woman is true enough, but his only known wife was a daughter of the recorder of Southampton, John Mill.5

If Chaderton did migrate from the north-west he may have done so in the wake of Sir William Fitzwilliam, since 1529 chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster and also the most powerful man in Hampshire. It is as clerk to Fitzwilliam that Chaderton first appears in the records in 1536—unless it was he who five years earlier was appointed joint receiver of duchy lands in Lincolnshire—and in October of the following year he was present at his master’s creation as Earl of Southampton. Although Southampton described Chaderton, in a letter to Cromwell of September 1538, as the King’s servant (perhaps because he already held office at Portsmouth), he remained at the earl’s disposition in both admiralty and other business: thus in November 1538 he was sent to take charge of the Countess of Salisbury’s household after her arrest, a mission which led to the discovery of damaging evidence against her. He was, however, principally concerned with the defences of Portsmouth, where by 1540 he was captain. His son was to testify to his labours: ‘I was born in a certain castle built entirely by my father [but at the expense of King Henry VIII] in the county of Southampton, near Portsmouth ... called at court at the present time Chaderdon castle, but generally Southsea castle.’ In 1544 Sir Anthony Knyvet, who may have replaced Chaderton as captain of Portsmouth, named him captain of this castle: he was formally appointed to the office in the following year and kept it until his death.6

When in the spring of 1539 Southampton electioneered in Hampshire and Surrey for the forthcoming Parliament he wrote to Cromwell of his intention to nominate Chaderton for one of the Portsmouth seats, and although the names of the Members have been lost Chaderton was probably one of them. It is almost certain that he was reelected to the Parliament of 1542, the marginal doubt arising from the damaged state of the return, on which all that survives of the name is ‘John C.....’: although by then Southampton was no longer admiral, his influence remained paramount in the area until his death nine months later. Conversely, Chaderton’s absence from the two following Parliaments bespeaks his loss of this all-powerful patron. He was not to be returned again until the beginning of 1553, when the Duke of Northumberland was responsible for the summoning of Edward VI’s second Parliament: as Viscount Lisle the duke had served twice as admiral since 1543 and it may be inferred that he had a hand in Chaderton’s election. The friendship with the new earls of Southampton which was illustrated by Chaderton’s standing as godfather to the 1st Earl’s nephew and by his naming his own third son after Henry Wriothesley, the 2nd Earl, himself then a boy of seven, could hardly have entered into the matter either then or six months later, when Chaderton was returned for the last time. He was not among the Members of this Parliament described as having ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, Protestantism, but no other evidence has been found to show whether he shared the later beliefs of his widow and at least two of his children.7

Chaderton, who was styled ‘esquire’ in these election returns, was granted a crest and coat of arms by letters patent of 22 Mar. 1557. He died shortly afterwards, when Henry Chaderton was ‘but three years old’. His widow subsequently married a man who died of consumption some ten years later after much of the inheritance had passed to London doctors in his vain search for a cure.8

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. LP Hen. VIII, xiv(1), 520 citing Cott. Cleop. E4, f. 209v.
  • 2. Onlt the christian name and first letter of the surname survive on the damaged  indenture, C219/18B/78.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first certain reference. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 67.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, x, xvi, xx; R. East, Extracts from Portsmouth Recs. 119; CPR, 1553-4, p. 19.
  • 5. H. Foley, Jesuit Recs. iii. 545; Cath. Rec. Soc. liv. 52-61; DNB (Chaderton, Laurence and William); Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xl. 229; DL42/30, f. 195v.
  • 6. Somerville, Duchy, i. 579; LP Hen. VIII, x, xii, xiii, xvi, xix, xx; Foley, iii. 545; CPR, 1549-51, p. 115.
  • 7. Foley, iii. 546.
  • 8. Ibid. 545.