CHOWNE (CHUNE), Nicholas (by 1517-69), of London; Fairlawn, nr. Wrotham, Kent and Aldenham, Herts.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1517, 1st s. of Nicholas Chowne of Fairlawn. m. (1) by 1544, Joan Crondall of Penshurst, Kent, 2s. 2da.; (2) settlement 5 v. Nov. 1550, Elizabeth (?da. of John) Scott of Camberwell, Surr., wid. of Evan Lloyd of London, 3s. inc. George 1da.1

Offices Held

Auditor, London 1557-8.2


Nicholas Chowne, eldest son in a family settled at Wrotham since the beginning of the 15th century, became a London haberdasher. In June 1538 he obtained the lease of a tenement in the parish of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, where his eldest son was christened on 3 Mar. 1545. After the death of his first wife Chowne married the widow of a London brewer, and early in December 1550, within a few weeks of the marriage, he took a 21-year lease of a brewery in the parish of All Hallows the Great: from then on, while remaining a member of the Haberdashers’ Company, he appears to have confined himself to brewing, living at his brew-house in Thames Street.3

When Chowne was returned for Wilton to the first Marian Parliament it was with another Londoner by adoption, Henry Creed. As Creed, unlike Chowne, was a native of Wilton, it may have been through his influence that Chowne was elected for a borough to which, so far as is known, he was a complete stranger, but being a near neighbour in Thames Street of William Herbert I, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who was lord of Wilton, Chowne could have had independent access to the seat, despite Pembroke’s temporary loss of favour at court. As a Member of this Parliament Chowne did not follow Creed’s example by standing ‘for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism, but two years later the roles seem to have been reversed. Creed was again sitting for Wilton, but Chowne had improved his status by being elected for London, and it was in company with another London Member, Philip Bold, that he followed the lead of Sir Anthony Kingston in voting against a government bill, which—on the strength of the list concerned—Creed did not do.4

In 1559 Chowne sued out a general pardon as a beer brewer alias haberdasher of London, alias of Wrotham and Aldenham, gentleman or esquire. It was about this time that he sold the remainder of his lease of the brewery and moved to a house in Bush Lane, in the same parish, which he and his wife had bought in April 1558. He also bought other messuages in London and the reversion to seven more, while also adding to his property at Wrotham, but at the end of his life he was living at Aldenham, where he died on 8 Aug. 1569. By his will of 17 Mar. 1568 he left all his lands in Southwark to his eldest son, but his lands in London and Kent, the greater part of his estate, went to his first son by his second marriage, George Chowne, while a younger son inherited the property at Aldenham. All these bequests were subject to the life interest of Chowne’s widow, who was still alive in 1576. Chowne’s youngest daughter, Jane, married Sir John Puckering.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 168: Manning and Bray, Surr. iii. 406, App. cxxiii; Reg. St. Mary le Bowe, 3; City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 12(2), f. 307v; 17, f. 44v; C142/178/1; PCC 23 Coode, 20 Sheffelde.
  • 2. City of London RO, jnl. 17, ff. 41, 92v.
  • 3. Hasted, Kent, v. 24; M. C. Rosenfield, ‘The disposal of the property of London monastic houses’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1961), 242; LP Hen. VIII, xv; Req. 2/68/38; City of London RO, rep. 12(2), ff. 456v, 481; 13(1), f. 24v; 13(2), f. 529; 14, ff. 8, 27v; London IPMs (Brit. Rec. Soc.), ii. 162-3.
  • 4. City of London RO, rep. 11, f. 345; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.
  • 5. CPR, 1558-60, p. 227; Req. 2/68/38; London IPMs, ii. 130-2; C142/178/1; PCC 20 Sheffelde; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 178, 525.