FENTON, John (by 1498-1556), of Stamford, Lincs.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1498. m. Margaret, 5s. 2da.1

Offices Held

Constable, Stamford 1524-5, chamberlain 1525-7, member of the second Twelve 8 Apr. 1527-41, of the first Twelve 14 July 1541-d., alderman 1541-2, 1552-3.2


It was as a fishmonger that John Fenton was admitted to scot and lot at Stamford on 19 July 1519 but by the time he sued out a general pardon in June 1554 he had blossomed into gentleman alias mercer alias fishmonger alias late alderman of Stamford alias merchant. His material progress can be measured by his assessment for the subsidy of 1546 on goods worth £40 in the parish of St. Michael, where he owned a mercer’s shop. His election to the office of alderman (equivalent to mayor) for a second term in 1552 met with some resistance because he had been temporarily removed from the list of 12 leading comburgesses, but after three men had voted against him and the matter been put to the commonalty of the town he was restored in status and elected alderman on 30 Sept. During his term of office he wrote to Cecil, the most influential local figure, seeking continued support for the burgesses’ retention of church goods and plate for the maintenance of a grammar school.3

According to evidence by his son John in a suit of 1575, Fenton, ‘being likely to fall into some trouble by reason of his being alderman of Stamford at the coronation of Queen Mary’, had made secret settlements of his lands upon himself and his heirs. His election with Henry Lee complied with the Queen’s call for residents, but whether Fenton also met her religious requirement is not known. Unlike Lee, he was not one of the Members who withdrew from the Parliament of November 1554 without leave. Within two years of this Parliament he was dead. By his will of 8 Sept. 1556 he committed his soul to the Trinity. He left pieces of plate to all his children, £40 each to his five sons including John the eldest and John the youngest, and £20 each to two daughters. He mentioned only two houses, left to his wife for life, including one in which she dwelt. His will was proved on behalf of his wife and son on 10 Nov. 1556.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 21 Ketchyn.
  • 2. Stamford hall bk. 1461-1657, ff. 109v, 110, 112v, 113, 132v; W. Harrod, Stamford, 210; R. Butcher, Stamford (1646), 45.
  • 3. Stamford hall bk. 1461-1657, f. 101; CPR, 1548-9, p. 360; 1553-4, p. 417; E179/137/431; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; Lansd. 2(83), ff. 182-4; HMC Hatfield, i. 119.
  • 4. Req.2/40/66; PCC 21 Ketchyn.