HYNDE, John (c.1480-1550), of Madingley, Cambs.

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. c.1480. educ. ?King’s, Camb. c.1495, G. Inn c.1500. m. (?1) Eleanor, da. of Sir John Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Norf., ?1da.; (?2) by 1530, Ursula, da. of John Curzon of Belaugh, Norf., 2s. inc. Francis 3 or 4da. Kntd. 1545.1

Offices Held

Autumn reader, G. Inn 1519, 1531, Lent 1527.2

J.p. Cambs. 1512-d., Hunts. 1528- d., Essex 1536, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1537-d., (E. and N. Ridings) 1538-d., Westmld. 1537, 1547, Cumb. 1538-d.; commr. subsidy, Cambs. 1512, 1514, 1523, 1524, loan 1522, 1524, musters 1541, benevolence 1544/45; other commissions 1514-47; counsel for Cambridge by 1515, recorder 5 July 1520-13 Jan. 1546; serjeant-at-law 1531-5; King’s serjeant 1535-45; surveyor, liveries 1537-42, ct. wards and liveries 1542-6; justice of assize, northern circuit 1537, 1543; member, council in the north 1545; j.c.p. 24 Nov. 1545-d.; custos rot. Cambs. c.1547.3


Although his family was later said to have been seated at Madingley, near Cambridge, it was John Hynde himself who acquired this property and no forbears have been traced in the county. There were Londoners of the name, but the Thomas Hynde who studied at Cambridge, became rector of Girton, Cambridgeshire, and was almost certainly the brother whom in 1533 Hynde recommended to Cromwell for an archdeaconry, is said to have come from Yorkshire. John Hynde was probably the undergraduate who attended King’s College between 1492/93 and 1494/95; he was later to take an important part in the administration of the north, for which he may have been selected on account of his knowledge of the area. If John and Thomas Hynde were not natives of Cambridgeshire they presumably decided to settle there after studying at the university.4

Having trained as a lawyer at Gray’s Inn, Hynde was retained as counsel by the town of Cambridge, and his services, for which he received 20s. a year, were needed in those conflicts between town and gown which were later to involve him personally as well as in the mayoral dispute of 1529 which resulted in a Star Chamber case. His appointment as recorder followed hard on his first reading at his inn. By 1522 he had property in the parish of Girton which was valued at £33.5

With John Baldwin, who was to sit with him in Parliament for Hindon, Hynde was appointed to a commission set up in June 1529 to hear such chancery cases as might be committed to it by Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey held the see of Winchester in commendam but his precarious position at the time of the elections to the Parliament of 1529 makes it uncertain whether he was able, either personally or through his steward Sir William Paulet, to control the returns for the episcopal boroughs of Downton, Hindon and Taunton. In common with all the Members so returned, five of them rising lawyers, Hynde would have made a suitable nominee of the cardinal’s; in the following year Wolsey was to be informed by his agent that the best counsel available, among them Hynde, had been retained to advise on the praemunire as it affected the lands of Cardinal college. Yet Hynde would probably have been no less acceptable to the court and even to the cardinal’s opponent the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, recently appointed high steward of Cambridge and soon to become chief steward of the bishopric of Winchester: the messenger who carried the Cambridge patent to the duke met Hynde in London and travelled back to Cambridge with him. Of Hynde’s part in the proceedings of the Commons there is but one glimpse: his name appears on one of Cromwell’s parliamentary lists, that written on the dorse of a letter of December 1534 and thought to be of Members having a particular, but unknown, connexion with the treasons bill then on its passage through Parliament.6

In 1530 Hynde was recommended by the lord chief justice as one of the best counsel of the day: Cambridge evidently thought well of him, for on his appointment as serjeant in 1531 the mayor visited him in London and made him a gift of £6 13s.4d. Trouble between town and gown broke out again early in 1534. The sixth session of Parliament ended on 30 Mar. and 11 days later Hynde was in Cambridge when excitement reached a peak. The students suspected a plot when they saw the mayor, Robert Chapman, conversing publicly with the recorder, and Chapman subsequently averred that the proctors and scholars intended ‘none other thing ... but utterly to have destroyed and killed the said mayor and recorder in case they had made any proclamation’. Whatever his youthful connexion with the university, Hynde was by now a stalwart of the town: in 1537 he presented its case to Cromwell against the university, which retaliated in the following year by asking the minister, in his capacities as chancellor and high steward, not to let Hynde have the custody of the Greyfriars because he had not always been ‘friendful’ to the university. In 1541 Hynde was one of the muster commissioners who received a letter from the Council ordering them to leave the university alone, there being no precedent for mustering the scholars.7

In April 1536 there was a disturbance in Somerset, and Hynde was among those ‘that went for the executing of rebels in the west’. Later in the year, at the time of the northern rebellion, he was one of the Cambridgeshire gentlemen appointed to keep good order in the county, and early in 1537 Sir William Parr was writing to the King from Lincoln praising Hynde’s legal acumen as a commissioner of oyer and terminer. Hynde went on to conduct the prosecution in Yorkshire of Sir Thomas Percy and Stephen Hamerton, staying in the north until January 1538 and taking an active part in its resettlement. Cromwell’s remembrances for 1539 include a note that Hynde was to give evidence at the trial of the abbot of Reading, and in 1540 he was one of a quartet instructed by the Council to search for a ‘seditious epistle of Melanchthon’ with which the bishop of Ely was thought to be involved. In 1544 he was expected to provide ten foot-soldiers for service against France.8

Material rewards had begun to come Hynde’s way. In March 1537 he replaced Sir Richard Rich as surveyor of liveries at a fee of £50 a year, holding office with (Sir) Thomas Neville. A year later the abbot of Crowland assured Cromwell that he would do what he could to secure the lease of a Cambridgeshire manor for the minister’s ‘friend’ Hynde. In 1539 Hynde paid £650 for the Cambridgeshire priory of Anglesey, and in 1543 the manor and advowson of Girton, the manor of Moor Barns, and the buildings of the Blackfriars in Derby cost him £762. His grant of the manor of Burlewas in Madingley, alias ‘the shire manor of the county of Cambridge’, contributes to what little is known about the payment of wages to knights of the shire in the early Tudor period. The Act for the assurance of certain lands to John Hynde passed in 1543 (34 and 35 Hen. VIII, c.24) recites that the profits of £10 a year from Burlewas were set aside for the payment of the knights’ wages, and that the gentlemen of the county now wish Hynde and his heirs to have the lease of the manor, paying the profits to the sheriff and the two knights who were to be incorporated ‘by the name of wardens of the fees and wages of the knights of the shire of Cambridge’.9

Hynde received a writ of assistance to the Parliament of 1536 and to every succeeding Parliament until his death. His work in the north may have entailed occasional absences from the Lords, as for instance in 1539, when a month before the opening of Parliament (Sir) Christopher Jenney wrote to Cromwell from York to say that he and Hynde would be staying on there after the assizes were finished. Hynde was later one of the lawyers appointed to the council in the north. Summoned to the Parliament of 1545 as a serjeant-at-law, he was appointed a justice of common pleas on 24 Nov., the day after its opening, and by 24 Dec., when the session closed, he had been knighted. In January 1547 he was appointed a special commissioner in Norfolk to inquire into treasons committed by the Earl of Surrey, and shortly afterwards he was one of the lawyers who gave evidence about Henry VIII’s will. On 16 Mar. 1549, two days after the close of the second session of the Parliament of 1547, the Council ordered that he should be paid £20 for his ‘pains in this last session of Parliament’: his death on 17 Oct. 1550 prevented him from attending its fourth and final session. Not long before he died he had won a long-standing dispute over one of his offices. In 1542 the surveyor of liveries had had his functions absorbed by the newly established court of wards, of which he then became the second officer. In 1546 the office was procured by the Earl of Hertford for Robert Keilway II, and Hynde was evicted on the ground that he had failed to renew his patent of appointment in 1542. He fought back, and in February 1550 the Council decided that although Keilway might keep the office he must pay Hynde £50 a year.10

Hynde died a wealthy man: the annual value of his landed property, as estimated in his inquisition, was some £250. In 1549 he had been among those charged by rioters with making enclosures. Madingley Hall is said to have been built shortly after 1543; a bay window in the house has clunch carvings of the judge, his wife, Henry VIII and Edward VI. On 18 Oct. 1550, the day after his death, Hynde was buried with much ceremony in the church of St. Dunstan in the West. Although in the accounts of Lincoln’s Inn there is a receipt from Hynde’s executors for 20s. to pray for his soul, no will has been discovered.11

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. R. Johnson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from career and supposed education, Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Camb. to 1500, p. 324. DNB; Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), ii. 210; Vis. Cambs. (Harl. Soc. xli), 113; E150/98/3. The Heydon marriage, noted by Burke, does not appear in the pedigrees of either family.
  • 2. Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales, 292; Chronica Series, 83.
  • 3. Cambridge Bor. Docs. ed. Palmer, i. 28; C. H. Cooper, Cambridge Annals, i. 303, 429; LP Hen. VIII, i-v, vii, viii, x-xviii, xx; C66/690, p. 5 m. 28v, 691, p. 6 mm. 13, 14, 785, p. 18 mm. 35, 801; 193/12/1; APC, ii. 386; Elton, Tudor Constitution, 202-3; State Pprs. v. 402-11; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 74-77, 81, 82, 85, 87, 90-92; Statutes, iii. 81, 114.
  • 4. Foss, Judges, v. 303; LP Hen. VIII, iii, xviii, xix; PCC 12 Bennett, 6 More; Emden, 324.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, i, iii; Cambridge Bor. Docs. i. pp. xxv, xlv; St.Ch.2/26/78.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, iv; vii. 1522(ii) citing SP1/87, f. 106v; Cooper, i. 329.
  • 7. Cooper, i. 354, 360, 361; LP Hen. VIII, vi, xii, xiii, xvi; Elton, Star Chamber Stories, 52.
  • 8. M.H. and R. Dodds, Pilgrimage of Grace, i. 87; LP Hen. VIII, xi, xii-xiv, xix; Foss, v. 303-4.
  • 9. APC, ii. 386; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xiv, xviii.
  • 10. C66/785, p. 18 m. 35; 218/1; Rymer, Foedera, vi(3), 5, 74; LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xxi, add.; Interim Rep. 91, 93; APC, ii. 42, 265, 386, 397; W. C. Richardson, Tudor Chamber Admin. 303-4n; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards, 223-4.
  • 11. E150/98/3; VCH Cambs. iii. 15; Pevsner, Cambs. 353; Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 2; Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 295.