LOVELACE, John (by 1497-1558), of Hurley, Berks.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1497, s. of John Lovelace (d.1518) of Wargrave. m. (1) Joan, s.p.; (2) by 1541, Grace, da. of Richard Turner of Binfield, 5s. 2da.1

Offices Held

Escheator, Oxon and Berks. 1550-1; commr. relief Berks. 1550, gaol delivery, Oxford 1554; j.p.q. Berks. 1554.2


When a grant of arms was made to John Lovelace’s son in 1577, the family claimed descent from the Lovelaces of Kent. The claim itself may have been justified but the pedigree showing the descent was false and the family has not been traced further back than the Member’s father, whose will was proved on 18 Dec. 1518. John Lovelace was left 20 marks and appointed supervisor of the will and his brother William received the only property named, a house in Wargrave: it is not known which brother was the elder.3

In September 1534 John Lovelace, gentleman, helped the warden and other officers of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in the investigation of words spoken against Anne Boleyn at Reading and in 1541, described as of Stockwell, Surrey, he was granted an 80-year lease of the rectory of Binfield. Three years later he promised £1,150 to Sir Leonard Chamberlain for the house and site of Hurley priory, together with the manor, rectory, advowson and other property there, including a messuage called Lady Place.4

Lovelace’s second wife, Grace, is described as the daughter of Richard Sampson of Binfield in the Berkshire visitation and Lovelace’s monument in Hurley church speaks of ‘her father Sampson’, but she is identified in the will of Richard Turner, clerk of the privy seal, made on 10 Sept. 1558, as his daughter. Turner left her the greater part of his estate and he also left bequests to several Sampsons, including another Grace, his goddaughter. An explanation of the contradiction might be that Turner was Grace Lovelace’s stepfather but no evidence of this has been found. He may also have been related to Thomas Turner, Member for Reading in 1559: Lovelace seems to have had no other connexion with the borough. Turner’s standing as an official—he had served Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward and was still serving Mary—may also have helped procure his son-in-law’s return. Another influential friend, though out of favour under Mary, seems to have been Sir Henry Nevilleof Billingbear, Berkshire, who in 1554 gave letters of attorney to John Lovelace and John Whitwood before departing the realm; and on 1 May 1558 Lovelace was a witness to the will of Sir Philip Hoby, another Protestant who went overseas for part of the reign. Lovelace made his own will on 10 Aug. 1558, when he was sick at Lady Place, and died on 25 or 26 Aug. He left Lady Place and half his goods to his wife, while the other half was to be divided between his five sons and his unmarried daughter. Another daughter was married to Henry Maniford of Sherborne, Dorset, and Lovelace bequeathed the lease of a manor at Holton in that county to one of his younger sons, Arthur. The eldest son, Richard, aged 16, was appointed an executor with Grace: he later married a daughter of Richard Ward I of Hurst, Berkshire, and was the father of another Richard, created Baron Lovelace of Hurley in 1627. Grace Lovelace had married Richard Staverton of Warfield, Berkshire, by November 1563.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Apparently of age at father’s death. CP, viii. 229n, 230n; PCC 70 Noodes ptd. Berks., Bucks. and Oxon. Arch. Jnl. xi. 47-55.
  • 2. CPR, 1553, pp. 348, 351; 1553-4, pp. 17, 34.
  • 3. CP, viii. 229n; PCC 12 Ayloffe.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, vii, xvi, xix, xx; CPR, 1550-3, p. 239; 1560-3, pp. 418-19; VCH Berks. iii. 155-6.
  • 5. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 207; Ashmole, Berks. ii. 478-9; PCC 34, 70 Noodes, 45 Welles; CPR, 1554-5, pp. 222-3; 1560-3, pp. 418-19; NRA 6803, p. 52; C142/116/6.