TALONTS (TALOUGH, TALLANS), John (by 1510-63), of Coventry, Warws.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1510. m. Joan, at least 2da.; 1s. illegit.1

Offices Held

Chamberlain, Coventry 1531-2, sheriff 1536-7, mayor 1545-6, 1562-3.2


John Talonts was a goldsmith who became a wealthy man and a leading citizen of Coventry. A resident in Trinity parish, he supplied both the church and the corporation with crucifixes, plate and other articles. He is not known to have been a regular money-lender, but he lent £200 to Edward, 4th Lord Dudley, and smaller sums to George Kebell of Stanford, Northamptonshire. His first mayoralty was troubled by a dispute with the Warwickshire commission of array over musters within the city, when his firmness and tact were praised by Edward Saunders. He made several journeys to London for the corporation in the matter of Bond’s hospital, and in 1549 he delivered to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, the payment for the lease of Cheylesmore park. He was one of those responsible for discovering the flaw in the grant of the Whitefriars to John Hales II which enabled the city to oust him.3

It was with another ex-mayor, James Rogers, that Talonts was returned to the Parliament of March 1553. This was held under the aegis of the Duke of Northumberland, with whom as Earl of Warwick he had had dealings over Cheylesmore, but there is no evidence that Northumberland intervened in the election. Talonts’s receipt of £3 16s.4d. includes the statutory wage of 2s. a day for the 31 days of the Parliament. Five years later he was re-elected with the recorder John Throckmorton I. It is not known what part he played in procuring the Act of 1558 for the payment of tithes in Coventry (4 and 5 Phil. and Mary, c.14).4

Although no Coventry citizen was obliged to serve a second term as mayor, Talonts again accepted this burdensome office in 1562. During his first mayoralty he had been accused in Chancery of using his authority to evict a poor man from his cottage and on another occasion he was charged in the Star Chamber with taking bribes as a juror; he had himself been the plaintiff in several chancery suits in the 1530s. He died on 27 Nov. 1563 shortly after completing his year of office and nine days after making his will. He named as his executor his illegitimate son Francis Justice alias Talonts. He had made some provision for this son five years earlier and later joined with him in the purchase of land from Henry Over alias Waver*; he now in effect recognized him as his heir while also providing for his wife and two grandsons and making generous bequests to his servants and to charity. The will was proved on 15 Feb. 1564 and two years later the wardship of one of his grandsons, Michael Samborough or Sandbroke, was granted to the widow.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 5 Stevenson; CPR, 1563-6, p. 433; C142/140/194.
  • 2. Coventry Leet Bk. (EETS cxxxiv), ii. 706, 724, 778; B. Poole, Coventry, 371.
  • 3. E179/192/157, 193/188, 190; Coventry statute merchant rolls 38, 41, 47; Coventry Trinity Deeds, T/S ed. Dormer Harris, nos. 71, 74, 76; Poole, 246; Coventry mayors; accts. 1542-61, council bk. pp. 2-4, 8, 21, 45; letters, i. 63; T. Sharpe, Coventry, 161; C1/1199/42.
  • 4. Coventry mayors’ accts. 1542-61, p. 70.
  • 5. C1/905/1-2, 907/9-15, 910/5-8, 1151/3, 1512/31; St. Ch.2/31/17; C142/140/194; PCC 5 Stevenson; NRA 5613 (Lincoln AO, Jarvis mss I/B/1/19, 3/7); CPR, 1560-3, p. 89; 1563-6, p. 433.