WENDON, John (by 1514-54), of Boston, Lincs.

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. by 1514. m. ?Alice, at least 2s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Alderman, Boston 1545-d., mayor 1548-9; commr. sewers 1550; chief subsidy collector, wapentake of Skirbeck, Lincs. 1545, Boston 1546.3


John Wendon was probably a native of Boston, but nothing is known of his ancestry. He is to be distinguished from the John Wendons, father and son, of St. Mary Colchurch, London, of whom the elder, a grocer, died in 1543 and the younger was still alive in the reign of Elizabeth. In 1535 he sent Cromwell a fat swan and a fat crane, perhaps on behalf of the town, which had earlier sent similar gifts to Wolsey. Wendon was one of the most substantial men in Boston and, along with Nicholas Robertson, an important member of the staple of the town, he took the lead in drawing up a book of articles for incorporation. On 14 May 1545, when the charter was granted incorporating Boston as a borough with a mayor and 12 aldermen, Wendon was named one of the aldermen; according to the terms of the charter, the appointment was for life. On the following 9 Sept. he paid £4 to the court of augmentations on behalf of the corporation for some local property. In 1545-6 he was deputed by the subsidy commissioners for the parts of Holland as chief collector in the wapentake of Skirbeck, including Boston; his own assessment was 40s. on £30 in goods.4

The Parliament of 1547 was the first to be summoned after Boston had received its charter and the first to which it is known to have returned Members. Wendon probably sat in it from the outset, although the original return is lost and the Members for Boston are known only from a list revised in 1552. The other Member was William Naunton, a nominee of the Duchess of Suffolk, but no such influence from outside was necessary to the election of so prominent a townsman. During the life of the Parliament, which was not dissolved until 15 Apr. 1552, Wendon and Robertson acted on behalf of the corporation as the defendants in a protracted Star Chamber suit concerning the guild property which Boston had annexed at the time of its charter. The Journal is silent as to Wendon’s role in the Commons but he was doubtless active in furthering a bill for the re-edifying of homes in Boston which was introduced in the fourth session but which failed of enactment. In 1548 he was elected mayor, in accordance with the town’s decision to elect mayors from the list of original aldermen in the order in which they were named in the charter.5

Wendon made his will on 18 Nov. 1554 and it was proved on 3 Feb. 1555 in the consistory court of Lincoln. He asked to be buried in St. Botulph’s, Boston, near to his wife. His will mentions some books in his study and his probate inventory, taken on 20 Dec. 1554, a pair of clavicords. His son and residuary legatee Nicholas may have been the Anglican rector, archdeacon and canon who later became a seminary priest.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. M. Hofmann


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Lincoln consist. ct. wills 1554-6, ff. 182-2 v; G. Anstruther, Seminary Priests, i. 375.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xx; P. Thompson, Boston, 303, 454; Allen, Lincs. i. 234; E179/137/409, 430.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, iv, viii, xviii, xx, xxi; CPR, 1548-9, p. 349; 1549-51, p. 198; 1557-8, pp. 9, 235; 1558-60, p. 379; PCC 21 Spert; St.Ch. 3/8/18; E179/137/409, 430.
  • 5. St.Ch. 3/5/11, 8/18, CJ, i. 17; SP10/11/16; Thompson, 454.
  • 6. Lincoln consist. ct. wills 1554-6, ff. 182-2 v; Anstruther, i. 375.