WINCHCOMBE, John (by 1519-74), of Bucklebury and Thatcham, Berks.

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



Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1519, 1st s. of John Winchcombe alias Smallwood of Newbury prob. by 1st w. m. by 1550, Helen, da. of Thomas St. Loe, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 2 Dec. 1557.1

Offices Held

Commr. musters, Berks. 1546, relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; other commissions 1563-70; escheator, Oxon. and Berks. 1552-3, 1560-1; j.p.q. Berks. 1558/59-d.; sheriff 1571-2.2


John Winchcombe’s early career is not always distinguishable from that of his father. It was clearly the son who was the ‘young Mr. Wynchcombe’ sent in February and March 1539 from Newbury as a confidential messenger to Cromwell by Miles Coverdale. The message concerned the suppression of papal books and it may be that such employment is early evidence of Winchcombe’s attachment to the cause of reform. It was probably the father who was on the Berkshire bench in 1547 but it could have been either the father or the son who in 1551 served on the commission to execute the proclamation for victuals. The corporation journal establishes that it was the younger man who was returned for Reading to the Parliament of March 1553. The family seems to have had no property in the town but at this time one of the Members was customarily a local gentleman. The elder Winchcombe’s religious conservatism makes it probable that he and not his son was rewarded for ‘service at Framlingham’ and was appointed a commissioner of gaol delivery by Mary. There is, however, no evidence that the younger Winchcombe opposed government policy when he sat in two Marian Parliaments for Ludgershall. His patron (Sir) Richard Brydges, the keeper of that borough, was an old family friend; Winchcombe’s father lived at Newbury as had Sir Richard’s father, Henry Brydges, whose will the elder Winchcombe had witnessed in 1538; and one of the two Winchcombes was associated with Sir Richard in a property transaction.3

Winchcombe’s Protestantism undoubtedly recommended him to the Elizabethan government although he was to sit in Parliament only once more, again for a Wiltshire constituency. He died on 28 Feb. 1574.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: T. F.T. Baker / R. L. Davids


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s death, E150/822/5; C142/111/10. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 233; Ashmole, Berks. iii. 300; A. L. Humphreys, Bucklebury, ped. opp. p. 310.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1553, pp. 351, 386, 413; 1560-3, pp. 434, 523; 1563-6, pp. 20, 38-39; 1569-72, pp. 219, 221, 223.
  • 3. Remains, Miles Coverdale (Parker Soc. 1846), 500, 502; Humphreys, 304-5; CPR, 1547-8, p. 81; 1550-3, p. 142; 1553-4, p. 34; Reading Recs. i. 231; Lansd. 156(28), f. 94; PCC 24 Dyngeley; C142/124/191.
  • 4. Cam. Misc. ix(3), 38-39; C142/168/2; E150/828/8.