WITHYPOLL, John (b. by 1483), of Malmesbury, Wilts.

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 1483, 1st s. of John Withypoll of Bristol, Glos. by Alison, da. and h. of John a Gaunt of Cardiff, Glam.; bro. of Paul. m. Alice, 2da.2

Offices Held

Bailiff, Malmesbury hundred by 1510.3


John Withypoll remains an obscure figure overshadowed by his brother. He followed his father’s example and became a merchant, possibly trading from Bristol with Spain and Portugal. Although he retained his links with Bristol, he settled in Malmesbury presumably to take advantage of the town’s flourishing cloth industry. He obtained a minor post in local administration and on the accession of Henry VIII he sued out a general pardon. Few traces have been found of his activities in later life, but doubtless he benefited from Paul Withypoll’s success and from his numerous connexions. He appears to have married well as his wife owned property in her own right, some of which she sold during the early 1540s.4

Withypoll’s election, when in his sixties, for a newly enfranchised Cornish borough would be more readily explained if he had already sat for Malmesbury, Which he could have done, the returns for that borough being lost for the four previous Parliaments. In that case his appearance for Bossiney could be looked upon as a by-product of the election at Malmesbury in 1547 of two leading figures, Sir Maurice Denys and William Stumpe, and his consequent quest of a seat elsewhere. That he found one at Bossiney is probably to be ascribed to Sir Thomas Arundell, the receiver-general for the duchy of Cornwall, who could add to his earlier association with Malmesbury abbey his nearness to Queen Catherine Parr. Withypoll, unlike Arundell, survived the Parliament but nothing further has come to light about him.

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from younger brother’s. Walthamstow Antiq. Soc. xxxiv. 101; CPR, 1547-8, p. 194.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i.
  • 4. Walthamstow Antiq. Soc. xxxiv. 13, 42.