CARMINOWE, John (c.1516-92), of Fentengollen, nr. Truro, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1516, 1st s. of Thomas Carminowe of Respryn by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Cheseman of Dormans Well, Norwood, Mdx.; bro. of Nicholas. m. Margaret (d.1593), da. of Christopher Tredeneck of St. Breock, 3s. inc. Oliver 1da. suc. fa. 1529; uncle John Carminowe 1547.1

Offices Held

Reeve, Lostwithiel 1552-3; commr. relief, Cornw. 1550, piracy 1565, grain 1576; j.p. 1552-4, q. 1569-d; sheriff 1558-9.2


Of an old Cornish family, Carminowe sat for Truro through his own local influence. During the reigns of Edward VI and Mary he was regularly employed on county business, supervising special taxes in his district, inquiring into illegal mining in Cornwall (he owned at least one tin works himself), and performing a number other of ad hoc duties. Some time during 1558 he was outlawed for debt, but was pardoned before the accession of Elizabeth, who appointed him her first sheriff of Cornwall. However, his name was not included on the 1562 or 1564 commissions of the peace, despite the bishop of Exeter’s description of him as ‘meet to be a justice’. Appointed at last in 1569, he was classified among the ‘justices to be removed’ in 1587, described as ‘an old fornicator, a common drunkard, corrupt, ignorant’. His name was marked ‘remaining to be considered of’, but he was still a justice in 1590.3

The Cornish gentlemen of Elizabeth’s reign were litigious, and Carminowe, among his other official duties, was asked to report on several local disputes involving the John Killigrews. He was himself a defendant in several lawsuits, two Elizabethan ones being concerned with local rights to property. He died between January 1592, when he made his will, and the following June, when it was proved. The preamble expresses his belief that he would ‘be received to the fruition of everlasting comfort and [the] heavenly kingdom prepared for me and His elect’. The will gives details of the lands bequeathed to Margaret Carminowe and their sons. The widow and her eldest son Oliver were appointed executors and residuary legatees; Richard Chamond was one of six supervisors. He was buried at St. Michael Penkivel, Cornwall.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/84/11, 32; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 75; PCC 7 Jankyn.
  • 2. Duchy Cornw. roll 226, m. i; APC, iii. 504; CPR, 1569-72, p. 223.
  • 3. C142/84/11, 32; St. Ch. 5/S5/26; J. Maclean, Hist. Trigg Minor, iii. 57; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 351; 1554-5, p. 106; 1557-8, p. 350; PCC 19 More; APC, iii. 504; v. 12; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 69; Lansd. 48, ff. 136 seq.; 53, f. 192; 146, f. 19.
  • 4. APC, x. 142, 177; xi. 340-1; xii. 25-6; St. Ch. 5/S5/26; C3/141/21; PCC 56 Harrington; Vivian, loc. cit.