CHUDLEIGH, John (1564-89), of Ashton, Devon.

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




Family and Education

b. 1564, 2nd s. of Christopher Chudleigh (d. by 1571) of Ashton by Christian, da. and h. of William Strechley. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of Sir George Speake, 3s. inc. George 3da. suc. bro. 1572.

Offices Held


Chudleigh’s grandfather was a commissioner for church goods in Devon under the 1st Earl of Bedford; his father was a Marian exile; a cousin was recorder of London and a ‘favourer of godly religion’. Chudleigh himself, and his elder brother, whom he eventually succeeded, were wards of the 2nd Earl of Bedford.

At the age of 19 Chudleigh sailed in the Delight on Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s last expedition, and was thenceforth associated with others of the Gilbert family and with Sir Walter Ralegh, his fellow knight of the shire for Devon in 1586. On 5 Nov. that year Chudleigh introduced a bill concerning cloth making in Devon.1 He was commended for valour at sea during the Armada campaign of 1588, and the next year, having borrowed money from a number of his friends, he set off on an expedition to raid the treasure port of Peru. One of his five ships was wrecked off France, and the others, including the one in which Chudleigh sailed, disappeared and were presumed to have foundered in the Straits of Magellan, Chudleigh’s own date of death being given in his inquisition post mortem as 6 Nov. 1589. His widow was granted the administration of his estate in 1590, but this was later renounced in favour of a creditor.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


This biography is based upon the Roberts thesis.

  • 1. D’Ewes, 394.