GOLDWELL, John (d.1597), of Great Shelford, Camb.

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

1st s. of John Goldwell of Great Shelford by his w., da. of one Tyrell. educ. prob. Queens’, Camb. fellow comm. 1567. m. Mary, da. of Thomas Cooper, bp. of Winchester, 1s. 1da.

Offices Held

J.p. Cambs. and Ely from c.1573; c.j. for pleas within the Isle of Ely by 1575-c.81; treasurer to Bp. Cooper of Winchester.


After, presumably, some sort of legal education, the details of which are lost (the John Goldwell admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1544 is obviously not the MP) Goldwell became a judge in the Isle of Ely until the death, in 1581, of the bishop, who had the right of appointment. He next appears as the treasurer of his father-in-law, Bishop Cooper, who was translated to Winchester in 1584 and died there ten years later. Goldwell was returned to every Parliament during this decade, each time for a borough owned by the diocese of Winchester. He is not mentioned by name in the parliamentary journals, but he may have attended a committee to which the burgesses for Downton were appointed concerning cloth on 15 Mar. 1593.

Goldwell died early in 1597. In his will, made the last day of the previous year and proved 17 Mar., he bequeathed his soul ‘to the merciful hands of Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer’, and asked to be buried in the chancel of Great Shelford parish church, desiring that the funeral be ‘decently performed’. The vicar was to receive a black gown, his own daughter Anne an annuity of 20 marks and £100. Two girls, Sarah and Judith Adam, were to receive £50 and £10 respectively and to live with his daughter at Great Shelford. Servants and the poor were remembered and 40s.for Shelford bridge, ‘when the county shall be doing the reparations thereof’. All his lands and the residue of his property went to his son John, the sole executor.

Vis. Cambs. (Harl. Soc. xli), 71; VCH Cambs. iv. 18; APC, viii. 316; Hants RO, bp. of Winchester’s pipe roll; D’Ewes, 501; PCC 20 Cobham.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.