HOUGHTON, John (by 1522-83), of Oundle, Northants., Stamford, Lincs. and Kelthorpe, Rutland.

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. by 1522. m. (1) 2s. 2da.; (2) Susan (d.c.1591), da. of Robert Walpole of Stamford and Pinchbeck, Lincs., wid. of John Allen, at least 1da.

Offices Held

Queen’s woodward, Northants. by Nov. 1553; alderman (i.e. mayor), Stamford 1558-9, 1566-7, 1575-6, 1581-2.1


Houghton was a leading citizen of Stamford for nearly 30 years, holding property in various parts of the town. He bought Kelthorpe and other neighbouring property from Francis Colby in April 1563, by which date he already owned some land in Ketton, Rutland. During his first period as alderman, Houghton supervised the building of a new Town Hall. The Stamford hall book describes a corporation dispute in 1563, when Francis Thorneff ‘fell at word with John Houghton, being a co-burgess, and rashly without any just cause called the said Houghton knave’. Thorneff was sentenced to imprisonment, but was pardoned ‘at the earnest suit’ of Houghton. Three years later, when Houghton was alderman for the second time, Thorneff was deprived of the freedom of the borough.2

In 1571 Houghton’s son was associated with him as woodward. Apart from this, his later corporation offices, and his appointment as supervisor of the wills of his second wife’s parents, Robert and Dorothy Walpole, little more is known about him. He died on Christmas Eve 1583 and was buried on Christmas Day at St. Mary’s, Stamford, where a memorial tablet in the centre aisle, with a verse inscription, was still visible in 1822. His will, drawn up in December 1582, was proved early in 1584. He left legacies to his five children, to two sons-in-law, and to Mary, the wife of his son and heir ‘Toby’. The widow (who died in October 1591 and was buried near her husband) was appointed sole executrix, and Michael Lewis was a supervisor.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Information from Rev. Philip Houghton; CPR, 1553-4, p. 451; PCC 11 More, 30 Butts; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lii), 1040; W. Harrod, Antiqs. Stamford, i. 210.
  • 2. CPR, 1560-3, p. 601; J. Wright, Hist. Rutland, 70-1; T. Blore, Hist. Rutland, 155-6; VCH Rutland, ii. 259; Harrod, i. 150, 219.
  • 3. CPR, 1569-72, p. 294; PCC 13 Lyon, 10 Peter, 30 Butts; Harrod, ii. 318.