JAMES, John (d.1601), of Newport, I.o.W., and London.

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

educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1564, scholar 1565, BA 1567, fellow 1569, MA 1571, MD 1578; Leyden. m. 1570, his cos. Mary James.

Offices Held

Candidate, College of Physicians 1582, fellow 1584, censor 1588, 1591, 1594; physician to Queen’s household 1595; jt. keeper of the recs. at Whitehall by Oct. 1597.1


The first member of the College of Physicians known to have studied at Leyden, James received a fee of £50 p.a. as physician to the Queen’s household. In 1591 he was granted a prebend in Salisbury cathedral. He was presumably known to the 3rd Marquess of Winchester, whose principal estates lay in Hampshire. His return for St. Ives in 1584 was ‘with the consent’ of Winchester and the 7th Lord Mountjoy, joint lords of the borough. He served on two committees dealing with religion (16 Dec. 1584 and 9 Mar. 1585), was appointed to the conference on fraudulent conveyances, 15 Feb. 1585, and on 16 Feb. complained of an ‘undecent’ speech by Thomas Atkins. James was returned to the 1593 Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme by the Earl of Essex, whose doctor he may have been. However, the ‘Mr. Doctor James’ who served on the privileges and subsidy committees (both 26 Feb.) is more likely to have been Francis James. ‘Doctor Jo. James’ was a member of the committee of the bill for reducing disloyal subjects to their due obedience, 4 Apr. 1593. The burgesses for Newcastle-under-Lyme were appointed to a committee concerning brewers on 3 Apr.2

James acquired a reputation as a linguist and an archivist. He was among those required to examine papers that had belonged to Leicester, Walsingham and Cecil. By October 1597, together with Thomas Lake II, he was responsible for keeping the Queen’s records at Whitehall. At the time of his death, about 26 Jan. 1601, he was in the running for the keepership of the records in the Tower.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. W. Munk, Roll of the Royal College of Physicians, i. 87; HMC Hatfield, vii. 431; Matthews thesis.
  • 2. VCH Hants, v. 256; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 5; HMC 4th Rep. 329-30; D’Ewes, 340, 349, 350, 365, 514, 517.
  • 3. Cooper, Ath. Cant. ii. 178; APC, xxi. 95-6; xxix. 178; HMC Hatfield, vi. 444; vii. 431; ix. 413; xi. 25; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, pp. 241, 544.