LEIGH, Sir John (c.1575-1612), of Coldrey, Hants.

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. c.1575, s. of John Leigh of Coldrey by Margaret or Margery, da. of Thomas Saunders of Uxbridge, Mdx., wid. of Robert Wolman or Woolman. m. Elizabeth, da. and h. of (Sir) Thomas West I, of Testwood, 1s. suc. fa. 20 Jan. 1576. Kntd. 1596.1

Offices Held

J.p. Hants from c.1592, q. from 1601.


When barely a year old, Leigh succeeded to a moderate estate, including the manors of Coldrey in Froyle, Chauntsinger near Alton, Medstead, Alresford and Bishops Sutton in Hampshire, all of which had been bought in 1557 by his great-uncle Sir John Leigh, from Richard Lyster; the manors of Lyng, Ash Priors and other properties in Somerset, and a house in Lothbury, London. His wardship was sold to Walter Hickman, a follower of Lord Burghley. In 1596 Leigh, his mother and his stepfather Sir William Killigrew conveyed Bishops Sutton to Hickman and William Onslow in trust.2

Like other young men of his social background, Leigh served at Cadiz, where he was knighted by the Earl of Essex, whom he followed to Ireland in April 1599. He was captain of 50 horse, but apparently did not stay there long, for his company had been disbanded before Essex returned to England in the autumn. Leigh was not implicated in the rebellion of 1601. It is probable that he owed his return for his three Cornish boroughs to Sir William Killigrew. A number of men of Leigh’s surname were active Members of the House in 1597 and 1601, but it is not possible to ascribe any particular activity to Leigh himself.3

Leigh died of the stone in January 1612 ‘after a lingering sickness’. By his will, dated 1 Jan. and proved 18 May, he conveyed an unspecified lease to Sir William Killigrew, to his half-brother Sir Robert Killigrew, and his former guardian Walter Hickman. To his wife, the sole executrix, he left all his remaining goods after his debts had been paid. His son Thomas, then aged six, succeeded to his Hampshire estates.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.


  • 1. Wards 9/140, f. 545; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 21; DNB (Killigrew, Robert); VCH Hants, iii. 43; ii. 503.
  • 2. VCH Hants, ii. 479, 503, 505; iii. 43 (where name is Dickman), 328, 330; Wards 9/140, f. 545.
  • 3. HMC Hatfield, ix. 145, 331; xi. 103; Cal. Carew Pprs. 1589-1600, p. 519.
  • 4. Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, i. 328 n; PCC 46 Fenner; Wards 7/45/97, 102; VCH Hants, ii. 503.