LEWESTON, John (c.1507-84), of Leweston, Dorset.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1507, o.s. of Edmund Leweston of Leweston by Joan, da. of one Gilbert of Compton, Devon. educ. sp. adm. L. Inn 1532. m. (1) Radigund, da. of Thomas Popwell (or Poxwell) of Strode, 1da.; (2) Joan (d.1579), da. of Sir Alexander Culpepper of Bedgebury, Kent, wid. of Aldred Fitzjames. suc. fa. 1522.2

Offices Held

Capt. of Portland from 1546; j.p. Dorset from 1554; regarder, forest of Gillingham by 1568.3


Leweston was a protestant who ‘stood for the true religion’ in the Parliament of October 1553. He acquired his captaincy of Portland through the 1st Earl of Bedford, and it was probably the 2nd Earl who arranged for Leweston, who had no known links with the borough, to be returned to Parliament for Dorchester in 1559. His return for Corfe Castle in place of Charles Mathew was no doubt due to (Sir) Christopher Hatton I, whose deputy as lieutenant of Purbeck Leweston may have been. As captain of Portland, Leweston was allowed to retain 20 persons besides his household servants for the defence of the island. He was to maintain the men at his own charge and submit a nominal roll yearly to the justices of assize.4

On 10 Oct. 1582 Leweston made his will, proved 18 Apr. 1584, four days after his death, appointing as overseers (Sir) Matthew Arundell, Sir John Horsey, George Trenchard I and others. He was buried as he had asked, at Sherborne, where his stepson and heir John Fitzjames erected a canopied tomb.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


This biography is based upon the Roberts thesis.

  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Harl. 1451, f. 177; 1539, f. 50; Hutchins, Dorset, iv. 129; C142/38/20.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xxi(1), p. 142; APC, vi. 91; CPR, 1553-4, p. 18; Hutchins, iii. 621.
  • 4. Bodl. e. Museo 17; PCC 37 Butts; Hutchins, i. 470; CPR, 1560-3, p. 334.
  • 5. C142/206/46; PCC 37 Butts; Hutchins, iv. 246.