MORE, John II (d.c.1588), of Ipswich and Little Brisset, Suff.

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

s. of Edward More of Burston Haugh, Suff. m. Joan, 6da. suc. fa. 1558.

Offices Held

Chamberlain, Ipswich 1559-60, bailiff 1566-7, 1572-3, 1577-8, 1584-5.


More was an Ipswich cloth merchant, who inherited from his father the manor of Burston Haugh. By the time he made his will in October 1587 he also owned the manor of Little Brisset, near Ipswich, and houses and lands in Oston, Willesham, Waldingfield, Peasenhall, Heveningham, Badingham and elsewhere in Suffolk. In addition to his large house in Ipswich, and various leases from the corporation in and near the town, he possessed Topfield Hall in Hadley, although there is no evidence that he ever lived there. He rented more land from the Earl of Arundel (who in 1585 owed him £100) and from Lord Wentworth, the county magnate asked by the Privy Council in 1571 to supervise the elections in Suffolk boroughs.

Despite all this, More remained pre-eminently a citizen of Ipswich, serving the corporation in various offices for almost 30 years, though for some reason his name does not appear on the lists for September 1580 to September 1582.

There are several references, in the town books and elsewhere, to his trading activities, especially the export of Suffolk cloth. At Antwerp he employed as factor his brother-in-law Robert Barker, presumably a relative of the 1593, Ipswich MP of the same name. In 1572 Barker, who also worked in partnership with William Cardinall of East Bergholt, deposed before the Ipswich bailiffs about his transactions for More in Antwerp before the prohibition of trade with the Spanish Netherlands. The prices quoted for the ‘short fine coloured cloths’, the ‘short whites’ and ‘long Suffolk cloths’ show that More was an exporter on a large scale. In December 1568 the Spanish authorities seized cloth from his Antwerp packhouse, and confiscated sacks of hops which Barker had shipped to him in a Flemish hoy. Some years later, More was one of the 12 merchants asked, on oath before the Ipswich bailiffs, whether they had infringed the Act in Restraint of Trade with the Spanish Netherlands: this he denied. The subsidy return for 1568 assessed him at £20 in goods, higher than others in his ward. For some time he served as ‘rentwarden’ of Henry Tooley’s charitable foundation in Ipswich, and in his will made arrangements for two poor children from Christ’s hospital there to be given their indentures of apprenticeship in order to ‘get their living and so become necessary members in the commonwealth in time to come’.

More was a puritan who, having the advowson of a local church, referred the choice of a pastor to serve it to the famous Dedham classis. His connexion with Dedham was probably through his business associate William Cardinall II, who founded Edmund Chapman’s lecture there. In Ipswich More and his brother-in-law Barker were constantly active in the puritan interest. The town treasurer’s accounts for 1578-9, the year after More’s third period as bailiff, show 30s. paid to him for ‘arrears of preachers’ wages the last year’. This may mean that he had paid the money out of his own pocket.

He left no son, and the greater part of his long and detailed will, proved in 1588, is concerned with the division of his property among his six daughters, one of whom, Mary, married George Waldegrave; two others married London merchants, Richard Walter and Roger Ofield. More left money to six puritan preachers. His cousin Robert Derehaugh (also associated with the Dedham classis), and his brothers-in-law Robert Barker and Samuel Smith, were appointed supervisors to help the widow, the sole executrix. After her husband’s death Joan More remained a leading patron of puritans, providing for a sermon on liberality to preachers and showing ‘motherly affection ... towards many’ of her fellow radicals in religion.

N. Bacon, Ipswich Annals, passim; CPR, 1558-60, p. 454; Lansd. 45, f. 208; Add. 48018, f. 294v; Ipswich ass. bk. 6-19 Eliz. pp. 83, 115; Ipswich treasurers accts.; G. Unwin, Studies in Econ. Hist. ed. Tawney, 275-6; Suff. Green Bks. xii. 164; PCC 36 Rutland; Presbyterian Movement, ed. Usher (Cam. Soc. ser. 3, viii), 64 et passim; Collinson thesis, 821, 864-5.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge