PORTER, Arthur (d.1559), of Newent and Alvington, Glos.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

1st or o.s. of Roger Porter by his 1st w. Margaret, da. of John Arthur. educ. L. Inn 1523. m. (1) Alice, da. of John Arnold, sis. of Sir Nicholas Arnold, at least 12ch. inc. Sir Thomas; (2) Isabel, da. of Sir William Denys, wid. of Sir John Berkeley, s.p. suc. fa. 1523.1

Offices Held

?Escheator, Glos. and marches of Wales 1526-7; esquire at arrival of Anne of Cleves 1539; j.p. Glos. from 1537, j.p.q. 1554, sheriff 1548-9, chantry commr. 1548.2


Porter obtained property at the dissolution of the monasteries. A grant of about 1540 included the site of Lanthony priory and the manor house and demesne of Alvington, which he made one of his two chief residences: in 1558 he and several members of the Denys family bought the remainder of the manor. Elsewhere in the county he owned land at Newent, Lydney and Haggafield, and there are records of his buying property at Pitchcombe, Painswick and in the city of Gloucester, where by the end of Mary’s reign he had a joint share in over 25 houses. He married well, and was related to influential local families.

As Member for Gloucester in the 1555 Parliament he had joined the two knights of the shire, Sir Anthony Kingston and Sir Nicholas Arnold, and his fellow-Member for Gloucester, William Massinger, in voting against a government bill. It seems strange, therefore, that in 1559 he should have had to go outside his own county for a seat. The reason was probably that Sir John St. Loe, powerful enough in both Somerset and Gloucestershire to gain county membership, decided to sit for Gloucestershire, leaving a Somerset seat available for his son Sir William. Since the second Gloucestershire seat went to Sir Giles Poole, and the city of Gloucester elected Sir Nicholas Arnold and the recorder, Richard Pate, Porter himself was left without a Gloucestershire constituency. He sat for Aylesbury, where the patron was Sir Thomas Pakington, lord of the borough. Since Porter’s son-in-law, Edward Oldsworth, was elected for the same borough at a by-election early in February 1559, the odds are that there was some close connexion with the Pakingtons, of which no trace has been found.

Porter did not long survive this Parliament, dying on 31 May 1559. He and his first wife had produced a large family, a number of whom died in infancy. Six were buried at Hempstead, Gloucestershire, before 1549, and two had died earlier at or near Quedgeley, on his Lanthony property. No will has been found.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Harl. 1041, f. 65; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 127; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xiii. 148-9; PCC 7 Bodfelde.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xii(2), p. 407; xv, p. 6; xvi, p. 53; CPR, 1553-4, p. 19; E. Williams, The Chantries of William Canynges in St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 31.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xv, p. 539; xvi, pp. 383-4; xvii, pp. 695, 703; xix(1), p. 45; (2), p. 419; CPR, 1555-7, pp. 211-12; 1558-60, p. 135; C142/118/56; 122/74; Wards 7/102/157, 187; Guildford Mus., Loseley mss 1331/2; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xiii. 148-9.