YAXLEY, John (d.c.1625), of St. Michael's, Cambridge; later of Waterbeach, Cambs.

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. prob. G. Inn 1573.

Offices Held

Alderman, Cambridge by 1597, mayor 1599-1600; steward, manor of Waterbeach-cum-Denny by 1610.


Yaxley was an attorney who acquired an estate at Waterbeach, where he leased the parsonage and tithes in 1595, the manor farm by 1599, and where he resided by 1609. In 1614 he and Edward Aungier of Cambridge purchased the manors of Waterbeach and Causeway from the Crown for £900. The only reference found to Yaxley by name in the journals of the House of Commons is to his being given leave to depart on 11 Dec. 1601. As one of the Cambridge Members, however, he was appointed to committees for draining the fens (3 Dec. 1597, 28 Nov. 1601), maltsters (12 Jan. 1598) and unsized bread (13 Jan. 1598). The Cambridge treasurers’ accounts contain a number of references to his parliamentary wages, generally at the rate of 4s. a day, and to extra payments, for example, £5 for his ‘charges at Parliament’ in 1601 followed later in the year by a payment of £50 5s.10d. for unspecified expenses, which may have included further parliamentary wages. In 1603-4 he lent Cambridge £20 towards the expenses of having its charter confirmed. His mayoralty was marked by an ordinance whereby the common councilmen were to be chosen by the mayor and aldermen, to prevent ‘abuses heretofore many times offered ... as well in elections as at other times’. In a6oa 1601 he was censured for failing to enforce an order whereby the colleges and the richer Cambridge parishes were to contribute towards poor relief in three other parishes which were overburdened. He died between 20, Sept. 1624, when he made his will, and 22 Nov. 1626, when it was disputed in the prerogative court of Canterbury. There is no mention of wife or children. The executor and principal beneficiary was a ‘son-in-law’ (possibly a stepson), Robert Spicer of Cambridge. The burial was to be ‘without any funeral obsequies’, and £900 went to build six almshouses in Waterbeach. An annuity of £12 was to be divided among the six inmates.

F. Blomefield, Coll. Cant. 6, 225; PRO Index 4208, p. 103; J. M. Gray, Biog. Notes on Mayors of Cambridge, 32; W. K. Clay, Parish of Waterbeach (Camb. Antiq. Soc. Pubs. oct. ser. iv.) 31, 73, 98; CSP Dom. 1603-10, pp. 631-2; D’Ewes, 567, 578, 579, 657, 680; Downing Coll. Camb. Bowtell mss; C. H. Cooper, Cambridge Annals, ii. 594 n, 597; Reg. St. Michael’s, Cambridge, ed. Venn, 3, 110; PCC 128 Hele.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.