BODEN (BUDDEN), John (c.1547-1614), of Shaftesbury, Dorset and Clement's Inn, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1547.1 educ. ?Clement’s Inn. m. (1) by 1589, 1da.;2 (2) c.1608, Alice (d. 16 June 1614), wid. of Richard Laning, yeoman, of Pegges Iwerne Minster, Dorset, s.p.3 d. 10 Aug. 1614.4

Offices Held

Feodary, Dorset 1592-d.;5 steward, duchy of Lancaster estates, Blandford, Dorset 1598-1603;6 commr. piracy, Dorset 1602, 1605, 1611;7 recorder, Shaftesbury 1604-d.;8 commr. Admlty. causes, Dorset,9 j.p. 1608-d.,10 commr. aid 1609.11


Boden’s parentage has not been ascertained, but he was no doubt related to the Buddens of eastern Dorset, a flourishing yeoman family based mainly at Cranborne and Canford, from whom he distinguished himself by changing the spelling of his surname around the early seventeenth century. His kinsman John Budden became regius professor of Civil Law at Oxford in 1611, and Boden himself must have acquired some legal training, presumably at Clement’s Inn, before becoming steward to the Catholic 10th Lord Stourton.12 However, he probably owed his office of feodary to a recommendation from Sir Matthew Arundell†, who employed him to deliver confidential messages to Sir Robert Cecil†. When Arundell died in 1596, leaving a son disabled by recusancy from engaging in overt political activity, Boden attached himself to Cecil, acting on his behalf in land purchases, and helping to identify several valuable wardships for him.13

Boden represented Shaftesbury in the 1601 Parliament, and was again elected in 1604. He may have enjoyed the support of the local Arundell interest, but he was a prominent borough figure in his own right. In addition to occupying a large house in the town, formerly the residence of Sir Henry Spiller* and his ancestors, he had kept the borough accounts for many years, and owned most of the municipal buildings and common lands. These were transferred to trustees a month after the election, and in July that year Shaftesbury was granted a new charter, in which Boden was named as recorder.14

Boden was doubtless a loyal supporter of Cecil during the first Jacobean Parliament, but he took little known part in its proceedings, receiving only three appointments. During the 1604 session he was named on 30 May to the committee for the bill promoted by the dowager Lady Kildare to protect her interests following the attainder of her second husband, the 11th Lord Cobham (Henry Brooke alias Cobham†). This measure was opposed by Duke Brooke, Cobham’s cousin, for whom Boden’s nephew and protégé, John Dackombe*, stood surety in a large unsecured loan. Cecil, as Cobham’s brother-in-law, was also interested in the bill’s progress.15 In the second session Boden was nominated on 23 Jan. 1606 to consider the bill to compensate the vicar of Radipole, Dorset, but he failed to attend the committee.16

In April 1609 the lord lieutenant of Dorset, the 3rd Viscount Howard of Bindon, wrote to Cecil (now 1st earl of Salisbury) to request a favour for Boden, ‘whose faithful attendance on your affairs is publicly known’. He was probably referring to Boden’s supervision of building and planting works at Cranborne, Salisbury’s Dorset retreat.17 During the fourth parliamentary session, Boden was nominated on 17 Feb. 1610 to scrutinize the bill to settle the revenues of Frome Whitfield rectory on charities at Dorchester, Dorset. He was also one of the four Dorset justices instructed on 29 June to confer with Matthew Chubbe* about the latter’s offer to found almshouses in the county. Chubbe subsequently agreed to establish one of his foundations at Shaftesbury, provided that Boden and his son-in-law, William Grove, additionally endowed them with a perpetual rent-charge of £26 p.a.18

Boden is unlikely to have stood for the Addled Parliament. He was ‘sick in body’ when he drew up his will on 16 July 1614, requesting burial with his first wife in the aisle of Holy Trinity, Shaftesbury. His house in the town was already occupied by Grove, who succeeded him both as feodary and recorder. Boden left a further £20 to the almshouses, stipulating that the beneficiaries were to be chosen by the corporation, and confirmed the endowment. His daughter was named sole executrix, with Dackombe and John Foyle† acting as overseers. Boden died at Clement’s Inn on 10 August. He was the only member of the family to sit in Parliament, but his great-grandson, John Lowe, a suspected Catholic, represented Shaftesbury in the Cavalier Parliament.19

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. E134/5 Jas.I/Hil. 22.
  • 2. C142/378/123.
  • 3. Som. and Dorset N and Q, xxiv. 268; PROB 11/125, f. 94v.
  • 4. C142/378/123.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 197; WARD 9/502.
  • 6. Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders ed. R. Somerville, i. 631.
  • 7. C181/1, ff. 24, 114; 181/2, f. 159v.
  • 8. C.H. Mayo, Shastonian Recs. 8.
  • 9. C181/1, f. 117.
  • 10. SP14/33.
  • 11. SP14/45/109.
  • 12. B.P. Levack, Civil Lawyers, 214; C142/378/123; HMC Hatfield, vi. 161; xxiii. 79.
  • 13. R.B. Outhwaite, ‘Who Bought Crown Lands?’, BIHR, xliv. 26; HMC Hatfield, iv. 416; vii. 210; xi. 333.
  • 14. C142/378/123; E134/5 Jas.I/Hil. 22; Mayo, 6, 8, 53.
  • 15. CJ, i. 229a; N and Q (ser. 1), xi. 260.
  • 16. CJ, i. 259a; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 183.
  • 17. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 45, 250-1.
  • 18. CJ, i. 394b, 444b; Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 43.
  • 19. PROB 11/125, ff. 94v-5; C142/378/123; Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv-cvi), 120; HP Commons, 1660-90, ii. 767.