DEANE, Sir John (1583-1626), of Dynes Hall, Great Maplestead, Essex

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. 1583,1 o.s. of William Deane and 2nd w. Anne, da. of Thomas Egerton of London, merchant (?Mercer),2 wid. of George Blyth† (d.1581) of Camb., London and York, sec. to Council in the North. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1595, BA 1600; L. Inn 1600.3 m. 27 Aug. 1604, Anne (d. 25 May 1633), da. of (Sir) Dru Drury† of Riddlesworth, Norf., 2s. 6da.(1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1585; kntd. 13 May 1603. d. 17 Feb. 1626.4 sig. John Deane.

Offices Held

J.p. Essex 1607-d.,5 sheriff 1610-11,6 commr. oyer and terminer, repair of highways 1614-at least 1622, sewers (highways and bridges) 1618,7 inquiry into lands of Thomas Plumbe of Bardfield, Essex 1618,8 charitable uses, Essex 1619-20,9 subsidy 1621-2, 1624,10 dep. lt. 1614-d.11


Deane’s father William was a younger son of Lancashire stock who settled in northern Essex after marrying his former employer, Anne, Lady Maltravers (d.1580), daughter and sole heiress of Sir John Wentworth (d.1588) of Gosfield, Essex. In 1575 Lady Maltravers’ wealth enabled William to purchase Dynes manor in Great Maplestead, a few miles north-east of Gosfield, where he erected a fine brick house and planted an avenue of elms.12 Two years later William confirmed his rise in status by acquiring a grant of arms.13 Soon after his wife’s death William remarried, taking as his bride Anne Egerton, the daughter of a London merchant. The marriage was brief and perhaps unhappy, for in 1585 William threatened to deprive his wife of all leases and legacies over and above those included in her jointure if she attempted to obtain for herself the wardship of their infant son. The wardship was instead to be sought by William’s aged uncle Alexander Nowell†, dean of St. Paul’s, and by his cousin William Whitaker, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, both of whom later purchased it for £100. Lady Anne was also barred from educating her son (this Member) if she took a new husband deemed insufficiently godly by Nowell, Whitaker and a third overseer.14 As Deane was subsequently raised by Nowell, Anne’s second husband, the Chancery lawyer John Tyndall, presumably met with disapproval.15

The young Deane was sent to his great-uncle clothed in silk, which, as Nowell recalled, ‘I was forced to continue for fear of alienating his mind from me’.16 In 1595, shortly after Nowell was elected its principal, Deane was admitted to Brasenose College, Oxford. Five years later Deane, now aged 17, received a further helping hand, this time from his stepfather Tyndall, who obtained his entry to Lincoln’s Inn, where Tyndall was a bencher. In February 1602, as Nowell lay dying, Deane was granted his own wardship,17 which was formally ended in May 1603 when he was knighted at the Tower by the new king. Deane’s inheritance was considerable for a relatively minor country gentleman. In addition to property in Essex and Suffolk, he was heir to a large sum which had been deposited with numerous London livery companies at his father’s request. Derived from rents, it amounted to £2,600 in 1591.18 The construction of new outbuildings at Dynes Hall during the early seventeenth century suggests that Deane found a ready use for his excess cash, some of which was certainly repaid on his instructions.19 His contribution of £30 to the Privy Seal loan of 1606 represented only a fraction of what he could afford.20

Deane’s marriage to Anne Drury in August 1604 forged a close connection with an influential East Anglian gentry family.21 Added to the Essex bench in 1607, Deane was pricked as sheriff in 1610 and appointed a deputy lieutenant in 1614. Following the murder of his stepfather by an enraged litigant in 1616, Deane helped his mother to settle Tyndall’s estate.22 The circumstances surrounding his uncontested election to Parliament as junior knight of the shire in December 1620 are difficult to establish. However, Deane probably enjoyed the support of (Sir) Robert Rich*, 2nd earl of Warwick, who evidently sought to gain control of the election, which was held at Braintree, where Warwick owned the principal manor, rather than Chelmsford, the customary venue.23 Deane is not known to have been one of Warwick’s tenants, but he probably shared the earl’s religious views. As well as having received a godly upbringing, Deane was a friend and relative (through his step-sister Margaret) of the puritan Winthrops.24 Deane’s connection with the Winthrops may suggest a further link with Warwick, as John Winthrop the elder’s first wife had been the daughter of one of the bailiffs of Warwick’s father, the 3rd Lord Rich.25

Deane went unmentioned in the parliamentary records for 1621, but as an Essex Member he was entitled to sit on committees for bills concerning the preservation of fish stocks (24 Apr.) and the paving of Colchester (5 May).26 In 1624 he was one of three Essex deputy lieutenants who criticized the county’s lord lieutenant, the 5th earl of Sussex, for the disgraceful condition of the mounted militia.27 This undoubtedly increased his standing in the eyes of the earl of Warwick who, shortly after being appointed joint lord lieutenant of Essex in September 1625, specifically allowed Deane to continue as a deputy. However, Deane’s service proved to be of short duration, for in the following year he was struck down by illness. He drafted his will on 9 Feb., in which he assigned portions totalling £2,600 to his five surviving daughters, to be raised over 12 years, and an annuity of £50 to his youngest son, John. A life interest in Dynes manor and other adjacent property was granted to his wife who, with his eldest son Drue, was appointed his executor.28 Deane died on 17 Feb. and was interred in the chancel of Great Maplestead church.29 A monument located in the east wall of the family chapel, depicting him wearing full armour and erroneously recording the date of his burial as 1628, was erected some time after his wife’s death in 1633.30

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. WARD 9/157, ff. 22v-3.
  • 2. Cal. of Wills in Ct. of Hustings ed. R.R. Sharpe, ii. 723.
  • 3. Al. Ox.; LI Admiss.
  • 4. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 47; Suff. Manorial Fams. ed. J.J. Muskett, i. 154, 357; Herts. Par. Regs. ed. Phillimore, ii. 88; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 109. The m. date is incorrectly recorded as 27 Aug. 1600 in P. Morant, Hist. and Antiqs. of Essex (1768), ii. 278, and F. Chancellor, Ancient Sepulchral Monuments of Essex, 298.
  • 5. Cal. Assize Recs. Essex Indictments, Jas. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 25, 253; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 8.
  • 6. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 46.
  • 7. C181/2, ff. 226, 318v; 181/3, f. 68v.
  • 8. E178/3821.
  • 9. C93/8/5.
  • 10. C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 11. APC, 1613-14, p.404; Maynard Ltcy. Bk. 1608-39 ed. B.W. Quintrell, 33, 93, 404.
  • 12. Morant, 278.
  • 13. Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 72.
  • 14. PROB 11/68, ff. 356v, 358; WARD 9/221, f. 168v; 9/159, ff. 22v-3.
  • 15. The Gen. n.s. xxvi. 87.
  • 16. PROB 11/99, f. 88.
  • 17. Ibid. f. 89v.
  • 18. PROB 11/68, f. 358v; 11/99, f. 88v. However, Quintrell describes him as being ‘of a modest fortune’: Maynard Ltcy. Bk. 1608-39, lviii.
  • 19. RCHM Essex, NW, 130; Clothworkers’ Hall, London, Orders of Ct. 1581-1605, f. 235v; renter and quarter wardens’ accts. 1598-1613, f. 9 of 1604-5 acct. and f. 9 of 1605-6 acct.; GL, ms 11588/2, p. 355.
  • 20. E401/2587, unfol.
  • 21. For her jointure arrangements, see C142/427/134; C66/1650.
  • 22. Winthrop Pprs. i. 1498-1628 (Mass. Hist. Soc.), 182.
  • 23. C219/37/98. We are grateful to Christopher Thompson for this ref. On Warwick and Braintree, see ESSEX.
  • 24. Winthrop Pprs. i. 244, 258; Oxford DNB sub John Winthrop (1588-1649).
  • 25. C. Thompson, ‘New Evidence on John Winthrop of Groton’s Essex Connections and the colonization of Massachusetts’, Suff. Review, n.s. xxvi. 25.
  • 26. CJ, i. 588b, 609b.
  • 27. W. Hunt, Puritan Moment, 185.
  • 28. Winthrop Pprs. ii. 1623-30 ed. Mass. Hist. Soc. 46-7.
  • 29. PROB 11/163, f. 447.
  • 30. Chancellor, 298-9.