EDMONDES, John (bef. 1563/6-?1611/12), of York

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. bef. 1563/6,1 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Thomas Edmondes of Plymouth, Devon and Fowey, Cornw. and 1st w. Joan, da. of Anthony Delabere of Sherborne, Dorset; bro. of Sir Thomas*. ?unm. suc. fa. Aug. 1604.2 d. ?1611/12. sig. Jo[hn] Edmondes.

Offices Held

Sec. to Edmund, 3rd Bar. Sheffield, ld. pres. Council in the North, by 1604-?d.;3 freeman, Hull, Yorks. 1604.4


Many details of Edmondes’s life are obscure. Most references to a ‘Mr. Edmondes’ in official sources can be related to his younger brother Thomas or to Clement Edmondes*; he can also be confused with minor figures, including alderman John Edmondes† of Cambridge.5 He was doubtless the John Edmondes granted ex-chantry lands in Plymouth in 1595, and, as his mother’s family claimed kinship with the Cecils, it is possible that he was the ‘Edmunds’ referred to in 1599 as a tenant of the 1st Lord Burghley’s daughter, the countess of Derby. Though described as heir when granted administration of his father’s estate in 1604, no inquisition post mortem appears to have been held, and it is likely that his inheritance was not very large.6

Edmondes arrived in Yorkshire in about 1600,7 possibly in connection with the Council in the North during the presidency of Thomas Cecil†, 2nd Lord Burghley. Secretary to lord president Sheffield at the time of his return to Parliament as burgess for Hull in March 1604, he left little trace on the records of his only Parliament, nor was he mentioned in the correspondence of his fellow burgess, Anthony Cole*. His northern connections explain his nomination to committees for the bill confirming Berwick’s new charter (16 May 1604) and that allowing the under-age John Hotham* to establish a jointure for any future wife (25 Jan. 1606). He was named to committees for a naturalization bill (5 June 1607) and a bill to prevent London pawnbrokers acting as fences for stolen goods (16 June 1604). It is difficult to identify him in the sessions of 1610, as the records do not distinguish him from Clement Edmondes, clerk of the Privy Council, returned for Caernarvon Boroughs in the autumn of 1609. The Hull MP was presumably the man named to the committee for the bill for naturalization of ambassadors’ children (27 Apr. 1610), which was sponsored by his brother.8

In May 1604 Edmondes bought a lease of two-thirds of the profits of the manorial courts of the duchy of Lancaster honour of Pickering, Yorkshire, which had been granted to his brother in 1589. He farmed his rights vigorously, prosecuting two groups of Duchy tenants for non-payment of fines in 1605, and was unpopular locally.9 He began a more protracted dispute in November 1606, a week into the parliamentary session, when he filed a bill in the duchy of Lancaster court against Sir Richard Etherington, receiver of Pickering honour, whom he accused of embezzling the profits of the manorial courts. Etherington’s stepson Thomas Silvester entered a cross bill accusing Edmondes of withholding his share of the profits, whereupon Edmondes complained to Robert Cecil†, earl of Salisbury that his opponent ‘seeketh by all sinister ways to possess himself of my interests’.10 Edmondes’s servant Robert Foster was sacked as deputy forester on suspicion of deer-poaching, but Etherington’s prevarications suggest that he was aware of the weakness of his case, and in 1608 his office was assigned to Sir Thomas Hoby* for the duration of the suit. In the final decree of 15 July 1609, the receivership was awarded to a compromise candidate, the York lawyer Henry Tankard, and Etherington lost the profits of all but his own manor of Ebberston.11

Edmondes was presumably dead by 13 Aug. 1612, when George Wetherid*, his successor as Sheffield’s secretary, was admitted to the Middle Temple.12 No identifiable will or letters of administration survive: he is unlikely to have been the John Edmondes of Dalton, Yorks. whose will was proved in 1622, or two other namesakes whose wills were proved during the 1630s.13 It is just possible that he was the John Edmondes of London who left most of his goods to his nephew Joseph Moore in 1633, though the MP had no known relative of that name.14 He is not known to have left any descendants.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. His yr. bro. Sir Thomas was aged c.60 in 1626, see London Mar. Lics. (Harl. Soc. xxvi), 175. However, at his death in 1639, his age was given as c.76, see C142/613/47.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 327.
  • 3. Hull RO, bench bk. 4, f. 357v.
  • 4. Hull RO, freemens’ reg. 1396-1645, f. 139.
  • 5. APC, 1588, p. 48.
  • 6. C66/1429/11; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 215; 1598-1601, pp. 38, 192; PROB 6/6, f. 225.
  • 7. DL4/54/42, depositions by witnesses for Edmondes (20 Sept. 1608), where Francis Ellerton and William Burry claimed to have known him for 7-8 years.
  • 8. Hull RO, bench bk. 4, f. 357v, L.159-60; CJ, i. 212a, 240a, 260a, 379b, 414a, 422a.
  • 9. DL1/222/60, 224/35, 228/41, 229/7; DL4/54/42; DL5/24, p. 391.
  • 10. DL1/228/41-2, 96; 229/86, 114; HMC Hatfield, xix. 428.
  • 11. DL5/24, pp. 335, 353, 383-4, 440, 523, 702, 777, 797, 921-3; DL4/54/42.
  • 12. M. Temple Admiss. He was probably bur. in York Minster, the regs. for which do not survive for this period.
  • 13. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 37, f. 23; PROB 11/157, f. 267; 11/172, f. 204v.
  • 14. PROB 11/168, f. 273v.