GIBSON, Sir John (1576-1639), of Welburn, Yorks.

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

bap. 25 Apr. 1576, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir John Gibson, precentor of York Minster 1575-1613 and 1st w. Margaret Woodhall.1 educ. G. Inn 1594; Padua 1595.2 m. by 1602, Anne (bur. 26 Aug. 1621), da. of Sir John Allott, Fishmonger of Wood Street, London, ld. mayor 1590-1, wid. of Thomas Pigott of Doddershall, Bucks., at least 3s.3 suc. fa. 1613;4 kntd. 16 Apr. 1607.5 bur. 11 May 1639. sig. Joh[n] Gibson.

Offices Held

Steward, Kirkby Moorside manor, Yorks. 1603;6 j.p. Yorks. (N. Riding) 1605-d., Durham 1607-20;7 commr. aid, N. Riding 1609, 1612, sewers 1615-23, 1632;8 member, Council in the North 1616-d.;9 commr. oyer and terminer, Northern circ. 1629-d.;10 sheriff, Yorks. 1630-1;11 dep. lt. and capt. of horse, N. Riding by 1633-d.;12 commr. recusancy composition, Northern parts 1635-d.13

Servant to Lord Pres. (Sir Thomas) Wentworth* 1629-?33.14

Trustee, alum mines 1630-d.;15 commr. logwood 1635.16


Gibson’s father, of humble Lancashire parentage, was a civil lawyer who joined the York diocesan administration in 1571. Granted arms three years later, he held a sinecure as precentor at the minster, where he served the chapter and successive archbishops as a legal adviser. A master in Chancery from 1578, he was also, more briefly, judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in tandem with his York colleague Sir John Bennet*. He acquired an estate at Welburn from a junior branch of the Savile family in 1597.17

Gibson was dogged by persistent ill-health, and in 1616 he received a passport to take the waters at Spa with Sir Arthur Ingram*. The only member of his family to sit in Parliament, his return for Thirsk in December 1620 was presumably supported by the Council in the North. He left no trace upon the Commons’ records, perhaps because of illness, he being reported as ‘very sick in a dropsy’ during the summer adjournment. Rather than seeking re-election in 1624, he obtained another passport for Spa. He had returned to London by June 1625, when he served on a commission to investigate Ingram’s management of the Yorkshire alum works. Later that same year, he and Ingram provided surety for Sir Thomas Wentworth* on the latter’s appointment as sheriff of Yorkshire. During the period in which the Forced Loan was collected, Gibson removed himself to London, thus evading payment while avoiding a confrontation.18

Gibson entered Wentworth’s service when the latter became lord president in 1629, but remained in Yorkshire after Wentworth removed to Dublin in 1633. In 1630 he was granted a reversionary lease of the alum farm as Wentworth’s trustee, which he took over in January 1638. His health collapsed in July, when he was ‘not able to stir’, but at the end of the year he was well enough to travel to Berwick to inspect the fortifications. His health did not last: he left Wentworth a diamond ring in his will of January 1639, and was buried at Kirkdale, ‘without any great public funeral’ on 11 May 1639. His eldest son Sir John, who had been knighted by Wentworth in 1636, fought as a royalist in the Civil War. No subsequent family member sat in Parliament.19

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. St. Michael-le-Belfry Par. Reg. (Yorks. Par. Reg. Soc. i), 18, 20, 21; Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 520.
  • 2. GI Admiss.; G.L. Andrich, Univ. Patavinae, 135.
  • 3. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 387-8; PROB 11/100, f. 68.
  • 4. C142/583/11.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 142.
  • 6. E315/310, f. 11.
  • 7. N. Riding Q. Sess. Recs. ed. J.C. Atkinson, i. 1; C181/2, f. 44v; 181/3, f. 9v.
  • 8. SP14/43/107; E163/16/21; C181/2, f. 245; 181/3, f. 96; 181/4, f. 114.
  • 9. R. Reid, Council in the North, 497.
  • 10. C181/4, f. 14v; 181/5, f. 138.
  • 11. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 163.
  • 12. Add. 28082, f. 81.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1631-3, p. 541; T. Rymer, Foedera, ix. pt. 1, p. 58; pt. 2, p. 162.
  • 14. Holles Letters ed. P.R. Seddon (Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xxxvi), 446-7.
  • 15. C66/2546/8.
  • 16. Rymer, ix. pt. 1, p. 25.
  • 17. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 387; B.P. Levack, Civil Lawyers, 41, 165-6, 232; Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae comp. J.M. Horn and D.M. Smith, iv. 29; Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 99; VCH N. Riding, i. 520.
  • 18. APC, 1615-16, p. 570; R.B. Turton, Alum Farm, 141, 161, 168; Wentworth Pprs. ed. J.P. Cooper (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xii), 240; SP16/71/64.I.
  • 19. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 230; ii. 193, 237; Holles Letters 446-7; Borthwick, York Wills, Rydall deanery, June 1640; Royalist Comp. Pprs. ed. J.W. Clay (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xviii), 194-5.