GURDON, Brampton (1566-1650), of Assington, Suff.

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. July 1566,1 o.s. of John Gurdon† of Assington and Amy, da. and h. of William Brampton of Letton, Norf. educ. G. Inn 1583. m. (1) settlement 2 Feb. 1588, Elizabeth (d. 5 Apr. 1603), da. and coh. of Edward Barrett of Belhouse, Aveley, Essex, 5s. (4 d.v.p.) 3da. (2 d.v.p.); (2) 8 July 1606, Muriel (d. 22 Aug. 1661), da. of Martin Sedley of Morley, Norf., 4s. 3da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1623. bur. 2 Apr. 1650.2

Offices Held

Gov. Boxford g.s. Suff. 1596;3 commr. sewers, Essex and Suff. 1617, 1634, Suff. 1626;4 j.p. Suff. 1623-at least 1629, 1641-d.;5 commr. subsidy, Suff. 1624-5, Hadleigh, Suff. 1624,6 Forced Loan, Suff. 1627;7 sheriff, Suff. 1628-9;8 commr. gaol delivery, Hadleigh 1630, ?Suff. 1644, ?Bury St. Edmunds liberty 1644, ?Bury St. Edmunds bor. 1644;9 dep. lt. Suff. 1642; ?commr. propositions, Sudbury, Suff. 1642,10 ?sequestration 1643, ?levying of money 1643, defence, Eastern Assoc. 1643, assessment, Suff. 1643-d.,11 raising money for the Scottish army 1643,12 scandalous ministers, W. Suff. 1644-5,13 ?oyer and terminer, 1644, oyer and terminer and gaol delivery 1645;14 New Model Ordinance 1645;15 elder, Lavenham classis, Suff. 1645;16 commr. militia, Suff. 1648.17


Gurdon’s grandfather bought the Suffolk manor of Assington, four miles from Sudbury, in 1556, and his father represented the borough in 1571.18 Gurdon himself was committed to the Fleet by lord chancellor Ellesmere (Thomas Egerton†) in 1606 for an unknown offence.19 He was elected for Sudbury in January 1621, although the return was backdated to the previous November. Gurdon may have been responsible for the election of his colleague, Edward Osborne, whose sister-in-law married (at an unknown date) Gurdon’s younger son Robert. Gurdon appears only once in the surviving records of the third Jacobean Parliament, when he was appointed to the committee for the bill for catechizing children (16 May 1621).20

In January 1626 Gurdon successfully proposed (Sir) Robert Naunton* as one of the knights of the shire for Suffolk, recruiting his friend and neighbour the future governor of Massachusetts John Winthrop to canvass prominent members of the Suffolk gentry, such as Sir Robert Crane*.21 Like Winthrop, Gurdon was a puritan, and when the anti-Calvinist Matthew Wren took control of Norwich diocese in 1636, it was reported that ‘Mr. Gurdon is questioned for not bowing and kneeling at burial prayers’. On 11 Apr. 1637 Gurdon wrote gloomily to Winthrop in New England: ‘I would I could write you anything like to give comfort to any honest English mind for church or commonwealth’.22

Gurdon’s eldest son John represented Ipswich in both the Short and Long Parliaments. Gurdon himself served on the county committee during the Civil War, although it is difficult to distinguish him from his younger son Brampton†, who, like him, was an active supporter of Parliament. Gurdon drew up his will on 17 Oct. 1647, leaving an imposing collection of silver and furnishings to his second wife, together with 500 marks, his best coach, five horses, and a musket. Her son Brampton, who had been returned for Sudbury as a recruiter, inherited property in Norfolk, and the local clergy and servants received monetary bequests. The poor of Assington were to receive £20 and those of Sudbury £5.23 Gurdon was buried at Assington on 2 Apr. 1650. His eldest son moved up to represent the county in the first Protectorate Parliament, and sat for Sudbury in the Convention.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Winthrop Pprs. v. 351.
  • 2. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, ix. 106-7, 114-15; GI Admiss.
  • 3. Winthrop Pprs. i. 145.
  • 4. C181/2, f. 272; 181/3, f. 202; 181/4, f. 173v.
  • 5. C231/4, f. 159v; 231/5, p. 468; C66/2527; C193/13/3.
  • 6. C212/22/23; Harl. 305, f. 206.
  • 7. C193/12/2, f. 56.
  • 8. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 132.
  • 9. C181/4, f. 67; 181/5, ff. 233-4.
  • 10. LJ, v. 342, 346.
  • 11. A. and O. i. 115, 168, 235, 293, 537, 639, 975, 1093; ii. 43, 309.
  • 12. Suff. and the Gt. Rebellion ed. A. Everitt (Suff. Recs. Soc. iii), 60-1.
  • 13. Suff. Cttees. for Scandalous Ministers ed. C. Holmes (Suff. Rec. Soc. xiii), 25.
  • 14. C181/5, ff. 232v, 257.
  • 15. A. and O. i. 639.
  • 16. W.A. Shaw, Hist. of Eng. Church during Civil Wars and under Commonwealth, ii. 429.
  • 17. A. and O. i. 1243.
  • 18. W.A. Copinger, Manors of Suff. i. 18; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 231.
  • 19. Winthrop Pprs. i. 100.
  • 20. CJ, i. 622a.
  • 21. Winthrop Pprs. i. 325.
  • 22. Ibid. iii. 261, 386; v. 79.
  • 23. PROB 11/212, ff. 120-1.